On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Craft Book Review

On our shelves this week is a craft book review!


Paper + Tape: Craft & Create

by Marisa Edghill

*affiliate link*

This book is full of paper crafts, and most use washi tape. My Falafel happened to go on a washi tape binge last week, and used up all four rolls I had, so we improvised. I got out the blue painter’s tape (I have no idea why we have an entire roll of this since I never tape when I paint- ha!) and some card stock, and we made one of our favorite projects from the book.


Paper Pyramid Pouches


She made this orange one all by herself.


Using the recommended materials (origami paper and washi tape) make them much cuter, but I think ours are just as sweet. And I love that they still worked, even though we used what we had.


There are so many projects in this book! Everything from Paper Puppets to Washi Tape and Paper Beads. My 10 year old was so into this one, even though the crafts are geared toward adults. We did the pouch project together, and once we did one, she made a whole army of them on her own. Luckily, she stuffed them and gave them as gifts.



If you like working with paper, this book is a fun addition to any paper craft library.


::Even though I received this book to review, as always all my opinions are mine, mine, mine::

Amaryllis dress

Today I am bringing home the Amaryllis dress I posted about over at Melly Sews for Blank Slate Patterns(affiliate links).


Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS PATTERN??!!

Of all the Blank Slate patterns I have sewn up, it is my favorite. And that is saying something. You can see others I have sewn here, here, here, here, and here. And that is not even all of them!


Firstly, it is reversible!! Essentially, this means two dresses in one. How awesome is that?!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

BTW: please excuse my daughter’s pinky finger. It was broken, but we unwrapped it for the photos, and it just stuck out like that.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The fabric I used is from the Birch Organics Mod Basics 3 collection. The Navy is called Firefly Dots Dusk, and the mustard colored one is called Wink Marigold. Dreamy fabric to go with this dreamy pattern.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The pattern goes from18m-size 8. I hope one day Melissa will make this in MY size. But for now, you can make one for your little girl to twirl in. And twirl she will! The dress has great twirl-ability.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The back closes with a button, so no zips to install or even buttonholes!

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The whole dress goes on like a secured wrap dress. There really is no danger of being exposed. This one has you covered.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The only difficult thing is choosing which side to wear.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

The one time consuming (but completely worth it) component to this pattern is hemming the circle skirt portion of the dress. I just followed the instructions, and went slowly. It came out beautifully. No wrinkles or anything! I was impressed.

Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns sewn by Falafel and the Bee

I did not deviate from this pattern because there wasn’t anything I would do differently!

Thank you, Melissa. I cannot wait to sew up another.

On-Our-Shelves Sunday: Book review

On our shelves today is a magic book for my book review!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

101 Magic Tricks

Any time, Any place

by Bryan Miles

affiliate link

My youngest LOVES doing magic tricks. Maybe it is the age. I remember loving them too, when I was 10. I handed her this book, and she was instantly hooked.

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

It is written very clearly with wonderful step-by-step photographs that even my tween can navigate by herself. In fact, she didn’t want me to read it and learn her magician secrets!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

There are tricks using cards and coins, but also paper napkins, balloons, rubber bands, and oh so much more. She really had a blast with it, and even asked to keep it. When I said she could, you would have thought it was Christmas.

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

Pick a card, any card!

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

Was this the one you chose?

101 Magic Tricks book review by Falafel and the Bee

This is a fantastic fun book that teaches you a few secrets of the trade. Not just for kids, but mine sure loves it. I am sure we will be guessing which hand, and picking many cards in the future.

*Disclaimer: Even though I did receive the book for review, as always, all my opinions are mine, mine, mine!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Today I have a fun and super practical craft for you, and the best part? All you need is two things for this easy kid recycling project.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

We buy bandages that come in these oval shaped containers, and not all places recycle #5 plastics yet, so I have been hoarding keeping them until I came up with a project. The Care To Recycle® program has spurred me to get them out and make something with my kids. We decorated the containers, and then came up with many practical uses for them. For me, that is key to keeping something around. It has to have a place or purpose!

To decorate your own, you will need:

Easy Kid Recycling Project

A Band-Aid container and washi tape. Scissors are optional (the washi tape rips fairly easily).

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Start with ripping (or cutting) strips of tape and laying them across the middle of the container lid.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Since our tape was pretty transparent, we did a few layers. That’s it! The great thing about using the tape, is that it is removable. My initial thought was to decoupage them (as I am known to do), which works, but it doesn’t come off so easily if you would like to change it up, or even recycle the container (if you find somewhere that does take them). With this tape, you can change the design as many times as you want, and even take it off completely when you are done with it.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Now for the fun part. Filling it!!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

My daughter’s dolls had a lot of fun in these portable doll beds!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

You can also make an emergency kit for someone going off to college, or a new driver!

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Of course, you can also make a box decorating kit for someone else to make.

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Some other ideas we had:

  • medical kit
  • portable sewing kit
  • treasure box
  • jewelry box
  • gift box
  • notions organizer
  • party favor box
  • hair tie/ ribbon holder
  • pencil box
  • Mother’s Day gift box
  • car activity box
  • miniature doll house
  • toy bathtub
  • glasses case
  • toiletry holder for traveling
  • bank/ money box

Easy Kid Recycling Project

Here are some tidbits of info for you provided by Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies :

 Parents are an emerging bright spot when it comes to extending in-home recycling habits to the bathroom.

  • A 2016 consumer survey on in-home recycling habits, conducted in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., shows that 60% of parents would be more likely to discuss recycling with their children if it was an activity they could do together and they had more creative, engaging ways to explain the impact of recycling.
  • The study also revealed that:
    • One-third of regular recyclers (34%) admit that it never even occurred to them to recycle in the bathroom!
    • The largest obstacle when it comes to recycling personal care products in the bathroom is a lack of tools and resources; only one in five recyclers have a recycling bin in their bathroom.

 Care To Recycle® seeks to break down barriers commonly associated with recycling in the bathroom by showing that recycling in the bathroom can be easy and fun!

  • Everything from shampoo and mouthwash bottles to soap and bandage boxes can be recycled. To better understand which bathroom products can and cannot be recycled, visit www.caretorecycle.com.
  • The more you know about what’s recyclable, the more likely you are to do it. For tips and tools to become a better recycler, visit www.caretorecycle.com.

Easy Kid Recycling Project


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Chalk on the Wild side review with Valentine Chalk printable PDF

I was given Chalk on the Wild Side to review (*affiliate link*), so the first thing I did was hand it over to my youngest! I knew she would be the perfect judge of what this book had to offer.  I told her to look in it to see if there was anything she wanted to make.

Chalk on the Wild Side Review with free printable PDF


DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Chalk on the Wild Side Review

We settled on a few projects to start with. The first we made was the multi-colored chalk. It turned out to be perfect to use for Falafel’s classroom valentines! I came up with a free PDF printable for those of you who want to do the same.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The chalk was super easy to whip up, and the only thing we didn’t already have in the house was plaster of paris.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We packaged them individually in these tiny cello bags, and stapled the tent card on the top.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The directions in the book are very clear with great photos. Our 10 year old had no problem following them. We did it together, but let her lead. That makes all the difference, sometimes.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

There are more than 25 different projects to make and multiple recipes to follow. My child was ecstatic reading the possibilities.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Her classroom doesn’t allow sweets to be passed out with the Valentines, so this is a perfect alternative!

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The next project we tried out was the chalk dough.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

This one was also right up my girl’s alley. She LOVES getting her hands into it!  Messy?? Then YES.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

She got to make this one all by herself, and she was beyond thrilled.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

Even though it was not warm out, she played outside with this stuff for a good long time. It is crumbly, but if you press it together, it sticks.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

The projects in here are not just for Summertime! There are some indoor chalk projects, bathtub chalk, as well as some that you can even use in the snow.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

This book is definitely one that we will keep as a boredom buster and a reference. A great addition to our crafty library.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

*Even though I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are mine, mine, mine.

Making Books with Kids review


I had the pleasure of reviewing this book: Making Books with Kids (*affiliate link*), recently.

My youngest (who is 10) and I picked out a few types of books to make, and played around with them.


The instructions are written clearly, and the books are easy enough for my daughter to make on her own. There are even pages to cut out to make pop-up books, which she can’t wait to try.


I was interested in doing a stitched binding book (of course) and I chose to use all recycled materials, which was a creative choice on my part.


We have a special book of Fairy Tales that I rip up and use for crafts (like these and these), and thought they would make a great art book…or two.


I folded each page in half with the folded crease facing the edge, so paints and markers would be less likely to bleed through to the back.


My girl had so much fun painting and drawing on these. So did I.

For the covers, I used old paper bags we had.


These books were quick and easy to whip up, and we only needed a few tools! A bone folder is helpful, scissors (or paper cutter), awl, needle and embroidery thread.


We used a permanent marker and watercolors, but you really can embellish with anything, depending how thick your paper is.


This book is one we have gladly added to our personal library as it will be sure to get lots of use! I love the verstility of these crafts and that it inspired us to sit down and create. Anything that does that is a big thumbs up in my book.

*I did recieve a free copy of this book to review, but as always all opinions are mine, mine, mine*

Walking the red carpet with Kung Fu Panda 3

About a week ago, my Falafel and I (and her friend and friend’s Mom) had the privilege of attending the pre-screening red carpet event for Kung Fu Panda 3!


We all had a blast!


We were at Lincoln cinemas in Bellevue (which was a bit of a hike for us), and there was an actual red carpet for us to walk down! We even had our photos taken. We felt like celebrities.


There was a lot to look at outside the theater.


The girls were given panda ears and popcorn.


Did I mention we saw it in 3D??!


These two didn’t want to take off the glasses even after the film.

Kung Fu Panda 3 comes out January 29th in the theaters. If you don’t know what it is about, here is a little summary:


Directors: Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni

Producer: Melissa Cobb

Cast:  Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, J.K. Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Kate Hudson, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim



In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters.  But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!

I cannot say anything, yet, about the film, but I am so happy we went to see it! I love these films, and this one did not disappoint. I am actually excited about seeing it again!

Color Me Tote

I had more of the fabulous Color Me fabric from the heart bag I made, so I whipped up a tote!

#colormefabric triangle tote

I whipped up a triangle pocket tote (self drafted) like the one I made here.

#colormefabric triangle tote

I am running and Adult coloring class through our local library in February, so I wanted to make up an appropriate tote for me to carry my supplies in.

#colormefabric triangle tote

This is so perfect. I may actually color this one in!


#colormefabric triangle tote


I actually still have some of this incredible fabric left (how is that for using every scrap of a yard?!), so you can expect to see another project made from it very soon.


What haveYOU made today?

Sewing up a Heart bag

One of my favorite bloggers, Abby, over at Sew Much Ado just released a FREE pattern for a heart-shaped backpack, here.

Since my husband and  I will be going out on Valentine’s Day to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, I thought that a heart purse would be a fantastic addition to my outfit.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

I did alter the pattern to make the backpack a purse, but it really wasn’t hard to do.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Instead of one continuous loop, I cut it on both sides and inserted a strap. Then I sewed it back into a loop. I also added a bit of piping. I love how it makes the fabric pop!

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

And that fabric? That is one of Hayley’s from Mouse House Creations new Color Me Fabric line by Michael Miller! I haven’t decided if I want to color it in yet, even though that is what it is intended for. I think it is pretty great even black and white.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

That is the dress that my 16 year old bought me for our wedding anniversary (here *affiliate link*). I love it. I think the bag goes well with it too.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

The inside is fully lined and all edges are finished nicely.

Free pattern Heart Bag with #colormefabric

I think this is going to be my new favorite bag!