Scrappy Alphabet

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I love a good educational toy as much as the next nerd. And I especially love educational toys for my sweet niece, who is obviously a genius. Certainly I’m not biased at all.

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I wanted to give her an alphabet for Christmas that she could really play with. I saw some on Etsy that were painted on rocks that were really cute, but she likes to throw things so rocks probably aren’t a great idea.   I also saw some alphabets that were made of fabric. They looked super cute and fun to play with. I didn’t see any tutorials, so I got to work and made up my own way.

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I pulled out all my old scrap fabric. I cut 2 rectangles from each fabric for the front and back. I didn’t repeat any of the fabrics. (You know you have too many scraps when you can make all 26 letters different.) I drew each letter onto the scraps. They are about 7.5 inches tall and the width of the letters was about 1.5 inches. I put a piece of quilt batting in-between the two pieces of fabric and pinned them together. I used a straight stitch to sew over where I had drawn on the fabric. I then cut the excess off pretty close to the seam. I sewed a zig-zag stitch over the edge of the letters and went around 2 times so the edges were nice and sealed in. I want them to stay together when they are being played with.

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Here are the first few letters. They are soft and bendy and perfect for a baby/toddler to play with. I’m sure they will be great for learning letters, sounds, colors, and patterns.

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Here is the finished scrappy alphabet. I also made a drawstring bag to keep them in, but I guess I didn’t take any pictures of it. It is a plain brownish wheat color with a hot pink ribbon closure.

My original goal was to make a few extra letters so she can spell some basic words like mom and dad. I was down to the wire on this project for Christmas so I didn’t get that part complete, but maybe one day I will get around to it. I think she could stand to wait a little longer for that.

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Here we are after Tater-tot opened her gift. (Notice she is also wearing the dance leotard I gave her.) She loves them, but her favorite things to do with them are to throw them and wear the “O” like a bracelet. I’m glad they ended up great for playing like I had wanted them to. I’m also glad I stitched over the edges a few times because she plays hard.

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We pulled out the letters another night to play with them. She still loves throwing them onto her head. She screamed for joy as we looked at each one and threw it. I think she is the sweetest, smartest baby I’ve ever met. She is over a year and a half now, so she’s not such a little baby anymore. My Tater-tot is growing up. I just want to squeeze her all the time!

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Peppermint Yummies

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I know I promised I would get back on blogging track after Christmas. Well, it is after Christmas. Just not as timely as I expected myself to be. The sad thing is I should have  posted this before Christmas because it happened before Christmas, it is Christmas related, and you might of could have used these things I found out.

Now that I have admitted once again that I am a complete and total slacker, I will also admit that none of the ideas in this blogpost actually came from me. I’m a fraudulent slacker. I’ve never denied my love of Pinterest, and that is where I found all of this goodness.

Christmas was approaching and because I can’t cook, I have to take a baked good to parties. I found super cute peppermint cupcakes here. I decided they seemed easy enough and cheap enough for me to make. I got to work.

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You know the cupcakes will taste good if the batter tastes good! The batter was yummy! Raw eggs are totally fine to eat. (I did try to make a gluten free version and that was a disaster. It did not taste yummy at all.)

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I separated the batter and put red food coloring in one half. My batter is not quite as liquid as in the original tutorial. I’m not sure if I did something wrong, but I made more than one batch and had the same consistency every time. After this I swirled the colors together.

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They came out looking like this. So pretty!

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I crushed up candy canes. I took them out of the wrapper, put them in a ziplock bag, wrapped a towel around the bag, and took a hammer to them. This kind of makes a mess. That is what the towel is for. Candy canes crush easier than peppermints.

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I used the directions for peppermint buttercream icing that were in the original tutorial and then sprinkled my peppermint pieces on top. I like cold cupcakes, so I kept mine in the refrigerator, but it made the icing kind of hard. They were best if I set them out for about 30 minutes before eating them.

I was taking these goodies to a party so I needed a good way to display them. I used this tutorial, but there are plenty on Pinterest.

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I put all my peppermints on a wax paper lined pan, and put them in the oven. They melt fast. Be careful.

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This tray is very fragile. I broke mine, but I wasn’t planning on eating it so I used hot glue and felt to put it back together. You could barely see the crack. I put the tray on top of a gold plastic charger.

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Here they are at the party. I probably won’t make a peppermint tray again. It was time consuming, the wax paper stuck to the bottom, it broke, and it turned into a sticky mess by the end of the night. But it did look pretty.

I like peppermint so I would probably eat these any time of the year, but I know most people would associate this goodie with Christmas time. Until the next blog (whenever that may be)…I hope you have some sweet treats, sweet dreams, and a sweet life!