Thanksgiving Countdown Wreath


It's almost November and I'm so excited to be be kicking off the holiday season with this "Many Thanks" countdown wreath. I LOVE Thanksgiving -- family, friends, delicious food and the chance to sit down and reflect on all of the things I'm thankful for. 

This wreath is designed to remind us to be thankful all month long, not just on Thanksgiving. There's a numbered clothespin-leaf for each day of November. Write something that you and your family are thankful for on cut-out leaves and clip them to the clothespins, one day at a time. By the time you reach Thanksgiving your wreath will be full of leaves of thanks. 

On Thanksgiving read through the leaves and share your messages of gratitude with family and friends.
After Thanksgiving save the leaves of thanks, they make a beautiful addition to a holiday album or scrapbook, and they're fun to look back at year after year. The wreath itself can be saved and reused next season.

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Felt Halloween Ornaments


Yay!! It's here, the felt ornament tutorial I promised!!
You may be getting a bit Halloween-crafted-out, but I think these guys are so adorable they just can't be missed. Plus, they can be packed-away and saved for next year.

My tutorial is for the black cat, but you will use the same technique to make the Jack-o-Lantern.

Oh, just a note, this project uses straight pins which are pointy and small -- so it's really not for little ones.
Keep the ornaments out of reach of kids under 3, or anyone who likes to put small things (like buttons) into their mouths.

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Halloween Munch Mix


Last weekend friends invited us to a Halloween scary movie night. I'm really not a scary movie fan -- I'm too easily creeped out. But, I love an excuse to snack on Halloween candy, and isn't a movie night the best excuse?

I wouldn't call this a healthy snack and it definitely isn't gourmet, but the nutty wheat cereal and salty pretzels balance out the sweetness of the candy corn and, let me tell you, it's GOOD. It's the kind of good that will have you going back for handful after handful and telling yourself - it's just cereal!  Yup  - it's just cereal. Cereal glazed with melted white chocolate...
Don't think, just make it. Halloween is only once a year, right??

I made this big batch for a crowd, but this recipe is so flexible you could easily make a smaller batch or add your favorite Halloween candy to the mix.

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Disney's TRON Light Disc Toss

check out the tutorial at Family.com
Never heard of a Light Disc? Well, if you have a little (or big!) video game fan at home you're about to get very familiar with with these glowing neon discs. Disney's new movie TRON Legacy opens in theaters on December 17th and video game fans are going to go crazy for this high-tech cyberspace adventure.
You'll have to see the movie to get all of the answers about what Light Discs do. But, if you want to try crafting your own, check out the tutorial I did for Disney's Family.com here.

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Preschool Project: Coffee Filter Leaves


Happy Monday! I have so many things to share with you this week! With only a few days until Halloween I have more decorating and treat ideas to post, and a Thanksgiving project that I LOVE.

But first, check out this colorful coffee filter project that's perfect for preschoolers. Coffee filters are such a cool supply to add to your craft cabinet. Paint watercolors on their super-absorbent paper and you'll see why. The filter swallows up the water and the colors run together creating the most beautiful tie-dye effect. Preschoolers will love watching the colors blend and cutting out their own free-form leaves.

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Framed Robot Felt Board



I'm so excited to share this project -- I've been thinking about a build-your-own robot felt board since I designed this cupcake felt board a few weeks ago. 
These little bots are so expressive - create a variety of heads, bodies and limbs. Felt circles, squares and triangles are all you need. Add features like eyes and mouths. Kids will love building tons of different robots, and don't be surprised if you find yourself building right along with them. 

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FamilyFun's Bat-O-Lantern



It's been a very busy week, but I'll have lots of new ideas to share soon! While I put the finishing touches on some crafty things, check out this adorable Bat-o-Lantern project from FamilyFun magazine. These little guys are really cute, easy to make, and they're no-carve - which means less mess for you! For the Bat-o-Lantern instructions, and tons of other adorable halloween how-tos, check out FamilyFun.com

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Weekend Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


If you're looking for a delicious morsel of fall-goodness, I have just the cookie for you. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are moist with an almost cake-like texture and just the perfect hint of Cinnamon spice. I used this recipe, but skipped the walnuts. I also let them bake for just a few minutes longer than the 10 minutes the recipe suggests. Bake up a batch this weekend and then pack them away in an airtight container, they stay soft for days and are the perfect lunchbox treat.

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Felty Thumper Ears

check out the tutorial at Disney Preschool

Are you looking for a cozy, homemade, Halloween costume for your preschooler? How about Thumper, Bambi's spunky sidekick. I designed these no-sew Felt Thumper ears for Disney Preschool, and I love the idea of using them for a Halloween costume. Dress your little one in a soft grey sweatshirt and sweatpants, add a little cotton tail, and pop on these Thumper ears.  They're adorable and so easy to make, just hop on over to Disney Preschool for the tutorial and template.

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about the new design


Let me introduce you to the incredibly talented Lindsay, from Lindsay Nicole Design Studio. She's the html-savvy lady who whipped my boring blog into shape. Not only is she crazy talented, and creative - she's also completely lovely to work with. 
Did I mention she nailed my blog design on the first go-around? Seriously.
I gave Lindsay a few vague adjectives, and she (quickly!) put together the most lovely little blog I have ever seen. Then, just as fast, she was installing, troubleshooting and making all of my blog dreams come true. 

I couldn't be happier and, guess what, I have the BEST news -- she's giving away (for free!!) one of her amazing templates. Rush over to her truly inspiring design blog, Busy Thoughts, to enter to win. BUT, do it today, October 14th, because the sweepstakes closes at 5pm.

If you don't get to enter, that's okay, because Lindsay has tons of templates available for purchase on her website: Lindsay Nicole Design Studio 

Thank you for being so fabulous Lindsay, and helping to make MirandaMade!

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healthy snack: apple cheddar stacks


Apples and cheese is a classic, tasty, flavor combo. You have the bright, sweet flavor of the apple contrasting with the salty, creamy cheese - yum - it's a hit-the-spot snack. These little apple stacks are fun to eat, and they're quick to make. I used leaf and heart shaped fondant cutters for mine, but you can use whatever small shapes you have on hand.

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Take a look!


Notice anything different around here?? Yup, it's looking fresh and new and (in my opinion) really, really, pretty. I wish I could say this was my doing but in truth all of this loveliness is courtesy of two amazingly talented designers who helped me bring my new logo and blog design to life. 

I would love to introduce you to these two creative, smart, and all-around cool ladies -- so check back tomorrow for the full report!

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Halloween Door Hangers


Here's a simple way to decorate your door for Halloween. These pressed wood door hangers can be purchased at the craft store for about 50 cents each, and they're easy to dress up. The "Gone Witching" version is a play on those classic "Gone Fishing" signs. Too punny??
Painting the signs is easy, but write out your lettering with pencil before you start to paint. I had a classic Homer Simpson d'oh moment when I finished painting the "Gone Witching" sign (feeling oh so proud of my handiwork) only to realize that I had had spelled out "gone withing" - no c - d'oh!
Good thing you can always paint over your mistakes, and start fresh.
Check out the how-to, plus instructions for making that cute little witches' broom!

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Ghostly goodies


There are lots of cute ghost cupcake ideas out there, and this is my take on the fondant ghost. To make this little guy just lay a circle of fondant over a Dum-dum lollipop and then poke the lollipop into the cupcake. I love the way the lollipop stick makes the ghost look like he really is hovering over the cupcake, and the hidden lollipop is a fun treat. Check out the super-simple photo tutorial.

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Cool Pumpkin Milkshake


Not all pumpkin desserts have to be baked. This cool, creamy milkshake pairs perfectly with a hot Los Angeles fall. Spiced up pumpkin and vanilla ice cream blend to make a shake that's not too sweet, or over the top syrupy. Plus, pumpkin packs a vitamin punch -- it's full of beta-carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants . Yup, a dessert that's kinda good for you -- sweet!

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Shoelace Jack O'Lanterns


This shoelace Jack O' Lantern makes it easy to bring a little Halloween fun with you wherever you go. And, guess what, I'm crafting with felt again. Do you notice a trend? I'm kind of obsessed with felt these days.

Kids will love dressing up their shoes with these pumpkin pals, and the best part is that they aren't permanent. The pumpkin gets laced onto the shoe, and can easily be removed when the Halloween haunting is over. Perfect for getting into the Halloween spirit, from head to toe...

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Button-on Felt Flower Headband



I love this project, I designed it as a craft project for my niece's 4th birthday. She had a fairy themed tea party, and these headbands made the girls feel like they were little flower-folk.
We gave them the ribbons, with the buttons sewn on, and a huge pile of flowers and leaves cut from felt. The kids designed their own headbands by buttoning the felt pieces onto the band.
They got very creative piling on different colored flowers and leaves. The best part is that this is a no- mess party project, no glue, no scissors - just fun!
Plus, buttoning is a great task for preschoolers who are working on their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Skill-building and creative - this project is too pretty to pass up!

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Great Idea from FamilyFun

Photo from familyfun.com


FamilyFun magazine is full of the BEST craft ideas, recipes and games. It's like the handbook for fun moms.  Full disclosure -- I was lucky enough to work for the magazine on the East coast and these days I still get to be part of FamilyFun, hosting the occasional how-to video for their website.

This Melon Brain idea is straight from the pages of the magazine, and it's perfectly creepy. It would make a fabulous centerpiece at your Halloween buffet, and it's a healthy alternative to all of that sugary Halloween candy. Thank you FamilyFun for another great idea. Check out the how-to video here.

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