Have I ever told you guys how much I love Harry Potter?  A lot.  But I do have a friend who's a little more Potterific than I.  Her name is Mel.  And Mel is going to have a baby soon!!  

Months ago, I stumbled across Julie's Blog and her post: Harry Potter and the Quiet Book.  I immediately thought of a newly pregnant Mel and how much she would love it, so I posted it to her Facebook wall as a little teaser.  I didn't think at that time that I would actually make it.  I didn't realize that I could!  When I found that the pattern is available for purchase on Etsy, I resolved to make it for her and give it to her at her baby shower.  Since I figured I would have plenty of time and the shower hadn't even been announced yet, I put it in the back of my mind.

Then the date for the shower was set.  I had a month and a half.  Plenty of time. (yeah right)  With tons more on my plate, I decided to procrastinate on the HP Quiet Book and not start it until the Monday before the shower.  That's right...I gave myself 5 ½ days.  Well let me tell you, if anyone who is reading this plans to make this book as a present and has a deadline, give yourself more than 5 ½ days!!! 

I have to say that after making this book, I am in awe of this Julie person.  Not only is this book extremely creative and well done, the time she put into every single detail is astounding.  It must have taken her FOREVER to make hers!!  Me? Well, I cut a few corners.  Hand embroidering an outline on each character's face, hair, suit, etc. didn't appeal to me.  There were a few steps that I deemed unnecessary for my version and stuck to my gun (my glue gun that is) in my resolve.  I used my sewing machine as often as I could and only hand embroidered where I thought it would take away from the look otherwise.  Where Julie suggested doubling up on the felt pieces, I would sometimes follow suit, and sometimes not.  I constructed before work, on my lunch hour, after work till 3 am and then again and again, all the while cutting some time-saving corners.  I laughed, I cried, and after approximately 40 hours of fast-paced crafting, I completed Mel's gift a mere 1 hour before the start of her baby shower!

Without further ado, I present to you all my version of Harry Potter and the Quiet Book:

You all know how much I like making cake.  And soup.  But I'm not about to start a soup site (...or maybe I should?) so I started a cake site!!  It's called Sudbury Vegan Sweets.

I've been very busy over the last few weeks getting it all together.  And busy in the meantime making a few more cakes.  I made another suitcase cake for a retirement party. But this time, I hand painted stickers on the cake instead of flags, using edible ink markers.

Another cake already!!  This one was made for my now 3-year-old-obsessed-with-TMNT-and-that's-awesome.  His birthday falls between Xmas and New Year's, so I like to do something extra special for him (cause you know, a whole week of presents isn't enough, hahaha).

Using leftover materials from around the house, you can make a cute picture holder.  Give it as a gift, or keep it for yourself, this is especially a great way to use up those last bits of ribbon that you would otherwise throw away.

You know those plastic tabs that seal under the cap of juice and milk cartons?  Next time you see one, don't throw it away!  Give it a quick wash make a ring with it!  Or stash it with your craft items until you have a few of them to work with.  These are super fun to work with and I'm actually surprised they're not being sold individually every other quirky item used for crafts seems to be!  

One week left 'til school starts!  Wooo hooo!  I get the feeling that the kids aren't as happy about this as I am.  The girl one especially.  So to make her feel a little better, I made her some pencil toppers.

When your collection of buttons starts to get too big, it's time to find ways to use some of them up.  Especially the single ones, the tiny ones and the oddly shaped ones. 

You can make this project with a picture frame instead of a board or canvas, if that's what you have on hand.  For the background, either use a coloured page, or a page that you've painted.

This past weekend we brought the kids to Calypso theme waterpark.  It is the second summer that we go, and let me tell you...this year went MUCH more smoothly than last.  Last year's trip taught us a lot about the things we should and shouldn't do.  Well, we implemented those changes on Saturday and the kids couldn't have possibly had more fun!

When I was a kid, I though Friday the 13th was a holiday.  That's because my mother treated it that way.  I can remember my brother and I waking up to her hugging us and saying: "Happy Friday the 13th!"  Little did I know to the superstitious, this was a day of bad luck.

That day we would all wear black and/or red.  After school (unless it was the summer), for dinner, my mother would make us red food.  Things like spaghetti, pizza with bright red sauce and pepperoni or even (and more often) Kraft Dinner and add some red food colouring to it.  We had fruit punch or, as a rare treat, cream soda.  In the evening, we would watch scary movies on the floor in front of the tv with an assortment of red and black candies and even ketchup chips!  Friday the 13th was the greatest....especially since nearly every other day of the year, this particular food was strictly off limits.

To this day, my mother, brother and I tell each other "Happy Friday the 13th!" whether it be via text message, over facebook, or over the telephone.  It makes me feel silly to do it, but it feels more wrong not to. 

According to Wikipedia, Friday the 13th can occur up to 3 times in a single year.  Hey, I'll take any chance I can get to celebrate something.  And since the next Friday the 13th won't be until September of 2013, I decided that today, for MY kids, I am officially introducing the fun of Friday the 13th and that bad luck is for suckers.  Because we are travelling, their spread consists of only horribly delicious desserts and snacks.
Dracula's Dentures: These marvellous creations are not from one of my recipes.  I came across a picture of them ages ago on the net and tracked down the source.  I have been saving them for this very occasion.   

Source: recipe by Lori Fillmore; found at Nestle USA

Make your own paper pinwheels this summer with items you have around the house.  Have the kids decorate the paper before you start!