Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who is New?

I just HAVE to show you these incredibly talented people. I am so excited to be working with them!
First, is Annie. She makes the cutest little soaps - EVER! And she is SO great. She is making soapsicles for Ahhh! I'm so excited! Don't know what a soapsicle is? Oh my gosh. Let me just educate you here. This is Annie's Neapolitan Soapsicle.
Looks completely real doesn't it?? But it's not! It's soap!!! And each layer is scented (strawberry, then vanilla and of course, chocolate!) YUM. They are only $4 each. Check them out here:
Then, we have the fabulous Joshua VanderKlok. He is so amazing. He makes these wonderful wooden blocks and toys. Natural, non-toxic. Great for everyone! Check out these pictures!

This is a great 20 piece set of blocks.

I.LOVE.THIS. A child's I-Phone. It can be chewed on - pretended with - dropped!

This 7 piece Magic Kingdom set includes a dragon, unicorn, a troll, knight, king, queen and princess.

This is an 8 piece interchangable farm set. Little hands can match up the animals correctly or be silly and put cow legs on a pig! This is going to be an AUTISM DONATION PRODUCT. Joshua has other interchangable sets available (African set with giraffe, gorilla, hippo, lion and wildebeast and also a Predator set which includes a lion, bear, wolf and couger)

If you have a little one teething you need a wooden teether! Joshua makes them in turtles, hearts, fish, bunnies, you name it! They are made out of maple and sanded soft. The perfect thing for kids to chew on. And with a big handle they are perfect for them to hold on to!

Thirdly, we have Melissa with NuxieMade. Melissa makes hats from newborn - adult. They are simply to die for. Here is a sample of some of her work:

Isn't she Amazing?!?
Then, we have the fabulous ladies from Giggle Junction who are not only talented, but SUPER sweet as well. They are creating the coolest, ever I Spy Bags. Did you ever play with those Look and find books (like Where's Waldo?) These are sort of like that. Except, you can play again and again because the items will always move! These are also going to support Autism Speaks with 20% going towards the foundation. These talented ladies have so many designs to chose from! There is also a firetruck, 2 Easter designs (great for those baskets!), dragon, pirate ship, a pirate, ballerina, robot, sail boat, cell phone -- these ladies make them all!!

I have a few more people 'in the works' and I will be sure to share them with you! I am so excited and right now the "official launch" is going to be March 1st!! Make sure to join our mailing list for your $5 coupon!! Join here:

Reusable bag tutorial

It’s been a couple days! Sorry! So many great things have been happening!
1. I got my Cricut – and I’ve been having SO much fun!
2. I got my Gypsy – and been having fun on the go!
3. I have the great talents of some fabulous people joining our store!! I will introduce them in a minute!

But first I want to show you this tutorial on how to make reusable bags. They are great – and so versatile. Use them to pack lunches with, make up bags, travel bags to put soap or shampoo in. Plus, they are SO easy.

1. What you will need:
  • Some fabric. I made a snack bag so I only used a little bit of fabric (I think mine was only like 6 x 6 ")
  • A zipcloc bag in the size you would like to use
  • sew on velcro (because of the plastic make sure it is the sew on kind!)2. You are going to cut the side of the side (not the bottom!) and also cut of the zip top. Make sure you cut as close to the zip top (I'm not sure of the technical term for it) as you can. Do you see my Cricut in the background? :)
3. Open your bag up and trace it on the fabric (I trace mine on cardstock to have a stencil ready. You need more than just 1 little snack bag right?!) :) Cut out your fabric and fold it in half with the like sides together.
4. Place your half folded bag on the top half of your ziploc bag (you will see a groove dividing the baggie in half). When you unfold your fabric you will have the plastic lined up evenly with your fabric. Pin in place.

5. Sew around the baggie. You are going to sew pretty close to the edge. 6. You will have 2 'flaps' of fabric on either side. Fold those over and pin into place. This is where I'm not sure what I was thinking when I was taking pictures! After you pin down your flap. Cut a piece of velcro. It should be longer and almost fit the length of the bag. (Look at the 1st picture with an open bag if you are worried about the length.) Center it and pin it on your flap. Sew the flap down (sew right through the velcro). Then finish sewing the velcro down. This will make sure that you have nice clean lines. I was so worried about taking pictures that I forgot the velcro! I had to add it later which made it harder to sew in there!

7. Fold your bag in half right sides together and sew up the sides. Don't forget to backstitch! :) Then turn it right side out and ta da. Your bag is complete. Easy huh? You can put a decorative stitch on the outside if you want. They also look neat with initials or other appliques added. Obviously you would do that before you sew on the plastic way back in step 3!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dinner tonight

Does your family like burgers? Mine does. And this is one of our favorite recipes. I love the fact that it is on english muffins and not buns! The first time I read it I was like uhhh cranberries and mustard? NO thanks. But we tried it. OMG it is SO yummy. Just have faith and try it! :)

Here is the original recipe from Rachel Ray:

Apple Cheddar Turkey Burger
2 pounds ground turkey breast
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 apple, such as granny smith, cut into 12 slices
8 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
4 sandwich-size english muffins, split and toasted
8 leaves red- or green-leaf lettuce

In a bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, parsley, grill seasoning and poultry seasoning. Form into 4 patties, pressing your thumb into the center of each to prevent it from bulging.
In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for 6 minutes on each side for medium. Top each with 3 apple slices and 2 cheese slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the cranberry sauce and mustard; slather on the muffin tops. Pile 2 lettuce leaves on each muffin bottom, top with the patties and set the muffin tops into place.

My notes:

The recipe calls for 2 pounds of turkey! We use just 1 pound and the burgers are still good size - 2 pounds and they are MASSIVE! And with everything on the burger you don't want it that big (it would never fit in your mouth!)

These burgers also are great the next day! So have one for lunch!

And if you want a meatloaf recipe here it is! Instead of ketchup just put the sauce on top (after you cook it). I would still add the apples though! :) Gives it a good crunch!

And my son doesn't know that there are cranberries on his burger! It's just our secret!

Today's to do list

I have SO much that I need to do today. I thought that maybe if I posted my to do list then maybe it would motivate me to get EVERYTHING crossed off! Keep me accountable kind of thing! So here it is!
  1. Clean the living room
  2. Bible study
  3. Cut/Iron/Fuse the following:
    chef hats (1 boy 1 girl)
    DS Case
    matching aprons
    Easter eggs (Felt)
    Happy Meals (Felt) & Krabby Patties (Felt)
    Cape (1 Batman/Superman 1 Batman/Caleb)

    Crayon wallets (3)
    Fabric house
    Napkins (still!!!)
    Bingo games (1 street signs, 1 car, 1 alphabet, 1 shapes)
    Cuddle bug bib (2)
  4. Work on Diaper wallet pattern
  5. Check for the Cricut!!!!
    If it does get here, mess around and figure it out! :)
  6. Have Andy fix the sink!!!
  7. Look for clothing designer and bow wonder for the store!
  8. Chris birthday gift?!?
  9. Write a real blog
  10. Diaper case
  11. Email my list of people to email
  12. Work on supply list for fort
  13. Dinner?!? Not sure.....

In case you can't tell today is cut and prep central around here! :) Hopefully tonight when I write you all a real blog My list will be all crossed off!!!! Wish me luck!

So ..well I didn't do to bad! Got lots crossed off my list today! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Museums and Forts and Cricuts

Today was a great day! We went to the Indiana State Museum (we had free tickets and of course, I lost them) but we went anyway! They had an Abe Lincoln exhibit that was pretty neat. (Labor-ham Linclon as Josh called him). I like to slowly stroll and read, but Josh isn't there yet. He likes the interactive stuff! The first floor (the "museum of natural history" Josh's quotes - not mine!) was his fave! I was so excited - esp with my new camera. But -- the batteries I put in didn't work! :(
I am working on a craft along. Feel free to join! It is at Fireflies and Jellybeans. Love their blog! That's it right there! I have a (very) rough sketch done. Don't laugh at my drawings either - please. I'm going to copy - and blow up and trace the final product! :) But anyway ... Join us! Should be fun!

This will be my front panel. I better explain bc...well I wish my artwork spoke for itself's not that good! :) This will be spongebob's house. There will be 2 windows on the front of the (portholes? Is that what they are called?) and the flap to go into the house will be the actual door. Spongebob and his fabulous pet Gary will both be on the front as well as a mail box (probably just attached to the door). And I know Spongebob really doesn't have a mailbox as my son pointed out. But I want it to. Background is blue and I MAY not have the green pineapple on the top. I may just do the bottom half of the house. (I dont want it to be all smashed in) but would that look goofy? What do you think?

Ok .... NEXT......

Then off to the ever so wonderful Krusty Krab. Aren't these pictures wonderful. My son actually laughed at me. Haha! This is the second panel. The the window behind Squidward is going to be an open window (see picture/description below) And there is Squidward (all of the pictures I found of him working are frowning but I think I may make him smile anyway) working away taking orders on his register. The boat he stands behind is kind of tricky. It may end up being just a white box lol. And the cool fish eating his krabby patty down there.

This is going to be on the inside of the fort (DO NOT CALL IT A PLAYHOUSE. I have been warned a cew times by my son. Playhouses are for girls. Forts are for boys.) See the window is in the same place and to the left is the secret formula for the Krabby Patty. (probably with velcro so it can change!) There will be a black stove top with velcro on it too. A spatula and 6 envelope style pockets holding what else but felt food/Krabby patty ingredients. All labeled/velcro-ed ready to be made. This is going to be the only wall all done up on the inside I think.

This WAS the 3rd panel. It was going to be the Chum bucket. But on the way home from the museum today my son decided he wanted the Jellyfish field. So I'm going to have just jellyfish floating around. They will be velcro to come on and off. And I'm going to make a net/bucket? Is that what they use to go jelly-fishing? Sounds much easier than the Krusty Krab so sounds good to me!

And Finally....

the last panel: The Bikini Bottom Map. Filled with everyone's home/work place. Jellyfish field, the boat school and Larry the lobster's workout place. I need to do some research here. To be honest, I'm not a fan of spongebob. When its on...I go in the other room and fold laundry or make dinner or SOMETHING. But I did not type Bikini Bottom into google images. You don't get much spongebob.
So again. Please don't laugh at my drawings. They are very rough sketches done in the car today. VERY rough! :) Hopefully our FORT will be cool! Not rough. Oh, and not cute. "Mom, I'm a boy. I'm not cute. I'm cool." Great. He's growing up. :(

Remember that secret purchase I made? Well it was a cricut! My hubs found out (they def. called my house to tell us it was in the mail. He said what machine did you order? BUSTED.) But now that he knows....I can be excited! Hopefully it will be here soon!
And I got more fabric in the mail! I love the mail. I just don't love the bills! How cute are these? I love the little red riding hood set (the forest, Red, and dots!). The bikes are for a gift (my stepdad loves biking). And the Michael Miller zoo. A*DOR*ABLE. I know these pictures are hard to see...Sorry. But the pink has parts of princess dresses & shoes. And the blue is all kinds of transportation. Love them all!

I'd love to hear your comments - as long as they aren't LOL look at your spongebob. Please. My hubs and my son have already cracked up! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Check out this website!

Do you have kids? Do they have chores? My little guy doesn't necessarily have chores (although he could probably use some!) but he does have to earn video game/ TV time with good behavior at school. I found this website called . It is free and parents just put in their child's chores. You can pick the days you need it done or if it is a daily chore. Then the child logs in and clicks yes I did it or oops I forgot. You can add a dollar amount to each chore. Then either daily or weekly your child can print off his/her "paycheck". And it lists the chore, the date completed and the amount that they earned on there! Pretty cool. Josh gets his paycheck every Friday. Then with his money from that week that has to last him until his next paycheck. He's almost 7 (OMG.. I can't believe it) but he is already starting to budget! Even if it is fake money (30 minutes of video games = "$2"). One day he is going to be better than me at finances! Probably at the age of 8. lol. It is working for us though! He is really into logging in and checking off his chores. And he loves LOVES getting a paycheck at the end of the week! :)
By the way...that cute snow pup up there is my puppy! Say hello to Louie!

Today is the greatest day in blog history

In my mailbox of goodies today I recieved:
1. my vista print stuff! hooray!
2. A new sewing pattern! Woo hoo!
3. A couple shirts for Josh! Yea!
4. My bingo fabric for a project for my grandma! Super!
5. This fabric shown below for something in the store! Rock on!
And yes, I know. It's on it's side. I don't know how to fix it! I'm working on it! :)

6. Something that goes with my reasoning for being grounded from e-bay. Which I hid. Can't let Andy see it! :)
7. MY CAMERA!!!!! Get up! Dance! Clap! Cheer! Whistle! It's here!! Gotta go take pictures! I'll be back! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


No camera...still. Makes me really sad. :( And I ordered somethings that I shouldn't have ordered - that my Andy is not aware of yet - and they are not here yet either. (I'll tell you later - after I share with Andy!) I need to get my secret packages first because I'm going to hide the big ones...and in a few weeks say "So hunny, about my birthday. I don't need a gift. Because well. You actually already bought me a gift. A BIG gift. And oh, you already got me my Christmas presents too." Seriously. That's how much trouble I'm going to be in. Because seriously, that's how much I overspent. Oops. Ebay. I am grounding myself from you. You are so addictive. I would bid on something and lose by 50 cents. 50 cents! That made me so angry. So now, I'm like well what if I am one click away. Just one click. Well one more. And ug. Now I'm in trouble. But I'll show you my secret stuff soon! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Look at this

So I am just cruising through all of my favorite crafty links and one of them I just HAD to share with you all. If you haven't checked out yet....DO IT NOW!!! No joke.


Yes. I am well aware of the fact that Valentine's Day is over. But I just found these. Check them out. She printed those from her computer using an edible ink/paper. Vintage valentines turned into icing to be eaten. How crazy. Here is the link. Even if you are like me and know that you will not be going through all that just for a cookie - you have to look!

Today's Goodies

The mail has come. I look forward to it everyday. Everyday I have the chance of getting something exciting in the mail. And today I received some goodies! First, my Real Simple magazine. I love it. Do you read it? They have some really good chicken recipes this month! Then, I got some Veggie Tales fabric that I ordered on Ebay awhile back. I paid $2 for it….for 2 YARDS. We love Veggie Tales. Josh is going to get something cool! What else? Oh and I got some fabric that I ordered from This is what I got:
Love it! The first is Michael Miller's poodles. That is going to be something (hmmm....) in the Ike & Ella store. Then the last is called Merry Mushrooms Posies (I know the picture is hard to see). Also going to be in the store. The other 3 are Lizzy Dish fabrics. And they are for me! :) Look closely, they are plates and silverware! How cool! I'm going to make some cloth everyday napkins. We're going green! Saving the world one tree at a time! Plus, napkins are expensive! And I got a great deal on the Lizzy fabric! Skip to my Lou has a great tutorial on making cloth napkins (I know your thinking how hard can it be?). But she shows you step by step how to have square corners or mitered.
And lastly, I also recieved my 4 oz. containers in the mail. I need to order larger ones, but these will do for party packs/sample packs! What packs is she talking about you may ask yourself. But I've got some great art supplies that will be going in these to put in the shop! And it will be an Autism Donation product! WOO HOO!
So now with all my goodies I need to get busy! No camera today :( Hopefully tomorrow. The UPS website says its in transit so that means soon right?!? Cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grilled Orange Seasome Chicken with veggies

Soo I lied. Sorry. No special project today. I got started on it and realized that it seriously is impossible without photos. So it is on the back burner for the time being. BUT I did come across the recipe today at It looks so yummy!

I'm posting it so that I remember where to find it! And yes family, I promise I WILL make this one! :) It doesn't list any nutritional information on the recipe, but it sounds healthy. Plus, it was under the healthy recipes in whole living (and Martha wouldn't lie - would she?!) All in my sneaky plan to try to get everyone in the Smith home to eat a little healthier! I just ordered Jessica Seinfeld's book on Amazon today.

I can't wait to sneak in the veggies! Andy if you are ready this... I was just kidding. :) Order yourself a copy. Or try the Sneaky Chef. (next on my list!)

Grilled Orange Sesame Chicken

Serves 6
3 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
2 pounds (2 bunches) asparagus, trimmed
6 small (1 3/4 to 2 pound) zucchini, cut on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Cut 1 orange into wedges (peel intact); set aside. Of the remaining 2 oranges, remove zest of 1 and juice of both; place zest and juice in a glass bowl. Add lemon juice, vinegar, pepper, and mustard; whisk. Slowly whisk in sesame oil; set aside.
Place chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap; pound with a meat tenderizer to 1/2 inch thick. Place chicken in a glass bowl; pour half reserved vinaigrette over chicken. Coat thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 to 2 hours.
Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot. Coat asparagus and zucchini with olive oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Grill vegetables and reserved orange wedges until tender. Remove chicken from marinade; season with remaining teaspoon salt; discard marinade. Grill until browned on both sides and cooked through. Arrange chicken and vegetables on platter; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with remaining reserved vinaigrette.

Monday, February 15, 2010

In the Beginning....

Hello world! My name is Amanda Faulkner! I am starting to launch my own company called Ike & Ella. I just created a website, , and please note before you check it out --- I am NOT the most technologically advanced person out there!! It is pretty bare right now because I am waiting on my new camera to arrive in the mail! (Mom, I think I left my old camera in your van! Can you look for it? I keep forgetting to ask you!) But don’t stop reading this blog! I promise it is not going to be a “hey look at my site --- go shop!” blog. It will be full of fun stuff.

P.S. my definition of fun stuff is as follows: artsy craftsy things, family activities, party ideas (honestly, who doesn’t love a party?), recipes (I will be honest I like to look at recipes, think to myself hmm that looks good but I rarely ever actually make them so hopefully this will force me to actually make all this yummy stuff I’ve been saving on the computer! You’re welcome family.) and really whatever tickles my fancy! It’s my blog right?! :)

So I am working on a really special craft to show you tomorrow (how is that for a cliff hanger?). It’s tricky with not having a camera – but don’t worry! I will get it! Today I am just going to leave you with my introduction.

This is me. And that guy on the left is Andy. We live out in the sticks. (Not my first choice). But have no fear because we will be moving this summer (everyone cheer! Hooray!). He works down on the farm. Right now I work at Gymboree (somedays I wish I didn't. Do you know how many clothes my son has? Ridiculous.) We are a happy little family.

And this handsome guy is Josh. This picture is his school picture last year (remember -- I need my new camera!!) but he just looks so stinkin' handsome!!! He is in 1st grade and growing up WAAAAY to fast.
Come back tomorrow to see what special things I have for you!! :) And be sure to join my mailing list on my website! We are giving away free $5 gift certificates to everyone who joins! And you get $5 for every friend that joins too! (As long as they make a $25 purchase).
And if by chance my mail lady is reading this. Please deliever my camera soon! :) Thank you!