Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY Disney Travel Game

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to recreate it using the Disney ephemera I had collected over the years. I tend to be a pack rat - every now and again, this winds up being a good thing. It's nice when that happens! If you are a pack rat too, then this project is free to create. I know I love a budget friendly DIY.
I had an old sturdy tube from some Silhouette stencil vinyl that was just right for this project, perfect for outlining the shapes of some old Disney stickers I had lying around. (I believe these are from the 90s - when I was still paper scrapbooking. Disney had a terrific scrapbooking store back then; I'm not sure if it's still around today.) If you don't have any stickers, they are very easily obtained from the Dollar Store, or a craft store. And they are usually fairly inexpensive, especially if you have a coupon.

The idea here is simple. I removed the outer edge of the sticker paper, leaving the actual stickers on the page. Then I used the "blanks" as a stencil to trace the shapes of the stickers onto the paper tube. I used a fat Sharpie to trace them and then a fine point Sharpie to label the shapes. (I have a bit of a pen addiction as well. I love my Sharpies!) Happy isn't quite able to read yet, and I wanted Poppins or Doc to be able to help him if I wasn't available.  So now there are several Disney shapes and characters to match to the shapes on the tube. I figure this could last him a good 20 minutes if he takes to it! Stickers are generally a favorite for him. For our family, the trick is finding new and different things to keep the little ones occupied on our drive. It's a LONG way to Orlando from our cottage in the midwest! I'll let you know if this works for us. And if you try it, let us know how it worked for you!

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Walt Disney's Favorite Chocolate Soda Recipe

I'm a fan of Ghirardelli chocolate. A HUGE fan. And I don't feel my trip to Walt Disney World is complete without stopping at the Ghirardelli store in Downtown Disney. (Incase you are unaware, they give out free samples! Worth the trip to Downtown Disney just for that, if you ask me.) I especially love their chocolate soda. It's not on the menu; you have to ask for it. Without a doubt, it's my favorite thing there. Except for the Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Squares; those are to die for. So I felt a kindred bond when I found out that Walt himself was a fan of the chocolate soda. So much so, that the Plaza Restaurant recreated his favorite Chocolate Soda.

Here's the recipe, perfect for bringing a little magic home:


  • 1/3 Cup chocolate syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 6 oz. soda or seltzer water
  • Maraschino cherry


  • Pour chocolate syrup in the bottom of an 8-ounce milk shake glass.
  • Smoosh in 1 scoop of ice cream.
  • Slowly pour in soda water almost to top of glass.
  • Perch another scoop of ice cream on top.
  • Add a cherry and a colorful straw or two.

Now we don't do Maraschino cherries here (Doc has a sensitivity to artificial dyes), but we are happy to report that the cottage approves even without the cherry on top. Personally, I can't get enough! We used our Soda Stream to make as much soda water as we needed. (A seriously great product!) And, while we didn't have any Ghirardelli syrup in the cottage at the moment, we highly recommend Trader Joe's Midnight Moo. It's delicious!

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

DIY Mickey's Kitchen Pot Holders

Some of us are a little more "out" with our Disney obsession than others. We have great friends with a Mickey themed kitchen. There are all sorts of gadgets and cookware that can give your kitchen a Disney feel. In fact, Disney has an entire store in Downtown Disney devoted to such things. And for those of us who can't get to said brick and mortar store, Disney has conveniently provided a virtual store for our every shopping need. Check it out here.

Today we feature a project that would be perfect for the Mickey's Kitchen devotees: pot holders. I love the size of these. They are perfect for holding a hot mug of soup or a bowl that's been zapped in the microwave. It's also the ideally sized for the tea kettle handle. And it's easy enough that older kids can help with this project.

You could customize this project for any Disney character's color scheme (red, white, blue & yellow for Donald; green, blue, orange & black for Goofy; etc.) - but since most of the Disney kitchen accessories are in a Mickey color scheme, we chose to stick with red, black, yellow & white.

If you don't already have a potholder loom, they are fairly inexpensive and easy to come by. I found mine at the local JoAnn's, but they are available online as well. Check out Amazon for a wide selection, or just google potholder loom & use the shopping link. I have had good luck finding the loops in the kid's crafting area of any major craft or education store. But if you are finding it difficult to locate some (or get out of the house!), you can purchase them here.

Experiment with color and pattern. Doc helped me weave these two patterns and we loved the way they turned out. After completing these two, we had a few helpful hints to pass along:

1. The last couple rows of weaving are tricky, as the loops will want to pop off the loom. Go slowly.
2. To finish edges we used an H crochet hook started in the top right hand corner. Pull first loop off and leave on your hook; pull the second loop off and single crochet. Continue around the entire loom, pulling the last loop all the way through so it sticks out.
3. The last edge of the potholder wanted to pull off the loom; try to prevent that by using your left hand to hold it down while you finish the edge (assuming you are right handed).

And that's it! We were able to make 2 of these in an hour. If it's your first attempt at using the loom, give yourself a bit more time. And most importantly have fun! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sitting With Grandmother Willow: Tarynne Wise

Today we have a guest in the cottage! 

Please meet Tarynne Wise of My Wise Designs. I first met Tarynne through Instagram. There's a terrific Disney community out there if you just look for it! Tarynne makes some fabulous Disney wallets from upcycled materials. Jimminy Cricket would be proud. You definitely need to check her out!

Disney by the numbers (with apologies to Harpers):
# of trips have you made? Ohh boy, I couldn't even guess! Way too many! One week I went 3 days!
Date of your next trip? Hopefully next weekend!
# of Resorts stayed in? I actually haven't stayed in any! We live about an hour away.
Usual # in your travel party? 2.. whether it be me and the boyfriend (who lucky for him had a pass when I met him!) or me and one of my nieces.
Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage? Just one that I got when I was little. 

Are you a WDW or Disneyland visitor? Disneyland!
How do you usually travel to Disney? In a car!
Do you have any tips for trips? Rest. Even if its for 5 minutes, it helps! Bring food some park food is so expensive and bring a refillable water bottle!
Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney? Lucky Fortune Cookery in California Adventure. The coconut curry is delicious!
What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction? Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain.
Stage shows, yes or no? No.
Parades, yes or no? Sometimes!
Best Fast Pass to get: Space Mountain.
Favorite park: Disneyland
One piece of advice you'd give a novice about Disneyland: if you're going to go more than twice a year, a pass is a must!!

Tell us about your blog and Etsy shop.
My blog is where I post everything creative that I make! Mostly cards and Project Life. My Etsy shop is where I sell my goodies! I have cards and Disney Wallets.
How can we connect with you? 

     Instagram: tarynne419

Thanks so much to Tarynne for stopping by the cottage! And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DIY Disney Travel Mug

This project is so easy it almost seems like cheating! But I post it as a fantastic Tinkerbell Treasure idea - cheap and easy. That's how we like our crafts, not our Mousekateers! This is an especially good Tinkerbell Treasure idea for the men in your travel party.

On a recent trip to JoAnn's I found these Color A Travel Mugs in the bargain bins. Unfortunately, I don't remember exactly how much they were, but if memory serves, they were about $2.00 a piece. Now these come with some pre-printed coloring pages, so if you want to hang on to those and give them to your kids as entertainment on the trip, you get bonus points for thriftiness.

To Disney-fy these, I simply traced the liner onto a Magic Kingdom map, cut it out, and slipped it into the mug. It was THAT SIMPLE. And wouldn't Jimminy Cricket give this his seal of Environmentality? I think so. It's a great way to upcycle those maps I just can help but bring home. And there are plenty of maps to differentiate your mugs: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Studios, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and any special events maps like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. Since we tend to stay in the villas and make our own meals, we see these as our own refillable mugs! Enjoy this one Mousekateers, and until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

DIY Disney Pressed Penny Push Pins

I am a self-professed pressed penny enthusiast. I always head to Disney armed with rolls of quarters and pennies. It's a great way to keep the littles busy while we wait for the thrill-seekers to to finish their attractions. I especially love to hit the penny machines in the shops on Sunset Boulevard in Disney's Hollywood Studios. The wait for The Rockin' Roller Coaster and Hollywood Tower of Terror can be LONG. If we didn't get fast passes and we've already finished the Disney Jr. show, this is where I go to keep the kiddos busy. Of course, there are penny machines throughout the entire Disney Resort. Some of the best pressed pennies can be had at some of the less-visited places. A pressed penny hunt can be a great activity for a non-park day.

And what's better than a 51 cent souvenir? This also means, however, that I have quite a collection of pressed pennies. And that I am always looking for something to do with them. It occurred to me that I could glue them to some flat head push pins to create a unique (and useful) souvenir. I LOVE a useful souvenir. I feel better about it taking up space in my house. So these fantastic little beauties were born! I used Gorilla Glue, but I think an epoxy or even Super Glue would do the trick.

So simple and so fun. I think they'd be the perfect stocking stuffer, don't you? Or perhaps a graduation gift? After all, the traditional graduation gift is money, right? Wrap these up in a sweet little box and include a couple of bills in there too. Voila! Thoughtful and easy - my kind of gift! And these certainly fall into the nap time friendly and budget friendly category as well. I just love these little gems. I see many sets in our future!

I hope you have fun making these, and until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY Disney Board Book

With two littles in the house board books play a huge part in our lives. We have them for every occasion and then some. So when I found this site that actually allows you to create your own board book, well, let's just say my fairy wand started to buzz. My Custom Story has great software and easy to follow directions that allow you to customize anything on your own schedule. I tried Pint Size Productions, but the software kept timing out on me. Granted, I have a lot of interruptions around the cottage, but it was driving me wild. My Custom Story was much easier to work with. And as far as pricing goes, I got more layouts for my money. It was around $30.00 to make and ship the book, and it was worth every penny! The book is a high quality product for sure. It would be an especially awesome Tinkerbell Treasure for the car or the plane.

For this book I used pictures from the amazing Photos From The Parks. I decided to do a color identification book for the first try. It's perfect for Happy right now, and Minnie will be able to enjoy it too. Here is a sample of what's inside:

I think the possibilities here are endless! I plan on making another one with numbers found around the parks. And for Doc (our tweenager), I think I could make a game of it for him to identify where each object is located throughout the Disney resort. Bonus!

In all, I am very pleased with the board book I created. I hope you try one out too. And if you do, please share it with us! We love to see what our readers are up to. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DIY Disney's Dumbo Poster T-shirt & Pants

I'm a HUGE fan of the Dumbo ride. (And if you haven't seen the refurbished Dumbo ride & Storybook Circus, you are MISSING OUT! It's the best refurb to date.) I may have been accused of having more children, just so I have a good excuse to spend my days in Fantasyland. Not that one really needs an excuse; unless said person is dragging a tween boy around to all the "kiddie" rides. SO uncool. Nevertheless, this project was inspired by my affection for the lovable elephant.

For this T-shirt project, I originally used Transfer MAGIC's Inkjet Transfer Paper for Light Colored, Light Weight Fabrics. I still got a plasticy finish to the transfer, which I hate wearing, but the image looks perfect. Unfortunately, the design peeled off after one wearing in the Florida heat. I was so disappointed that when I got home I immediately made a new T-shirt using Lesley Riley's TAP Transfer Artist Paper. It's FAR superior to anything else I have used. And the transfer is just as sharp. I will be using this for the rest of my transfer projects for sure. You can see a close up in the bottom photo.

I purchased a series of vintage Disney poster images through Nukes at Etsy. These are top quality and big, so at a dollar an image, you can't go wrong. Because this is a jpeg, I used Photoshop to size and reverse the image for transfer. My Silhouette SD has trouble importing jpegs; perhaps the other models, or newer software has made this easier? I wouldn't know.

Fabric for these pants is from Spoonflower: Circus Elephants by pennycandy. And the pants pattern is Anna Maria Horner's Quick Change Trousers, because I truly can't get enough of them.

Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

DIY Disney Map Coasters

 Perhaps you've seen this lovely tutorial on Pinterest. I've been eyeing it for a while and finally tackled it. I love the way these coasters turned out and the best part is they cost under $1.00 each to make! These would be a great gift to make for your fellow Disney geeks.

Of course, Jimminy Cricket would also be pleased that we are upcycling more of those park maps we all bring home as souvenirs.

I followed this tutorial with a few minor adjustments. I like to use Golden's Gel Medium instead of Mod Podge. It's more expensive, but I like the way it dries better. And I've been using it for years, so my comfort level is there. This also meant I had it on hand and didn't have the mod podge. One additional benefit to using the Gel Medium, it can handle hot liquids within a couple of days. No need to wait a month!

I applied one coat of Gel Medium to the top of the naked tile and adhered the cut out map piece to it. Try to smooth it out really well. The slick nature of the map makes it want to bubble up. You could use a credit card or bone folder - gently! - to get all the bubbles out. I let that dry. Then I came back and applied two more thin coats of Gel Medium, letting each tile dry thoroughly between coats. I made sure to brush the Gel all around the edges of the paper, making sure it was not going to peel up.

And instead of using rubber cement for adhering the felt, I used a spray adhesive. (If you are ever in doubt as to which glue to use, This To That is a fantastic resource!) I used an old box as my "spray zone" so as not to make my whole work space tacky. And that's it! My total cost for this project was $3.00 for the tile. Now THAT'S a bargain! If you try this project be sure to send us a photo; until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY Disney Tshirt Upcycled Bib

When you travel to Walt Disney World as much as we do, you can wind up with a lot of old Tshirts that are stained, too small, or simply "not your thing" (as Doc likes to say.) You certainly could donate them to a good cause, or you could choose to upcycle them. Being drawn to the crafty side of life, I like to upcycle.

The cottage is full of baby and toddler paraphernalia at the moment, and bibs are always in high demand. I especially appreciate the absorbent ones, as Happy seems to have been teething for a year solid and the drool has become an issue. Making bibs from too small Ts is a great way to get a little more life out of them. I know I find it sad when the last kid has outgrown that cute shirt we purchased in the parks several years ago. I also think these would be an awesome shower gift for the Disney enthusiast in your life. You know who they are; and trust me, these would be greatly appreciated.

I used this great tutorial from A Little Tipsy. It's very straightforward and even the novice seamstress could make a few of these at minimal cost. Instead of backing mine with Minky, I chose to use old towels that had made their way to the scrap bin. They are are nice solution to all the drool. I also found it difficult to cut around the existing neck of the T shirt. I actually cut out the Cars bib by placing the pattern on the tshirt so I could cut out the design, but then cut out the straps of the bib from a separate area of the tshirt. It meant sewing a few extra seams, but it was less frustrating for me that way. Michelle addresses this in the tutorial. I also found it easier to trace the pattern onto the shirt and then cut it out, instead of the traditional way of laying the paper patten on the fabric and cutting around it.

This little Tinkerbell shirt had a cute ruffle around the neck that I wanted to preserve. My pattern got a little funky, but I was able to save it. At first it really wanted to turn up at the neck, but after I topstitched all the way around the bib, the ruffle stayed in place.

If you decide to try this, drop us a picture in the comments, or link to our instagram feed so we can see what you're up to. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DIY Disney Camera Buddy

DIY Winnie The Pooh Camera Buddy
I've been wanting to give this idea a try for a while now, but didn't want to screw up a $20 souvenir! So when I recently stumbled upon Tuesday Morning's clearance sale, I knew it was time to give this a try. Have you ever tried getting a little one to look at your camera? It can be pretty tricky. This camera buddy will turn your clunky black box into a soft fluffy Pooh Bear. A much nicer and interesting object to look at, don't you think?

I found this Winnie The Pooh plush for only $4; a steal if you ask me! And I used this very easy to follow tutorial on  making lens creatures. Seriously, it only took me an hour. And the tutorial only calls for scissors, pins, needle & thread, and enough elastic to wrap around your lens twice. THAT'S IT.

My seams were not so lovely, but since they are facing the lens, it doesn't really matter. I will say, I was surprised at how hesitant I was to cut into Pooh. I suppose Doc McStuffins has it's affect on a Mama.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with how this Camera Buddy turned out. I had no idea it would come together so quickly! I think this would be a fantastic gift for a new mom, a scrapbooker, or a Tinkerbell Treasure for your resident Disney photographer. It would also be a great way to upcylce those Disney souvenirs that get neglected. If you have a passing thought that this would be of interest to a fellow Disney mama, you absolutely should give it a try. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

DIY Disney Margarita Tour for Cinco de Mayo!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to do our own Disney Margarita Tour. If you are a margarita fan, you will no doubt know that La Cava del Tequila is THE place to go for some of the best and most inventive margaritas on property. But it's not the ONLY place. We chose to recreate some new and some vintage recipes to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some of the the old crew. What a blast!

And special thanks to Mr. Photos From The Parks for the incredible food!

Here are the recipes we tried. We salted all of our glasses with pink Himalayan salt. Enjoy them! And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Sun-Kissed Margarita
From Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook
(Outer Rim, Contemporary - which is no longer there)

Lemon Rind
Kosher salt
1.5 oz 80 percent oak-aged tequila
3/4 oz brandy-based orange liqueur
3/4 orange liqueur
4 oz sour mix
crushed ice
lime wheel
1 oz orange juice

Rub the rim of the cocktail glass with lemon rind & dip into kosher salt. Combine tequila, liqueurs & sour mix in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into salt-rimmed cocktail glass. Top with orange juice. Garnish with lime wheel.

Seven Seas Sunset -- same as above, but substitute cranberry juice for the orange juice.

Avocado Margarita 

La cava del Tequila - Epcot's Mexico Pavillion
(recipe from Disney Food Blog)

1/2 ripe Haas avocado
2 oz white 100% agave Tequila
1 oz Midori melon liquor
juice of one lime
1 oz. Agave syrup

Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth and creamy. Serve in salt rimmed glass. (use Hibiscus salt if you can. Look for it at the market next time you're in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot!)

Habanero Lime Margarita
available at any resort lounge
(Recipe from Party Through The Parks)

1 part Patron Silver tequila
3 parts Mr. & Mrs. T's sweet & sour
pour ingrédients over ice and add a good drizzle of Monin habanero lime syrup and the juice from half a lime

Agave Nectar Margarita
available at any resort lounge
(from Party Through The Parks)

1 part Tierras Organic Blanco tequila
3 parts simple syrup made with agave nectar (50% agave/50% water)
Pour ingrédients over ice and add the juice from 1/2 a lime

Jalapeño Margarita Recipe
(Cava del Tequila - Mexico pavilion, Epcot)

1/4 fresh cucumber (peeled and seeded and then cut into 1.5" pieces)
2" piece green bell pepper (seeded)
1/2 of 1 small jalapeño (seeded and cut into 1.5" pieces)
1 shot Silver tequila
Fresh lime juice
Triple Sec - orange flavor
Simple Syrup / agave nectar

Method: place fruit in the bottom of your glass and muddle to release some of the juices. Don't go crazy here, muddling shouldn't create a mush of fruit, just sufficiently bruise them. Top off the glass with ice and add 2 parts tequila, 1 part triple sec, 2 parts lime juice, 1 part simple syrup made with agave nectar. Shake and serve in a Himalayan salt rimmed glass.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DIY Disney's It's A Small World T-shirt

This was a terrific little project for our Small World fans. And a nice easy project to round out our Small World marathon of posts. I promise, this is the last one for a while. Since Minnie is rapidly outgrowing all her 0-3 month clothes, I thought another shirt would suit her well. And she needs a cute little shirt to wear while she plays in that fantastic new room of mine hers. In truth, this would be a great unisex project for a new baby.

For this T-shirt, I used the Silhouette machine and the Travel Landmark shape (Design ID #27470). I made sure to size it according the the shirt I wanted it on - for the 6 month shirt shown here, I made sure the design measured 6.25" across. I then used the text tool and the Bimini font to write the slogan. I simply cut it from the vinyl, transferred it to the shirt and painted away. Don't forget to heat set it with the iron. I have to say, I love the Silhouette brand fabric ink. It REALLY holds up well in the wash. And when it comes to baby clothes, around here they go through the washer A LOT. The inks are well worth the money.

I mixed these colors from the ones I had on hand - red, yellow, green, white & brown. I'm very pleased with the way they came out. And in true Mary Blair form, I have a little blip of paint on the windmill where the stencil lifted up. (Mary Blair believed every work of art needed an imperfection. You can check out her five-legged goat for more information on this.) It's not terribly noticeable, and as my grandmother used to say, you couldn't see it from the back of a running horse. And that's good enough for me.

I really like how quick and easy this was. A great way to wrap up our Small World festival of posts! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!