Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIY Disney's Frozen Arendelle Notebooks

Here is another great use for the Frozen Travel Posters available at the Disney Movie Rewards site. (I swear, I'm not getting paid to promote them; I just love that they have all this stuff available for free!)

While we do have a younger set of kids traveling with us to Disney this fall, we also have an older set. This means that the coloring pages and activity sheets just aren't going to cut it for them. They needed something a little more grown up. And I really like how these are not gender specific. I think these could easily go to a boy or a girl.

I decided to make notepads for them from some of the old paper we have lying about. (Do you have all sorts of unused school supplies that come home too?!) I put in regular lined paper, but I also included some graph paper and some 3-D drawing paper too. I made sure to cut it down to about 1/4" smaller than the covers. I printed the covers out on card stock as a booklet in Adobe Reader. If you are looking for a source for the heavy book boards for the covers, check with a local photographer. Sometimes they have it for free! You can also search for "book board" on Etsy or Ebay for suppliers. And of course, you could recycle some from existing composition books and notebooks around the house!

I loved to doodle and journal as a kid (well, as an adult too!), so I'm hoping these will be just the thing for the older kids in our travel party. And of course, they could be used as autograph books too should the need arise!

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

DIY Cowl Knitting Chart Inspired by Oaken in Disney's Frozen

Those of you who follow me regularly know that I love to knit up Disney patterns. And when I saw Frozen for the first time I just kept thinking about all the knitting that was possible from the patterns in the movie! Nordic design lends itself to that sort of knitting, but there are just SO MANY PATTERNS in the movie! I'll be busy for months.

The first project I've created is this wonderfully warm cowl inspired by Oaken. You remember him, right? Big summer blow-out! I loved his sweater from the start - it is a fabulous sort of ugly sweater that was just begging to be knit. I first designed the pattern using my trusty colored pencils and graph paper. And once I had the chart all drawn up, I realized that this pattern, having been originally though up and drawn by graphic designers, and not knitters, did not have the correct stitch count to be easily converted to an actual sweater. So I decided to go with something that wouldn't need any shaping or decreases/increases. A cowl was perfect. It can be knit in the round and then sewn together at the ends so no one has to see the backside of the fair isle! Perfect.

Except that the larger pattern with the two-color diamonds (circles) should really be knit intarsia. Well, I decided to go for it anyway. And while the intarsia was working I was getting frustrated with all the strands of yarn. I decided to knit it as I would fair isle, sort of making it up as I went along, holding three colors instead of two. As long as I remembered to wrap the floats it was just fine. And far less tangled! I didn't mind the extra thickness in back, as it's supposed to be keeping me warm and will be all bunched up around my neck anyway.

I really love the way this cowl turned out. Please forgive me for not having blocked it before taking the photo; but these carrots were destined for dinner and I really wanted to use them in the photo! If you are interested in my charts, you can find them at Tricksy Knitter in the shared charts section. I've also included them here for your personal use. If you knit anything with them I'd love to see it! Please be sure to tag me on Ravelry (@HarrisonAmy) or IG (@merryweatherscottage)!

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

From Belle's Library | Jim Henson, The Biography

I grew up watching the Muppets and Fraggle Rock. It was appointment TV! I have an incredible love for the Muppets and for Jim Henson's creative genius. Reading Jim Henson, The Biography, by Brian Jay Jones was simply inevitable. But it WAS a commitment! This book is long and Mitchner-esque in scope. No stone is left unturned. But if you feel the same way I do about the Henson creations (including that work which is NOT highlighted by Disney), you will find this book an incredible journey into the creative spirit that was Jim Henson; this book is a joy to read.

I have an affinity for non-fiction. I realize it doesn't appeal to everyone, but I love to know how people have dealt with the challenges of this world and come out the other side the people they are (or were). Even with all the history and rather dull information that was included in this book, the personality of Jim Henson comes through in such a way as though I feel like I actually knew him. And to hear about his creative process, the incarnation of his imaginings, the successes and the failures, the collaborative process, and the joy he had for life was thoroughly enjoyable. In fact, I'm not sure I can convey how touching this portrait of Jim is, except to say, I actually was brought to tears in the end. Not something that generally happens to me!

Even realizing how many projects Jim Henson was involved with in his short life was truly amazing. I bet you didn't know the Muppets were a part of Saturday Night Live for a while, did you? Reading about his collaboration with Frank Oz, and his friendship with David Lazer were simply fascinating. And finally getting the details about the negotiations with Disney and how much Jim enjoyed working with the imagineers was inspiring.

If you are involved in the creative arts in any way, or just loved the work of Jim Henson and that of his Creature Shop, then this book is definitely for you. I highly recommend the audiobook, as the narrator does a bang-up job of voicing all the people (and muppets) in Jim's life.

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

DIY Disney Princess Sliding Gift Box | TInkerbell Treasures

This adorable box would be the perfect thing to house an invitation to Be Our Guest, or even a sweet Belle themed jewelry item. It was so easy to do and would be fairly simple to take with you to the Disney Resorts for a Tinkerbell Treasure.

The box itself measures 6 x 2.25", and perhaps for the first time ever I simply cut it out on the silhouette portrait without doing a thing to alter it! I used yellow and red card stock to resemble Belle's dress and the red rose in Beast's castle.

If you would like to make it, you can find the design for this sliding 3-d rose box in the Silhouette online store. And best of all, if you find making these 3-d projects a little intimidating, Jamie Lane Designs has a full tutorial on how to put it together on her blog!

I would love to know how you use this if you decide to. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

DIY Disney's Vegetable Cuban Sandwich from Epcot's Sunshine Seasons

Hands down, my favorite quick service restaurant in Epcot's Future World is Sunshine Seasons in The Land pavilion. There are SO many great choices, especially for vegetarians. I was a committed vegetarian for seven years, and still tend to prefer eating as a vegetarian when I have the choice. One of my favorite sandwiches at Sunshine Seasons is this Vegetable Cuban and I was delighted to find the recipe in my new Disney cookbook: Delicious Disney.

This sandwich takes a little prep work, but what was nice for me is that the prep can be done piecemeal, so you don't have to spend a committed 45 minutes in the kitchen making this one. So helpful when I am also chasing toddlers! Mr. Photos From The Parks grilled up all our veggies the day before, as the grill was already hot from grilling that day's meal. I just wrapped them up and put them in the fridge for later. And THEN made us homemade Cuban rolls for these sandwiches! What a treat! I also cheated on the peppers and used some prepared roasted hot red peppers from Trader Joe's. It was a delicious choice!

You can find the entire recipe below. Let me know if you decide to make these amazing sandwiches! And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Sunshine Seasons' Roasted Vegetable Cuban Sandwich:


3 Portobello mushrooms
Olive oil as needed, for grilling
8 ounces fresh eggplant, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise
8 ounces yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
8 ounces zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1 red pepper, sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 24 -inch Cuban bread roll
1/4 cup store-bought hummus
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
1/4 cup or more sliced sour pickles


Preheat grill or oven up to 400°F. Carefully remove the stems from Portobello mushrooms and wiped the caps. Brush olive oil on both sides, and grill 8 to 10 minutes on each side until mushrooms begin to brown and are soft to the touch. Refrigerate.

Season eggplant, squash, zucchini, and red pepper with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil and roast for 15 minutes. Refrigerate.

Slice chilled vegetables into 1/4" planks. Slice jeweled Portobello and 1/4" rounds.
Slice Cuban bread lengthwise. Spread top with hummus. Spread bottom with mustard. Arrange vegetables evenly on the bread and top with Swiss cheese and pickles.

Brush griddle or skillet with oil and grill for two to three minutes on each side, or until bread is crusty and cheese is melted. Cut into four servings.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DIY Disney's Frozen Take-Out Sacks

I recently posted about the Disney Movie Reward site where you can download all manner of cool Disney printables. In that selection of things there is a PDF bundle of Frozen Travel Posters (they also have a bundle of Planes travel posters!). I LOVE this sort of thing and knew I needed to find a way (or several ways) to use these gorgeous graphics. As I was looking at this poster for the Arendelle Chocolatier, I realized it would look great printed on my take-out sacks!

If you missed the earlier back-to-school posts (can you believe it's almost time for that again?), we have printable designs for Gousteau's, and Tiana's Place. These chocolatier bags will fit right in! I also think they would make a great presentation for some lovely chocolates (and maybe some wine!) for a Disney fan. And if you are throwing a Frozen party in the near future (perhaps to bring back summer?), these would be great as goodie bags!

In order to print these on white kraft bags (mine are 6x11"), I had to turn the image upside down. Once you have downloaded your PDF files, open them in Acrobat reader. Once you have it open, select "view" and then "rotate view" until your image is upside down. Load the bags in the printer, centered, and right side up with flap facing back. I printed "current page" at 50%. I love the way these came out. So simple and budget friendly! Just a reminder that if you are printing for the first time, I would recommend doing a test run on paper before loading your sacks to see if the layout is the way you want it.

Have fun with this idea! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

DIY Disney Coloring and Activity Book | Tinkerbell Treasures

Did you know that there are all sorts of Disney printables and activity sheets available at Disney Movie Rewards? And they are completely free! If you have a kid who likes to color, play games, or get creative (and really, who doesn't?), then you need to head on over there and sign up for an account. To find them, you need to look under the "Get Rewards" tab for rewards that are zero points. This is one of those things that never would have occurred to me if I didn't already have an account with them. We are part of the Disney Movie Club. Whenever you get a new Disney movie (and not just from the club) there is a code inside that earns you reward points. You can use it towards all sorts of things, not the least of which is other movies! But these awesome printable activities are free. No money or points needed. Simply click on them and download!

I was made up this cute, personalized coloring and activity book for one of the girls in our upcoming trip. This one is designed to keep us busy on the plane; it's full of mazes, dot-to-dots, coloring pages and matching games. ALL of the interior pages are from the Disney Rewards website. I even included a few blank pages for autographs or her own personal drawings. (I found the pen in the dollar bins at JoAnn's several months ago.)

I created this cover on my Silhouette. If you'd like to download it, you can find the silhouette file (compatible only with silhouette software) in my copy folder. I used glitter card stock for the background and the Mickey icon, and regular card stock for the rest. I incorporated this airplane shape with my own Mickey icon. I used the font Mickey's Merry Christmas for the title, and Pacifio for the personalization. To make sure this would stand up to several days of rough and tumble travel, I "laminated" the cover with clear packing tape. I simply laid it over the top in strips, overlapping it by about 1/4". And of course, I used my Zutter machine to bind it with a 1/2" spiral binding, but you could always bind it with three simple rings.

I hope you enjoy downloading free Disney printables from a new resource, and until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Carousel of Progress Products Now on RedBubble

Just A Dream Away Tote Bag
One of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World is the Carousel of Progress. It brings back such great memories and I love the vintage Disney feel of the whole thing. So I am delighted to announce that my "Just A Dream Away" design is now available on RedBubble on a whole host of new products!

You can now find this design on tote bags in three sizes (13x13, 16x16, and 18x18 - pictured to the left)! Perfect for heading into the parks and for all your local shopping needs.

You can also show your Disney side on your technology; this same design can now be found on iPhone 5s & 4s cases, iPhone 3GS cases, as well as Samsung Galaxy S4 & S3 cases.

And if you are an iPod Touch or iPad Retina or iPad 2 owner, you can find cases with this design too!

Finally, if you're all about Disney decor, you are in luck! RedBubble is now selling throw pillows! You can find this design on three different pillow sizes (16x16, 18x18, and 20x20). I hope you enjoy these products as much as I do! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust.

Just A Dream Away Throw Pillows

Just A Dream Away iPhone Case 

Just A Dream Away iPad Case

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sitting with Grandmother Willow | Molly of Frosted Donut Designs

As part of our on-going series, Sitting with Grandmother Willow, I am happy to introduce Molly of Frosted Donut Designs, a very well stocked Etsy shop. This series of blog posts highlights artists and bloggers of all stripes with one thing in common: a passion for Disney! I hope you will enjoy getting to know Molly as much as I have. A big thanks to her for taking the time to interview with us! And be sure to visit her shop for a great selection of Disney themed bows! Don't you just love this monorail bow?? It was had to choose between this and the Poppins bow...oh and the Alice one sure to check them all out!

Disney by the numbers (with apologies to Harpers):

# of trips you have made:
 About 10 times! Would probably be more if we didn't live overseas for about 5 years.

Date of first trip:
 I’m thinking around July 1993…I was about 3 years old.

Date of next trip:
 Most likely April; we are trying to get down there before the Mine Train opens and the crowds get crazy.

# of Resorts stayed in: 
We are all over the place with resorts. We stay off property some, at Universal some, as well as Disney…really just depends what we are there for. I am pretty sure we switched resorts a few times when I played volleyball at the Wide World of Sports arena so there is no telling!

Usual # in your travel party:
 Always either 4 (my whole family) or 2 (my mom and I)!

Pairs of mouse ears in your cottage: This is sad…but like one? I don’t even know where they are! I’m always trying to buy t-shirts and I forget about ears.
Plus, I tend to accessorize with bows!

WDW or Disneyland (or other)? 
Never been to DL…yet. So WDW!

How do you usually travel to Disney?
 Usually…by car. It’s not too bad of a drive, but it’s fun when we fly.

Do you have any tips for trips? Research, research, research! It’s always good to know where you can get the best deal for everything. If you search different dates on the Disney Resorts site, they will tell you what dates have discounts. As well as know where you would like to eat. It can be a bit daunting with all the restaurants and now knowing what to try. Pick out things that are special to Disney (like Lefou’s Brew…yum!) and go for that!

Do you have a favorite place to eat while in Disney? 
Well a favorite place of ALL Orlando is Tijuana Flats. If you like Mexican food, it’s a must try. In Disney Parks I would say…can I cheat and say all of the World Showcase? I can’t chose just one! They are all so good. And I definitely like to eat.

What is your absolute DON'T MISS attraction? 
Tower of Terror. Not only is it an awesome ride and fantastically themed, the wait is usually way lower than other thrill rides.

Stage shows, yes or no?
 Yes! Depending on how much time we have allotted for the park that day, we usually build our day around shows we would want to see.

Parades, yes or no? 
I’m either way on this. I love watching them, but we never scope out a spot or anything to get one. We usually just catch when we are in between rides. Although there always seems to be one going when we enter the park, so we tend to stop for that one.

Best Fast Pass to get: 
Test Track, but you have to be there at opening to get it. Most insane lines I’ve ever seen!

Favorite park: 
Hollywood Studios. I love the sets and vibe, plus I could probably ride Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster a hundred times in a row. And Star Wars weekends! Need I say more?

One piece of advice you'd give a novice about WDW/DL:
 Plan…but do not plan to much. A lot of times I feel like families plan every minute of the day out, which may work sometimes, but it can stress everyone out. Have an idea what you want to do, and make ADR’s where necessary, but if you want to ride Space Mountain instead of your original plan of meeting Tinkerbell…do it!

How do you create extra magic for your family: I am the one who obsessively reads about Disney whether its new stuff, history, food, tips and tricks…you name it. So I always try to sneak in one thing that each person will love. I think taking the time to schedule something you might not otherwise do, but you know that one person will love, absolutely makes the trip magical for them.

How can we connect with you?

Instagram: FrostedDonutDesigns

And as always, you can use #FrostedDonutDesigns!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

DIY Disney Scrapbook Inspiration | Project Mouse & Walt Disney World

I have been working hard on getting some much needed scrapbooking done. It seems as though I am perpetually 18 months back in my scrapbooking. So be it; but the one rule I try to live by is to only have ONE Disney vacation to scrap at a time. It's too hard to remember all the different things between trips, especially since we tend to travel at the same time of the year! I am happy to report that I am finally to that point: only the 2013 pictures are in the hopper to be scrapped. These are pictures from our 2012 Fall Break Walt Disney World trip. I'll try not to overload you, dear reader, with too many layouts at once. We do play hard when we are at the Kingdom! These are just a few of the pages today. I'll post more another time.

As I have mentioned before, I am loving using these Project Mouse kits by Sahlin Studios and Britt-ish Designs. For these pages I used Project Mouse Bundles 1, 2,4, plus the Days & Washi Tape Bundle, the Halloween Bundle, and the Fantasy Bundle. I also used the Stuffed with Fluff kit from Britt-ish Designs, and the Now Showing Mini Kit from Tickled Pink Studios.

This is also the first time I actually took the time to scan in any of the ephemera that we always pick up from our trips. It was fun to be able to use things like our key cards and the Cinderella's Royal Table photos in my layouts! I also snagged some images from the web to use. As long as you are not selling them, you can use them for your own purposes with no problems! Just be sure to check on resolution as they may not print very well. I hope these pages can provide you with some inspiration for your own scrapbook pages, or as a resource for some truly wonderful scrapbooking supplies. (And I just have to say, I've fallen in love with Sahlin Studios. I've used her vintage Christmas bundle and Reflection kits as well.)

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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Finding Disney Books at Garden Ridge | Tinkerbell Treasures

I am always on the lookout for a good bargain, especially when it comes to finding Tinkerbell Treasures. And I love books. This makes Garden Ridge the perfect place to look when it comes to finding Disney books for the kids (and even sometimes for me!) for our long road trips to Walt Disney World. I can always find something Disney related on their tables and almost everything is under $6.00. You have to hunt and peck a little, but it's totally worth it for me. You can see just a bit of what we found in this picture to the left.

If you have a Garden Ridge near you, you might be aware that they are changing their name, as well as discontinuing their books!! While I am going to be VERY sad to see them go, you can now find all sorts of Disney kids books for 50% or more (as the day draws nearer) off their already reduced prices. You can be sure I've already started stocking up!

And there's more! I thought it would be nice to share the wealth with those of you who may not have a Garden Ridge in your area. I'm giving away these three book bundles to three lucky winners! This is the Adventure Book Bundle for slightly older kids:

Adventure Book Bundle
This Princess Book Bundle is for your little princess lovers:

Princess Book Bundle
And finally this Hardback Book Bundle is for our more advanced readers! (I'd call it the Adult Book Bundle, but that has weird connotations!) I actually found a copy of the last book I reviewed from Belle's Library, Mortal Friends! And this mousekateer history definitely looks like a worthy read, especially since it's free!

Hardback Book Bundle
All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter giveaway below! The first winner will have first pick of the bundle of books they want. The second will then get to pick from the two remaining bundles. Make sure you post in the comments which book bundle you want most! Good luck, dear readers, and until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Redbubble T-shirt Now Available | Best Souvenir Ever

This particular design was made just for our Little Chef. He is, after all, our very best Disney souvenir ever! I love this font, Florida Project. It harkens back to the very beginning of Walt Disney World, before it was even known as such. For a while, at Disney Studios, it was simply known as the Florida Project. It may seem familiar to those of you who, like me, grew up going to Walt Disney World. It was widely used throughout the park in the beginning.

If you happen to have a best souvenir ever, (and I KNOW there are others of your who have found your perfect match, or created your sweet little one at Disney) then this might be just the design for you! It's available on my RedBubble page. It comes in adult sizes (small - 3XL) as well as kids and baby sizes (3 months - 12 years). And it comes in a variety of sizes and fits. I can personally attest to the quality of the Ts. They are soft and last through MANY washes.

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