Dabbles & Babbles

Everyday creative adventures

Spring iPhone and iPad Wallpaper

Free Downloadable iPhone and iPad wallpaper.

Free Downloadable iPhone and iPad wallpaper.

Spring iPhone and iPad Wallpaper – Spring is all around us and so is the beauty of this season. This is the time of year to shed your winter coats, scarves and boots and get outside. Take your kids, dog, camera, sketch pad, picnic basket and start exploring the world. As a gentle reminder to get out and take in all of nature waking up from a long slumber, I’ve created these iPhone and iPad wallpapers. I love this great quote from Marilyn Monroe “Keep smiling because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”  Use these designs with your lock screen or as your regular background. Have fun, get out and enjoy your life – it’s a beautiful thing!

Download the iPhone wallpaper here (when the image comes onto the screen, right-click on it and then go to “save images as”).

Download the iPad wallpaper here (when the image comes onto the screen, right-click on it and then go to “save images as”).

 

Home Book Club Card

Home Book Club Card

Home Book Club Card

Home Book Club Card - In my recent post Certificate of Awesomeness I confessed to my parenting “oops” when my daughter didn’t get a card of congratulations from her teacher for reading 100 books.  As you know, Noelle did indeed read 100 books and I created a certificate of awesomeness to help fix my blunder.  In the same vain, we really work hard to make sure Noelle is a confident reader and yesterday after school she spent about an hour reading. Both my husband and I were impressed by this desire to read without being prompted and Michael had a great idea to encourage this positive behaviour – like the “karma card” from another one of my posts, why not have a home book club where a reward is given after reading 10 books (this does not include her books that we read for school). Noelle loved the idea too so I spent the morning creating a Home Book Club card. I’ve created two versions, one called the “Home Book Club” for families to use, and then I made one called the “Kids Book Club” that can be used by teachers, counsellors, kids clubs, camps, libraries, etc.

Download the “Home Book Club” card here.

Download the “Kids Book Club” card here.Book-Club---Homex2

DIY Seed Bombs

DIY Seed Bombs

DIY Seed Bombs

DIY Seed Bombs – I’m not sure what the weather’s like where you live but in Victoria spring is definitely in the air. The trees are full with cherry blossoms, the fields are covered in daffodils and tiny tender green leaves are poking out of the bushes. It’s hard not to be in a good mood when you can look outside and see the plant world waking up from a long winter’s sleep. To help ring in this beautiful new season we’ve decided to make seed bombs. Seed bombs are a fun way to add beauty to hard to reach and neglected green space. This is a great project for kids and is super easy to do. Noelle and I made them in about half an hour and then it took about 48 hours for them to completely dry.  We have a steep and difficult to navigate hill in our back yard that we’ll be bombing with our seed bombs this weekend.

Supplies:

  • Seeds – a collection of seeds of your choice – we used mostly wildflowers but added in some extra seeds as well (note: the larger seeds don’t always stay in your seed bomb easily so use smaller seeds if possible – I used some sunflower, nasturtium and sweet pea seeds that were pretty big and I had to work hard to keep them in the seed bomb)
  • Colored paper torn into pieces – 2-3 pages (I used 3 pages of paper; red, orange and pink)
  • Newspaper torn into pieces –  2-3 pages
  • Blender
  • Silicone mold – if you don’t have a mold you can also just form into balls with your hands
  • 2 cups of water
  • Mixing bowls
  • Strainer

Directions:

  1. After you’ve torn up all your paper, put the pieces into the blender.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to blender and blend everything until pulverized.
  3. Place a strainer over a small bowl and pour the entire contents from the blender into the strainer.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes so the water can drain out of the pulp.
  4. Scoop a handful of paper pulp out of the strainer and add a small spoonful of seeds to your pulp.
  5. Gently mix up the pulp and seeds and squeeze out any excess water over a bowl until the seed bomb is fairly compact.
  6. Press the mixture into a mold, squeezing out any excess water and draining it from the mold. Continue until you’ve used up all the pulp.
  7. Finally, using a paper towel, press down on each seed bomb to soak up any left over moisture in the seed bomb – we want to remove as much water as possible to prevent the seeds from germinating.
  8. Allow seed bombs to dry for 24-48 hours and then gently remove from mold.

Looking for more kids crafty stuff: Mandala Coloring PageRainbow Loom Perler Bead BraceletsBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Subscribe to Dabbles and Babbles to receive the latest crafts, activities for kids, recipes, printables, tutorials and more – subscribe in the right sidebar. You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading! ~ Jamey

  1. Seed Bomb Tutorial

    Seed Bomb Tutorial

Certificate of Awesomeness

Certificate of Awesomeness

Free Printable Certificate of Awesomeness

Certificate of Awesomeness – We’ve all had those moment as parents where we realize that we’ve dropped the ball – recently I had such a moment. I went to pick up my daughter from school and noticed that the teacher was frantically chasing down kids to give them really cute cards of congratulations. The kids were so excited to be receiving these colorful and vibrant cards. Before we knew it, the cards were all handed out and Noelle hadn’t received anything.  I noticed small tears welling up in her eyes. When I inquired about the cards it turned out that they were given to the kids who had read 100 books at home. My heart started pounding and my face went red… oh no… this was all my fault. I had to admit it, I hadn’t been keeping up with the book tracking journal and hadn’t handed it in.  We faithfully read with Noelle every night so I know she should have received the proper accolades for her achievement. Noelle managed to hold back the tears but I knew she was quite upset, especially seeing all the other kids excitedly comparing their cards.

Once we had left school, I admitted my failure to my daughter.  She was upset with the situation but didn’t really say much more about it. After a few guilt ridden days, in an attempt to restore my status of “best mom in the world”, I came up with a plan to resolve the situation. I decided to create my own award… a Certificate of Awesomeness.  I cobbled a certificate together, making it fun and colorful, all the time having visions of my teary eyed child in my minds eye. We finally presented her with the certificate and she was thrilled – it’s posted on the bulletin board in her room now and she often looks at it with pride.

I made this certificate generic in the hopes that others may find it useful if they ever have a slip up and need to pander to their child.  Or sometimes your kid just does something particularly amazing that you want to recognize. Now you can simply print out this certificate and show your child how proud you are of them.  This is also great for teachers, counsellors, grandparents, therapists and nurses, etc.

Click here to download your “Certificate of Awesomeness.”

Certificate of Awesomeness

Certificate of Awesomeness

 

Mandala Coloring Pages

Mandala coloring page

Mandala coloring page

Mandala Coloring Pages – These beautiful circular designs are called mandalas. Mandalas are as old as history itself and mean “sacred circle” in Sanskrit. In various ancient and spiritual cultures including Buddhists, Tibetans, Hindus and North American Indians, the mandala has been used as a form of meditation, in sacred rites to aid in healing and to invoke spiritual energy. Mandalas have often represented life, nature, creation, wellness and the universe.

Today mandalas are used as a form of art therapy. Drawing and coloring mandalas is known to have a centering, calming effect for both children and adults. For elderly people, coloring mandalas helps them increase focus and concentration.  People are often intimidated by a big blank piece of paper and they may get anxious not knowing how or what to draw.   Pre-made mandalas help give people a comfortable starting place with little fear of failure. Just by adding a little bit of coloring, people suddenly become artists and have a great sense of accomplishment when they are done. You can use  coloring pencils, pen and ink, crayons or watercolor to color mandalas.

I had so much fun designing these mandala coloring pages – that in itself was therapeutic. I’ve created these pages with 12 mandalas to a page and also larger mandalas with two pages of 6 mandalas.  You can download the 12 mandalas to a page here and the 6 mandalas to a page here. Enjoy and happy coloring!

Looking for more crafty stuff: Hearts Coloring Page, Rainbow Loom Perler Bead BraceletsBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

Subscribe to Dabbles and Babbles to receive the latest crafts, activities for kids, recipes, printables, tutorials and more – subscribe in the right sidebar. You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading! ~ Jamey

mandalas

Striped Pinched Crochet Headband

Striped Pinched Crochet Headband

Striped Pinched Crochet Headband

Striped Pinched Crochet Headband – I admit it, I’m a big wimp when it comes to cold weather. I actually moved to Vancouver Island, an area that many consider the most mild climate in Canada, just to escape the frigid cold. While the majority of the winter we manage to elude the cold weather, we do get the occasional day below zero degrees (Celsius). Today I thought I’d show you all my Striped Pinched Crochet Headband I made for my daughter.  She’s not a big fan of hats so this is a good alternative for her and I know it will keep her precious little ears toasty warm.  This is a really easy pattern, something you can make in an hour or two.

Materials:

  • Medium/Worsted weight yarn in 3 colors  (colors A, B and C) – I used Red Heart Soft yarn
  • Crochet Hook – US J10/6.00mm (if you want a tighter look to the stitches use a slightly smaller crochet hook)
  • Button of your choice
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors

Directions:

Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)

  1. Measure the head size of the person you’re making the headband for.
  2. With color A, make a chain (by using the chain stitch) that is 1″ shorter than the person’s head size (do not stretch the chain to measure it).  Make sure you keep a loose tension while making the chain.
  3. Once you’ve got the correct length chain, check that the chain hasn’t twisted and then join to the first stitch with a sl st so that it now forms a ring.
  4. Round 2: dc in every chain until you’re completed the round and join to the first dc with a sl st.
  5. Round 3: change to color B, ch 1 and then sc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  6. Round 4: change to color C, ch 2 and then dc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  7. Round 5: change to color B, ch 1 and then sc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  8. Round 6: change to color A, ch 2 and then dc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  9. Round 7: change to color B, ch 1 and then sc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  10. Round 8: change to color C, ch 2 and then dc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  11. Round 9: change to color B, ch 1 and then sc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  12. Round 10: change to color A, ch 2 and then dc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  13. Round 11: continue with color A, ch 1 and then sc in each stitch in the round. Join with a sl st.
  14. Bind off and weave in the ends.
  15. Determine where you want your button. Turn the headband inside out, pinch the middle rows together (approximately rounds 3-9) and then sew them together with your color B yarn.
  16. Sew the button on top of the pinched area. Weave in and trim any loose ends.

Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

Portobello Stuffed Mushroom

Portobello Stuffed Mushroom

Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps - Brussels sprouts and I have never been friends, not even acquaintances for that matter.  I can safely say that out of all the vegetables, brussels sprouts are all the bottom of my favorites list…until recently that is.  I came up with this recipe for brussels sprouts that is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Today’s recipe for lemon walnut brussels sprout Stuffed portobello mushrooms is a modified and enhanced version of my original recipe (post still to come).  All I’m going to say is that this recipe will turn those brussels sprout haters into lovers and “may I have more please” askers. And, the portobello mushroom is simply the icing on top of the cake (or the fungus on the bottom of the stuffing in this case). This recipe is super easy and it only takes a few minutes to put it together. It’s cooked in the oven but could also be done on the grill. Serve this at your next dinner party and they’ll think you slaved for hours on this dish.

Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps – makes 4 caps

Download/print recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2-3 brussels sprouts, chopped finely
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/8 cup of almonds, slivered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp steak spice or seasoning salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Gently wash and remove stem from the mushrooms. Place mushrooms bottom-side up on a baking sheet.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and gently mix everything together.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps, dividing the mixture evenly between the four caps.
  5. Place into oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

 

Easy Rainbow Loom Bracelet with Perler Beads

Easy Rainbow Loom Perler Bead Bracelet

Easy Rainbow Loom Perler Bead Bracelet Video Tutorial

Easy Rainbow Loom Bracelet with Perler Beads Video Tutorial – I’m so excited about this post.  This is my first ever Dabblesandbabbles.com video tutorial.  I’ve been wanting to do a video tutorial for a while now but I was waiting for the perfect project – I think I found it. This video tutorial is on how to make rainbow loom bracelets with perler beads. I have no idea if this has already been done before or not but I thought I’d give it a go.  I played around with the elastics and beads until I found something that worked. These bracelets are very easy to make and great for beginners to the rainbow loom.

To get going on this project you’ll need a rainbow loom (and hook), rainbow loom elastics, and perler beads.  All of these items can be found at Michaels.  Once you get the hang of it, you can make these fun bracelets in about half an hour. Give them to your friends, family, teachers and coaches – they’ll be a big hit!

Looking for more great kids stuff: Monster Colouring PageBlank Faces Coloring PageJellyfish Friendship Bracelets10-Minute Superhero CostumePrintable Robot Coloring Page Family Movie Night Tickets

You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading! ~ Jamey

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad – This salad has become my new lunchtime favorite.  I came across this hand typed recipe on Facebook. It sounded so good I had to give it a try – wow is all I can say. It’s such a healthy, flavorful salad and it has a really interesting smoky flavor thanks to the smoked Spanish paprika. Everyone who’s tried it has asked me for the recipe. If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s quite a fantastic food or superfood to be more precise.  Quinoa is the seed of a plant belonging to the same family as other favored super-veggies including spinach, swiss chard, and beets. It’s one of the most nutritionally dense foods available, provides all nine essential amino acids and has twice the fiber of most other grains. It has a mild flavor so it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. As per usual, I rarely leave a recipe unmodified from the original and this recipe is no different; I’ve added a few little extras. Sadly, I don’t know where this recipe originated so if anyone knows who to credit please let me know.

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cucumber, chopped unpeeled
  • 1 pint cherry or baby tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional:  I like to lay it on a bed of salad greens or kale. I’ve also added minced green olives and cauliflower which I thought made nice additions to the salad.

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Take off heat and let sit covered in saucepan.
  2. Combine chickpeas, cucumber, parsley, onions, and half the feta in a large bowl. Toss until well mixed.
  3. Gently toss with cooled quinoa.
  4. Wisk vinegar, honey, oil, grainy mustard and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the combined salad ingredients.
  5. Add tomatoes, and gently toss, being careful not to over mix.
  6. Top with feta and serve.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Check out some of my other recipes including: Best salad everNo bake energy balls,  the best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean hummus.

You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

Crochet Symbols and Directions Chart

Crochet Symbols and Directions chart with US & UK terminology.

Crochet Symbols and Directions chart with US & UK terminology.

Crochet Symbols and Directions Chart – As you all know by now, I’ve been really getting into crochet over the past year or so.  I still consider myself a newbie and I’m trying to learn new stitches and designs whenever I can find the time.  To this point I’ve only followed written directions and whenever I’ve come across patterns with all those weird symbols I’ve immediately discarded the pattern without even attempting to understand it.  Recently I came across a YouTube video that showed a woman crocheting but she also showed how she followed the symbol pattern – even though it was in a different language, I totally got the drift and realized that theses patterns aren’t as scary as they seem. After doing a little more research I realized that I couldn’t find any really great symbol reference charts.  I started pulling a collection together from what I could find and before you I knew it I had created a pretty comprehensive crochet symbols and directions chart.

I also tried to address the issue of US vs. UK terminology by putting the correct name for each symbol with a little flag beside to indicate what that symbol is called depending on whether its a US or UK pattern. I hope you’ll find this crochet symbols and direction chart helpful.  Now maybe you’ll decide to given patterns written in symbols a second chance, I know I will.

Download your crochet symbols and directions chart here.

If anyone notices any errors in this chart please let me know, I may have missed something. Thanks.

To make things even easier for you, here’s a great YouTube video that explains how to read symbol charts.

Crochet symbols and directions chart with US and UK terminology

Crochet symbols and directions chart with US and UK terminology

 

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Foaming Soap

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

DIY Foaming Hand Soap – Who doesn’t like foaming hand soap. The problem is that you tend to go through it so quickly – especially if you have kids. Not to panic, there’s a really simple way to make your own foaming hand soap.  It’s actually the container pump that makes the soap come out all foamy and lately I’m finding it hard to throw away perfectly good containers so why not be both frugal and environmentally conscious by refilling your old container. I worked it out and it cost less than a quarter to refill a container with this DIY foaming soap. This inexpensive soap is also perfect for the cottage, camping, or to keep near the garden.

The recipe for the DIY foaming hand wash is crazy simple.  You take your container, you add some dish soap, some water and voila you’re done.

Materials:

  • Clean container with foam pump (I used one from Bath and Body Works and removed the labels)
  • Dish soap of your choice (I’m sure liquid hand soap would work too)
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Get an empty and clean foam pump container and fill it up between 1/6 and 1/4 of the way with dish soap.
  2. Fill the rest of the container with water (make sure you don’t fill it too much but  leave space at the top for the pump to go in – otherwise it will overflow).
  3. Twist the pump lid on and give the container a gentle shake to make sure the soap and the water mix together.
  4. Go ahead and give it a few pumps and the foam should start coming out.