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February 24, 2017

I love lists

I love lists!! A collection of random links on the internet by Tracy of Shutterbean.com!

Welcome to I love lists! It’s Friday. Let’s surf the internet together!

  1. Adulting school!!! It’s a thing!
  2. I want to make eggplant bacon.
  3. If you’re having an Oscar party.
  4. Here’s a bunch of life changing habits. I’m currently working on making yoga a habit.
  5. What do you think about the broth trend?
  6. If you also love reading other people’s morning routines.
  7. I really appreciated their discussion on Friends/Friendship.
  8. This color test was kinda hard.
  9. Hey Ryan, look at the name of this bar in SF!
  10. Wes Anderson references other movies in his movies.
  11. Internet searches: japanese stoneware mugs   gold vintage clocks / smock apron
  12. What happens when you go without the internet for a month?
  13. A reminder that we are tiny and insignificant.
  14. Old photos of children planning. Also cool- Photos from NYC in the 70s.
  15. These gifts from grandma are too cute!
  16. I could definitely see Cooper & Casey doing this.
  17. I still have fond memories of #5
  18. New favorite fonts: Aldine / Market Deco / Fifty-Five
  19. Way to go, Ree!
  20. Apparently, I was a Sagittarius in a past life. Who makes these tests??!
  21. Weekend Reading: Everything that Remains
  22. Pre-Order the new Joy the Baker cookbook- Over Easy!! Yay MAJ!

have a great weekend!

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February 23, 2017

Melted Crayon Art

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

A few months ago I came home with an old vintage heating tray.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Just seeing the heating tray jogged so many good memories of making Melted Crayon Art when I was a kid.

I couldn’t wait to share this experience with my 8 year old son, Cooper!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

A random trip to the thrift store has provided hours of entertainment in my home.

He loves it just as much as I do!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

We’ve been spending at least one night a week after school playing around with colors.

We talk about our day.

We talk about colors.

We talk about how colors make us feel.

We relax together.

We laugh and make funny word combinations.

We learn from each other.

all while melting crayons.

It’s never about the end result for us. 

It’s about the journey along the way.

It’s about learning how colors change and shift.

It’s about learning what colors blend well together.

It’s about learning how to be patient and letting things develop.

It’s about trying new combinations. 

It’s about play.

It’s about creating magic with simple things.

It’s about quality time, with undivided attention.

It’s seriously one of my favorite things to do as a parent!

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

WHAT WE USE:

HEATING TRAY

You can find them on ebay, look out for them in thrift stores and you might be able to find some on Amazon.

I bet you could use an electric griddle too!

Just know that whatever you use, use good judgment. You don’t want crayon toxins in your food. My heating tray is just used for crayons. CRAYON ONLY!!!

CRAYONS

Use the ones you’ve got!! My mom saved a lot of my crayons from my childhood and when my niece was little, so we have quite a ton to go through. If you’re looking for a particular color scheme, you can buy crayons in bulk on Amazon. I did it for my ladies craft night last month to get all of those Valentine’s colors.

ALUMINUM FOIL

Crayons have a lot of oil in them. If you’re not careful the oil will get into your heating tray. Before I turn on the heating tray, I place a piece of aluminum foil and wrap it around the top, making sure to cover the edges to prevent the crayon oil getting into the heating element. Put on the aluminum foil before you heat it up or else you’ll burn your fingers trying to put it on a hot heating tray.

PARCHMENT PAPER

This is what we melt crayons on. If you use regular paper (like we do sometimes) the oils will soak up in the paper. Using parchment paper makes a better print. It’s also really easy to use/makes for a quick cleanup.

EXACTO KNIFE

Taking the wrappers off of crayons is a pain. Use an Exacto knife and cut the wrapper off.

(I find it to be VERY satisfying)

TOOTHPICKS/POPSICLE STICKS

You’ll want to move around colors, but you’ll burn your hands if you’re not careful. Use sticks!

GLASS OF WATER

Keep a glass of water nearby. You never know when little impatient fingers will strike!! Dip your finger(s) that have wax on them in cold water. The wax will harden instantly, and you’ll prevent some burning from happening.  Watch your sleeves and clothes. Wax is hard to get out of cloth. Use common sense and be careful!

PAPER

For our crayon projects, we always use a heavy cardstock or large index cards. You’ll want a paper with some weight. It will make the process a bit easier if your paper is thick.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Ahhhh the smell of crayons.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Speaking of crayons, you should watch this crayon video from my childhood:

Here’s my heating tray!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CRAYONS ONLY.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

So, I wrap it in foil.

Then I add parchment on top.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

I cut it to fit.  Heat up the tray. AND GO.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Now you can melt the crayons on top of the parchment.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Takes a few minutes for them to melt fully.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Use a stick to mix it up.

PLAY.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Swirls are fun.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

When you’re ready to make a print, place a piece of paper down.

We use big index cards!

Pull the paper up slowly. I find it’s best to pull from an edge.

Pretend you’re peeling back the back of a poloroid.

AND WATCH THE MAGIC HAPPEN.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

TADA.

We find that each color batch can produce 4 pretty good prints.

You can see that the bottom right is the last print pulled.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

The first prints are pretty dense.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

And sometimes you find beauty in whatever is leftover on the parchment paper.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

Time to make something old brand new again.

OLD: Framed fabric from Cooper’s nursery.

Insert crying emoji here _______.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

NEW: Melted Crayon Art!!!!!!!!!

I love how it turned out.

Looking for a fun creative project? Try making your own Melted Crayon Art! It's so much fun. See more on Shutterbean.com

More examples of crayon art:

Cooper’s Valentine’s Day cards:

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

A nice orange/yellow/pink/red scheme

My Everyday Life - Week 6 on Shutterbean.com

I love how it can end up looking like topographical maps.

My Everyday Life Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

This was a crazy day and alllll of the crazy energy went into art making.

I am grateful for art making.

My Everyday Life Week 5 on Shutterbean.com

Yes.

Here's what the past week looked like on My Everyday Life- a weekly photo series by Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean.

This was my color scheme for January:

Currently January 2017 on Shutterbean.com!

Hope this inspires you to make some melted crayon art of your own!

 


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February 19, 2017

My Everyday Life: Week 7

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life Week 7

Happy Valentine’s Day from Cooper. I love how these turned out.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Small batch cupcakes!

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Curious cat.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

New ladies.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

I love seeing them in the window.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

My homemade Valentine’s Day card to Casey.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Cooper helped me make fresh rolls for Valentine’s day!

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Little Ella sleeping in the back while Rosie derps out in the front.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Looking up at a stop sign.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Mom’s Night out!

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

We went bowling!!

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

Finding treasures in old books.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

On the phone with my mom.

My Everyday Life: Week 7 on Shutterbean.com

CONTINUE READING

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February 17, 2017

I love lists

I love lists - a collection of randomness around the internet. Find more on Shutterbean.com

Welcome to I love lists! It’s Friday. Let’s surf the internet together!

  1. Vacation. Maine. 1960s.
  2. A big bowl of this vegan caesar plz.
  3. Sriracha Stix. Definitely curious about those.
  4. I’m a fine artist.
  5. I’ve always wanted to go to a Wegman’s.
  6. I’d like to be in japan during cherry blossom season
  7. Tom Brady’s Diet is like…whoa.
  8. Kids, man.
  9. Pinterest searches: 1950s / Irish soda bread / a line bob
  10. How to avoid becoming a hermit when you work from home.
  11. Note to self: put coffee in my waffles
  12. Loved reading this list on 50 Lessons for Feeding Kids
  13. This makes me excited/uncomfortable.
  14. Romantic movies set in SF.
  15. Teas you can make from your pantry.
  16. If you are working on a media kit/one sheet, my friend Amy can help!
  17. Imagine a whole wall like this in your house.
  18. If you ever want to know if mercury is in retrograde. (I always think it is)
  19. Things that are cute: cat dish /  stained glass cacticoffee donations
  20. Apparently, there’s a lot of pressure to sell girl scout cookies!

illustration above by Helen Jane!

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February 14, 2017

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes

smallbatchcupcakesshutterbean-17

I love baking. I love baked goods. Who doesn’t?

What’s the problem?

Ummm. I dunno….maybe SELF CONTROL?

No one can trusted with full batch of anything in my house.

As a result, I don’t bake much. My dessert section has been suffering!

One cupcake turns into two and then I’m like:

Sweet & Simple- Dessert for Two, solves my baking needs.

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Recipe makes only 4! Check out more on Shutterbean.com

Christina has figured out all of the formulas to downsize most baked goods into portions that serve 2-3. Small batch lifestyling!

There are 3 of us in my house.

This recipe makes 4 cupcakes.

Does that mean somebody gets two?

Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Recipe makes only 4! Check out more on Shutterbean.com

Either way, we all get one!  This recipe reminds me a little of that moment in Bridesmaids when Kristen Wiig makes that single cupcake. Wasn’t that scene kind of the best??

But here, there are four!  My whole family is taken care of with these Small Batch Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Perfect for a last minute Valentine’s day baking session or a whip up a batch because it’s Tuesday and that’s how we live situation!

CONTINUE READING

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February 13, 2017

Simple Valentine’s Day Ideas

Simple Valentine's Day Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

There are little things you can do throughout the year to show the people you love that you care but on Valentine’s Day, we amp up that love!!!!!!!

If you want some last minute ideas on how to celebrate, here are a few Simple Valentine’s Day Ideas we employ at my house.

On Valentine’s day, we try to make all of our food shaped like hearts.

Strawberries can easily be turned into hearts. Toast too!

French toast can cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

You can make heart shaped pancakes too!

The Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas  here are cut into heart shapes.  They’re crispy and they’d be a great snack in a lunch box or a simple dessert idea with ice cream and strawberries.

They’re ridiculously good. Watch out.

Blend some strawberries with milk and a little honey and you have pink milk!Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Make a cake. Cut into a shape of a heart. Frost/decorate. ENJOY!

Valentine’s Day is the day when we have chocolate dipped strawberries, right?

I melted chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave and dipped the strawberries into the melted goodness. Pretty, huh?  Took less than 5 minutes.

TALK ABOUT SIMPLE.

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Another really quick dessert idea- Raspberry Brulee. You can pick up some pound cake at the store and put this dessert together in no time.

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Also! Drinks! Don’t forget about the blood orange.

They can really enhance your cocktails/mocktails.

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Cherry Vanilla Hot Chocolate is also niiiiiice.

Cherry Vanilla Hot Chocolate // shutterbean

Let’s talk about ambiance now.

Here are things we do around my house to set the mood!

Balloons. They go a long way. Both adults and children get a kick out of them.

The best part is that they are super inexpensive!

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Better yet….put some in a bath tub. Who needs bubbles?

Also, maybe draw a bath. Romantic baths are fun. Just make sure you have enough towels.

Also remember that two bodies in a bathtub will displace water.

Lessons learned. 

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Get yourself a red light.  You can pick one up at a grocery store.

(It reminds me of my days in the darkroom)

(I never made out with anyone in a darkroom)

(I see a roleplaying opportunity in my future)

(sorry)

My Everyday Life - Week 6 on Shutterbean.com

Anyways…red lights! They really set the mood. Cats not included.

My Everyday Life - Week 6 on Shutterbean.com

What’s a Valentine’s Day without a love note???!!

I like to leave them around the house. You can put them on mirrors, hide some in my your loved one’s car. Maybe see if you can change the wallpaper on their phone to something naughty?!

Life is an adventure!

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Put hearts on your windows.

Leave them up all month and let the love in!

Simple Valentine's Days Ideas on Shutterbean.com!

Make your own Valentine’s cards.

It’s fun and unexpected!

Definitely not store bought!

Bonus points if you make one that matches your boo’s shirt.

Draw hearts with chalk on your driveway. It’s a nice surprise when someone is getting into their car.

Leave a note on your lover’s windshield. Tell them something nice like….you got the oil changed for them so they didn’t have to.

(this is my dream Valentine scenario)

Whatever you do tomorrow, just remember that you can do simple/little things to make sure that someone feels special. All the small things add up!  Don’t forget to tell someone how much you love them and WHY!!

XOXOXO

Tracy