Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Traditions

One of the girls at church had the sweetest tradition that her and her siblings made up. They put up a little fake tree in one of their bedrooms and they re-gift their old stuff to each other. How fun is that?

Mya shared that she loves getting whole peanuts with the shells in her stocking. Santa did this severals years in a row because he knew that was something he did for my family growing up. But now Santa would like to end the tradition but there is too much pressure from Mya. She has mentioned it several times to me over the last few weeks.

Today we were having back luck with our mangers. We have a little ceramic one and I tipped some of the figures over while DUSTING (I know I am so old school). Well Joseph's head fell off (again). And my copycat Little People manger was missing baby Jesus. He is very small you know. Well I found baby Jesus under the couch and I had some heavy duty glue to put Joseph's head back on.

DH is proving that he is AMAZING once again and after making my kitchen and entry look fabulous took our chillens for two days to the cabin. I am at home and did a lot of cleaning today. Tomorrow I will shop and prep for Christmas and probably some more cleaning. And a girl's night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Murder Mystery

This would be so much fun for date night. I hope I win.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Million Dollar Idea

I like to make my own dough and bread but if you are using a yeast type dough you have to measure out the yeast 2 1/4 teaspoons. Since I like to be lazy (or efficient) I thought it would be cool to have a measuring spoon that measured that exact amount. Then I could just leave it in my yeast tub. I buy the pack of yeast at Costco, put it in it's own tupperware and leave it in the refrigerator. It really is the best deal. I tried googling "2 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon" but I haven't found anything yet. I thought for sure someone might have thought of making it already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making a Party Dress

I'm calling it the KAT Dress

I have a new client who has asked me to make a dress from this picture. Exciting and nerve racking for my brain as I always second guess myself a gazillion times. 9.5 times out of 10 things turn out just fine.

I am using McCall's 6199 Pattern for a starter. I have to alter the pattern but it's a good place to start. She chose the fabric and all the embellishments and I started on the pattern work today. As long as I do my pattern work well the dress should go together nicely. I will post as I go.

So far I've had to redraw the top to have the panels that will have the decorative stuff sewn over the top and the gathered skirt sewn to it. The pattern doesn't have gathers so I have to slash the pattern and add width for gathering. Plus in this picture the side seam appears to drop much lower then the hem at the center front of the dress so I think I need to adjust the length of the sides.

The thing that always makes me nervous is that I'm a very particular that I make it look as much like the picture as possible but usually what I focus on and stress over is different than what is important to the client.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My pet spider

I found this idea on someone else's very creative blog but now I can't remember who. So I did it myself. I've even let me nails stay long for an extra week to make it creepier. Per her instruction I used black craft paint and a toothpick to create the spiderweb. Making a spider on my thumb was my idea. This is my left hand because I was alone and too impatient to wait and have someone else do the other hand so I did it myself. It doesn't look to shabby but not as nice as my right hand work done on my left. Are you confused? I put a final coat of clear polish over the top.

Oh and I totally forgot that I am going somewhere tonight where it would be completely inappropriate to wear this so it's gotta go. Maybe I'll redo it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Bedroom Set

Sorry I can't get my text in the right place. I finished my bedroom set a couple months ago and I am finally getting around to posting it. I used this painting and glazing methods. I was inspired from this blog I love. It took a lot of work and I wasn't sure that I liked it at first. But it has grown on me and I wish I could find myself a round night stand but for now I have nothing. So my room is not finished as you can see by the mess in the closet area.

The first picture is the mirror that came with the set and even though I think it's beautiful it was too much for the room. Especially since I already have plenty of mirrors. I sold it on Craigslist. I mostly wanted you to see the before color. It weighs at least 80 pounds.

I didn't polyurethane after I painted which I should probably do in the future.

I asked my mom to make me a doily because I knew it would be perfect under a pitcher. I love how it looks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I've been trying to slow down and enjoy my food since I am eating smaller meals throughout the day and since I have IBS I have to stick to the foods that my digestive will be happy with. A lot of times I am eating while doing other things. Like browsing the blogs I follow.

I tried these new sweet potato fries and even though I haven't really taken to sweet potatoes in the past I love them. They aren't cheap and I finally looked at the fat content and YIKES they are a little too fattening. And turns out I was eating 2 servings at once. I'm sad about that because now I have to consider them a treat. Bummer

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fun Halloween Decor

I found this cute idea for Halloween on this blog. So I painted this frame and mat black and printed it out. That's the fastest I've ever completed a project.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birthday Present

I just finished these for my sister's birthday tomorrow. I am ashamed out how ragged my cutting board looks. It didn't hold up well. I guess it means I use it a lot.

I bought this fabric a long time ago and just love it but haven't found the right project for it. I think this will be good for fall. I hope she likes them. I have a lot more of this fabric and always envisioned it making the cutest apron.

I keep meaning to make these coasters for myself. So I decided each time I make a set for someone else I will make one extra for myself. I kept the lumpiest looking one of this set. I will only have one for now but that will work. I will use it by the side of the sink for my cup so that DH knows to not put it in the dishwasher.

Two towels and four double sided coasters.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm going to find a reason to make these...

You can find the tutorial on how to make these here.


I want these, I want these...

goldscissors.html.jpg You can find these here. They are so pretty and I really want them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Starting school has been a little rough for Ballerina. Tuesday was her first official day. She was so excited all morning and couldn't wait to get to school. We got there and she was fine but when it was time for me to leave she kept begging me to stay. I stayed as long as I could but when I went to leave she started screaming and tried to run out the door. I caught her before she hit the door, pushed her back towards the teacher and walked out. I could hear her screaming but I knew my staying would only make it worse.

When I went to pick her up her teacher told me she had a bad day. She was so disruptive they sent her to the principal and they talked with her, had her draw a picture of me and played a game. I know they were trying to make her comfortable but this just seemed like rewards for bad behavior. I guess I viewed the behavior as a manipulation for getting what she wants and they viewed it as real anxiety about school. She cries and throws lots of fits at home so I can't really take most of them seriously. After she got home I talked to her about how she can't act that way at school. She said she didn't want to go back and she kept trying to get away so she could go cry in her room. That's what I usually let her do when she starts a fit. I told her that her dad was not going to be happy about the way she acted and she said, "Let's not tell him." I had to hold back a smile.

I didn't want to deal with a crying fit each day and I didn't want her teacher to have to deal with her either but she is so stubborn. DH and I are more of the tough love type parenting. He said he would talk to her teacher and tell her she needed to be more forceful with Val but I just had a feeling that would take a long time to correct her behavior or maybe even make it worse. Usually I give her the two options; one desirable and one not so desirable. For example, she didn't want to wear a pair of pants that I wanted her to wear to the airport. So I told her she could wear these pants or go to the airport naked. Her choice. She chose pants.

I felt like there was a more immediate solution to the fit throwing at school but somehow do it in a way that would avoid a struggle on my part or the teacher. So I gave her my pink bracelet that I got at the grocery store for breast cancer awareness. I wrote "I love you! Valory" on it and told her that the bracelet would help her to remember that I love her and she doesn't have to cry at school. And that I would come back for her when the day was over. When I dropped her off yesterday she went in all by herself and when I picked her up she said she didn't cry all day and it was because of the bracelet.

I am so happy she didn't cry and it helped to ease her anxiety but I still wonder if the bracelet really worked. I wonder if she really feels confident that she did good at school or if she thinks it's a magic bracelet that makes all her troubles go away.
Mya didn't care that she didn't have a first day of middle school picture because she's not a little kid anymore. She is busy running from class to class and she loves her home room teacher. She told me a conversation she had with a girl at school. This girl told her she doesn't deserve to turn twelve because she hasn't dated yet. Mya is anxiously awaiting her birthday in November. Then the girl called her a lesbian. I tried not to over react but I did tell her that its okay to like boys but she didn't need to spend her time worrying about "going out" with anyone, holding hands or kissing. She made a disgusted sound when I said kissing which means my plan is working. I try to be all kissy with DH so it will seem like something weird grownups do and if she ever thinks about kissing a boy she'll have this image of her parents in her head. I know it won't work forever but it will buy us some time.

I asked her what she said to her but she said the girl got busy talking to her other friend about their boyfriends. I tried not to be too pushy but I told her that girl was wrong to talk to her that way. And I told her if that girl really felt that way she was going to get herself into a lot of trouble. Mya for now is more concerned with reading as much as possible and being smart than she is with boys. I am 90% sure of who she has a crush on but I will never ask because I don't want to ruin the secret for her.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chore Cards

I got these from a blog I ran across and downloaded them and then added a bunch of mine own. I have four kids so I printed them in four colors. I had them laminated and punched a hole in one side. Each day I put on the ring the things I want them to do. So I have a whole stack of each color that is not being used that day. I put a rubber band around them. Today is our first day. Once they finished something they put it in the basket. Mya took hers apart and put them in the order she planned on doing them. There are also reward cards so it is good incentive for them to get the jobs done so we can have some fun. I am thinking of making some for myself and DH. I printed mine in black ink so they came out kind of dark. I think I'll end up printing some more later because I keep thinking of more things they can do as chores or rewards. For example, I forgot to do a "Bath or Shower" card and as a reward "Time with Dad." Once they have done a chore they take it off the ring and put it in the basket.

I made 3 snack time cards for their morning, afternoon and evening snack. Since school got out I feel like the kids are always eating so I have been lazy about making lunch or I don't feel like it because I know they won't be hungry. I know it's shocking but my kids are terrible at regulating a healthy diet. Hopefully this will help me keep better track of what everyone is eating. Mya and Cory can do all their jobs themselves but the cards are good for Em and Ballerina because it helps me to remember what they need to get done. Ballerina is trying to act like the cards don't apply to her.

Em wanted to have cake for her morning snack but I told her that cake is a treat and she would have to trade in her icecream card if she wanted it and then I gave her some ideas for a snack instead. She chose to have a healthy snack and not give up her icecream for later.

One of their rewards is a trip to the dollar store which I probably will put on their rings for Friday so if they've been doing a good job on their chores all week I will give them a dollar to spend so they won't have to use their allowance. No, I am not taking them to the dollar store every week.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fun things you can find when you read a lot of blogs

I don't remember who's blog I found this on but it had the link to this fun website to make Google Maps envelopes. Have fun trying it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What I have been giving away...

The blue ones I made recently for my friend Anth's birthday. I got this idea from Homemade by Jill. She does a lot of cute things that are really quite simple. So I started looking around for cute little things to go with them to complete the gift. Anth's had a small blue vase which I gave to her on her actual birthday but I had to finish the cloths and coasters later because there were just too many things to do and not enough time. I did pintucks on the blue one which was also an inspiration from Jill. Pintucks are so tailored looking and anyone who can sew straight lines can do pintucks. I love them.

I should have taken better pictures of the coasters. This green one was for my sister Staci's birthday. I found the tea pot at Goodwill and the fabric I had bought a while back just because I liked it. When I sent it I got matching jelly beans to put in the tea pot. It was really fun to put together.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What I found in the nightstand when I was taking it apart...

I think that this night stand might have belonged to Macgyver before my parents because these look like items that could be used to escape from a tight spot. That's a rifle bullet, penny and an Advil. The only thing missing is a stick of gum.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I am painting...



Do you like how I didn't even make our bed for the picture? We got a beautiful bedroom set for free from my parents but the dark woodgrain was too dark for my room decor and a bit dated. I used off white and I think you can appreciate all the details of the furniture better with the lighter color. I had a bit of a problem putting hardware back on but I was able to make it work. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the finish (brushed nickel) that I chose but ended up loving it. I can't wait to finish the bed frame and the large dresser with mirror. More pictures to follow of course. The set only came with one nightstand so this is on DH's side of the bed. I would like to find a small pedestal table for my side. For now all my things are on the floor.

If you want to learn how I did this go here. This night stand used one can of primer and two cans of paint. If I wasn't using the faux technique then I think I would have used at least another half can. Painting from dark to light takes A LOT of paint. It wasn't hard once I got the hang of it but it is time consuming. ***Extra time needed if you are a perfectionist!

Here's my tips:
  • Make sure you keep the paint at room temp. I was doing all my work in the garage where it's 50 to 60 degrees and that's not a good place to store the paint right before you are going to use it.
  • You must be in a well ventilated area. Wear a dust mask. I think I may even plug my nose with tissue before I start the next piece of furniture because I felt like my nose got burned out.
  • Keep all your hardware in a baggy or can so that none of it gets lost. I kept all my tools and hardware in a #10 can and that worked out well.
  • Remember to cover an area way wider than you will be painting.
p.s. I almost forgot tell you the coolest thing about this little nightstand. The top of it slide forward and in the back is a secret compartment for valuables. We have very few of those but now we have a cool hiding spot. The kids know about it so it doesn't really work for that.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I put up today...

(That's my lazy Saturday do.)
Mya and I put together this fabric covered cork board. So here is what I did.

1. I google searched "fabric covered cork board."
2. I used my 40% off coupon to buy the cork board at Michael's and another 40% off coupon to buy the spray on adhesive.
3. Bought the fabric and ric rac at JoAnn's.
4. A couple weeks later decided to get it done and it took less than two hours.
5. Cut the fabric using the inside measurements of the cork board plus leaving an extra two inches on each edge to fold under.
6. We pressed out the fabric and pressed two perpendicular sides under 2 inches.
7. We layed out newspaper on the floor of the garage for our work space and then used blue painter's tape around the frame of the cork board to protect it from the adhesive spray.
8. Sprayed the cork board with spray adhesive using sweeping motions back and forth.
9. Used the pre-folded sides of the fabric to line up on the edges first then smoothed the fabric across. Once it was pretty smooth I had to fold back the other two edges and fold them under then press it back down. Removed the painter's tape
10. I don't think I sprayed on enough glue but I did end up putting staples right along the edge of the folded fabric which ended up being mostly covered up by the ric rac.
11. Then we used fabric glue to put the ric rac on along the edge.
12. Last we hung it and replaced the girls fabric names around the edge which ended up putting too many little holes in the walls which was annoying. I even used the stud finder to make sure the hooks were nice and sturdy.

A couple weeks before I even started collecting all the supplies I found these cute fabric covered push pins at the dollar store and they ended up matching the fabric perfectly.

I think if you wanted you wouldn't have to fold the edge under 2 inches but then you would probably end up having to trim your fabric in the process because of the way the fabric stretches and pulls. You can't pre-fold all your edges for this same reason.

If I don't count the cost of the spray adhesive, which will be handy for other projects, then I think the whole thing cost me under $15. Once site I read a woman looks for old cork boards at garage sales and Goodwill which would be a much better deal.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What I made today...

I found this idea at Purl Bee and then I went here and ordered some felt and today I made this in about 30 minutes but only because I was taking my time and it was my first one. I think I could put one together in about 15 minutes. At first I was disappointed mine didn't turn out so great but then I decided it looks a lot like ones from Purl Bee and I shouldn't be so critical. I think I am going to make one more and send them to my niece for her birthday. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

13 kids

We had a little dose of what it would be like living in a house with a large family. We invited my cousins and their families over for dinner Saturday night before Valentine's day. We had 13 kids and 6 adults. We had Hawaiian haystacks for dinner which turned out perfectly because everyone could eat what they liked. We decorated and ate sugar cookies and played a fun candy bar game. We had a great time and I can't wait to do it again. With all those kids we didn't have any fights and they all played together really well. It reminded me of being a kid and playing with my cousins which was what I did everyday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things keep breaking

Every month I think I am going to save a little money but it's not to be. Here's the list of broken things that will eventually need to be replaced.

Desktop computer

Carpet cleaner

Washing machine


Brakes on the Honda

Van (working right now but I don't trust it)

I think that's it for now but I am just waiting for something else to break. When the washer over-flowed yesterday I just laughed. It's still kind of working but I don't think it will last much longer. And I have no idea why my dryer has lasted so long.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dream analyzer?

All my dreams lately are in my childhood home but in every dream the house has been remodeled and is slightly different, better in fact than when we lived in it. I loved our renovated school house but the dreams are all anxious and bizarre. What do you think that means? It's messing with my head.

I like my other reoccurring dream where I'm in high school again and I can never figure out which locker is mine but no matter what combination I try it always opens any locker I try. It reminds me how I never ever would want to relive my high school life. Yay for being grown up.

Another reoccurring dream is where DH makes me go back to college in another state to finish my degree but at some point I figure out there's no way he can work and take care of the kids. Who is going to take care of the kids? And I don't want to go back to college right now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DH is a school teacher so he got to be home for two weeks during the winter break. I love it when he is home but quite often two things happen; he gets sick and we have some sort of disagreement. I have to admit the offense is usually my fault for over-reacting to something and he finally loses his patience with me. He is the most patient person I know. 2009 was no fights for the Christmas Break. It really is a Christmas miracle. Either I was extra good or he was extra patient with me. We are trying to get better at communicating since we both have a tendency to be passive-aggressive. He didn't get sick so I have to say it was the best Christmas break ever. We were both sad for him to go back to work yesterday. And we are a little tired because we stayed up late every night and slept in every morning. It was fabulous. We can't fall asleep at a reasonable time but we still have to get up early. Hopefully in a few more days we'll adjust back to real life. I miss having a grown up to talk to during the day.

I almost forgot to mention that he did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen everyday. Now I have to do it. Rrrr.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Which is worse?

Since my DH is home for two weeks during the winter break we head to the family cabin for a few days. It's fun except that we usually don't sleep very well and this time the hot water heater stopped working. I spent most the time reading Phantom by Susan Kay. It's a bit cheesy but very entertaining. Especially if you are in the woods at night.

I had taken a shower Monday and Tuesday we headed to the cabin. I thought I'd take a shower that night. No hot water, no shower. We weren't planning on coming home until Thursday. By Wednesday afternoon I was so gross that I could smell my own stench. I am always cold, I hate it and I am quite whiny about it too. But I thought I could be tough enough for a few minutes to get clean or at least not as disgusting. I stuck my head in the shower and I could hold it in there for about 10 seconds at a time before the back of my head started to freeze. I'd pull my head out and let it thaw then do it again. After that I wrapped my hair up in a towel then I jumped in the shower and twirled around twice, jumped out to thaw and did it again. I may have done that three times.

Now I know what I hate worse. What is it for you, being dirty or being cold?