Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vinyl + Wooden Letters + Paint = Make-over

My kids' rooms in our new house needed a little make-over. Paige's room was kind of dark blue. We tried to just live with it and brighten it up by using pretty, girlie, decorations, but it just didn't cut it. So we painted it a bright yellow (called Summer Sun), which is quite similar to the color of her old room.

I wanted to update more of her room, too. I knew I wanted to do something with the wooden letters that have made up her name since before she was born. I remember picking these letters out and painting them vibrant, primary colors while I was still pregnant. They've hung on both girls' walls ever since.

So, to update her name to match her room and her age a little better, I decided to paint them and make them pop a little by placing them within these "bubbles". At first I thought I'd trace out some circles and paint them in by hand. But then I had a light bulb moment:


Enter Marni, at Sassy Sites. I knew she sold vinyl letters, so I e-mailed her and asked her if she could cut just plain circles. She kindly said she could and even went out and got the colors I needed. Yay!! Look how it turned out:

I love the dimension that the wood-on-vinyl gives. I used blue tacky putty to adhere the wood to the vinyl. It's repositionable and holds well. In fact, that stuff has kept the letters hanging tight for 6 years.

I think this was a nice little update. Paige is happy with it, too. Now, on to Madison's!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fibers on Friday: My First Amigurumi

Hello friends! Happy Fibers on Friday! I'm glad you're here to join this party dedicated to knitting and crocheting! I had a BLAST this week working on my very first Amigurumi!! Thanks to Kathleen at A Surprise Every Time [..."and it's hard to say if they're happy, but they don't seem much to mind...."] for leading me in that direction!! Maybe someday I'll be as good as her, but NEVER in the story telling...she's a master! Plus, she's an Ani fan....I guess she just rocks my world :-)

I used this monster pattern from Crafty is Cool. It was fairly easy, but I'll admit I had a little trouble with the magic loop thingy to start. I've got it down now. I knit these pieces a little each night. My kids were so intrigued to find out what they'd end up being. But, I wouldn't tell them! So, last night I had a couple of tops and bottoms and the intention of finishing them today while they were at school. Well, I finished these guys, but not a fourth (to make it even for both kids), so they're still in the dark......hahahaha! I love the suspense!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: If You Build It, They Will Come

Fairy Forts, Flower and Rock Circles, and Love Notes.

Sharing this WW at 5 Minutes for Mom

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meatless Monday: My Gourmet Pizza Creation

Homemade pizza was on the menu the other night. I had the dough made and rising when I realized I had no tomatoes to make a sauce. No problem, we'll go white. I started grabbing things I had on hand and came up with this delicious pizza.

Start with the dough of your choice. I made this food processor dough found on the Cuisinart website, but I substituted 1/3 of the white flour with whole wheat. This is not a huge substitution, but wow does it ever change the dough. I mean it was good...fine...delicious. But, it really added a lot of texture and substance to the dough.

I par-bake the crust first, then add toppings, then finish off baking.

I topped it with:
  • caramelized onions
  • mushrooms, which I lightly sautee'd along with 1 chopped garlic clove with the onions when they were almost finished.
  • sliced pear. Slightly under-ripe worked well. Sliced it thinly and did not cook it at all before adding it to pizza.
  • a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • toasted pecans (walnuts would also be great)
  • a sprinkle of Italian seasoning since I had no fresh herbs
  • a little mozzarella cheese on top (gorganzola would have been time)
This pizza was really, really tasty and wholesome and wonderfully filling.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fibers on Friday: More Crochet

Hello friends! Happy Fibers on Friday! I'm glad you're here to join this party dedicated to knitting and crocheting (or anything else fiber related...sewing?).

I made another crocheted washcloth this week, along with plugging along on my Multnomah Shawl. I'll show you the progress on that next week.

Guys, I really love how quickly crocheting goes!! I love that I have a finished project to show you (albeit merely a washcloth), while still making slow progress on my shawl.

This is the Grit Stitch Washcloth from the Sandy Shore Washcloth Set found on Lion Brand's website. The one I did last week was also from this set; the Double Crochet Washcloth.

I need to move onto something else now....suggestions for a nice step up from washcloths??

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Played with Paper!

My card stash is almost depleted. I MUST get to work at creating more! We have a little boy's birthday party to go to tonight, so I had a little fun making a BOY CARD!! My go-to source of inspiration is Mama Cow Creations because she is the GODDESS of everything paper. She highlighted this week's Card Patterns Sketch and sweetly encouraged everyone to join in. So I did!!

Here's the sketch

And here's my take:

I used Cosmo Cricket's Cogsmo paper kit. I don't know where most people get their Cosmo Cricket paper, but I've gotten all mine through Miss Paper Jane. They always include packets of free stuff in your order. In fact, this chip board die cut robot was in a free pack! They're awesome!

I had fun putting that little guy together...adding googly eyes....and wire antennae with beads! This card is heavy with all those elements, but it will be hand-delivered, so it's ok. I plan on making some duplicates of this card, but toning it down a little in weight so it can go through the mail with ease.

Ahhhhh, that felt good! Hop on over to Card Patterns to see all the other paper playing going on! And hey...join in!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Little Pop of Color for my Bedroom

This new master bedroom of ours is huge. Huge by our standards, anyway. Bigger than any bedroom we've ever had! Accentuated by not having to have my craft space in it anymore, too! Further accentuated by the fact that the closets are in the bathroom (totally weird to me). So this leaves four....big....blank....walls to decorate and make look not so blank!

I'm not doing so good with that task yet....but one little think I did was painting this coat tree with a nice vibrant color.

I've had this coat tree since 2000, our 5th wedding anniversary. It was the first gift my husband gave me that follows the traditional anniversary gift standards. It's been unfinished for all this time.

Note the gorgeous art from my talented friend, Brandi. She painted that for me in 1999.

And now it's nice and bright and RED and I LOVE it!! I think it picks up on the red in my quilt wonderfully. Now, I'd like to find one of the paisley prints found in my quilt to make some curtains!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fibers on Friday: A Horse of a Different Color

Hello friends! I am so excited about this Fibers on Friday! I'm glad you're here to join this party dedicated to knitting and crocheting (or anything else fiber related...sewing?).

Ever since I started hosting this party and looking through all of your wonderful projects I've had a little tiny itch to learn how to crochet. There are so many darling projects out there that you have shown me and I just feel a little limited by not being able to jump in and crochet a thing or two.

So, like I don't have enough to do right now (like us all); like finishing up my craft room....actually crafting in my craft room, knitting my mom's shawl, treating my kids to their very abbreviated summer by having as many fun days as possible before school, working on my list of furniture pieces I'd like to refinish.....I decided to learn how to crochet!! My kids say I'm "coo coo nuts"!! I'll go with that one!

Yesterday I sat down with the lap top, opened two pages on Lion Brand's website; Learn to Crochet and a washcloth pattern, and I got to learnin'!

This was the first washcloth pattern I picked. I ended up unraveling it at this point because it wasn't turning our great. I'm finding the stitch definition in crochet a little more ambiguous than in knitting. So, when it called for "slip a stitch in one half double crochet...then half double crochet in the next stitch" I wasn't really sure I was ever in the right stitch.

No problem. I chose another pattern. I'm liking this one much better. It's mostly double crochet and now I'm on to the edging which is single crochet and making corners. Lots of learning here! As you can see I started out with my chain kind of tight, so the cloth is not perfectly square. That's OK.

Also, my edges are kind of wonky. Like I'm not ending each row the same way each time. I don't know about that. Any advice? It's just not as cut and dry as knitting. Or maybe it's just me.

Anyway....I'm really enjoying this new endeavor! And in all actuality it's not an entirely new endeavor. When I was a teenager, I knew how to crochet. I made a couple afghans, but the only thing I knew was how to make a Granny Square Afghan...and I probably wasn't doing it entirely right. So, this has brought me back a little and it's given me the sweet opportunity to dig out my Grandmother's old crochet hooks and think about her while I crochet....imagine her hands on these hooks...and it makes me feel peaceful and in tune with her.

Look at this old stuff in her sewing chest. That old beat up wooded round thing was used for darning socks. It looks like that one was used a lot! The three pick-like things are needle holders (made from comment). Her needlepoint eye-glass case with her name and lots of other old tools.

Meanwhile, my girlies are really asking to sit down and knit more and more often. Paige does about 5 stitches and then asks me to finish the row. Madison, on the other hand, will sit and knit a few rows at a time. Look at her awesome progress:

Oh...and I almost forgot...I did finish last week's knitted washcloth!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sidewalk Paint: Homemade Style

I had a case of Crayola Sidewalk paint that I bought at a thrift store. We used it up quickly! My girls had a lot of fun with it and I knew I'd be able to make our own....cheaply!! And without having 4 more plastic bottles to recycle.

A quick little search brought me to this site with a recipe.

Bada Bing Bada Boom....we made our own.

It was quick, easy, and fun! And it worked!

Just mix 1/4 cup of Corn Starch with 1/4 cup of water and add food coloring to suit your taste.

I will say the green and blue needed more than one layer to be vibrant, but honestly, so did the store bought stuff. Also, this stuff is Slippery When Wet!! So, be careful if it rains shortly after painting!! We painted in the garage since it's so blazing hot and sunny...we were in the shade and had a fan blowing on us. Daddy had to hose it all down so he didn't slip while trying to work in there!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fibers on Friday: I Scored!

Happy Fibers on Friday! Welcome to this fun party dedicated to knitting, crocheting, and anything else fiber related! I was just in my craft room...organizing and unpacking...and I was startled into realizing it's Thursday!! Yikes! I gotta do Fibers on Friday!!

It's a little late. I don't feel like taking pics of the minimal knitting progress I've made this week, but I will show you my awesome score from today and how my craft room is coming along.

Last week I was at Hobby Lobby. Yes!! Hobby Lobby!! I should have added that "spot" to my list of spots from this post!! There was a scrapbooking organizing cubby type shelf thingy way back in a "clearance" corner. The box was torn up and it was the only one there. Anyway, I talked myself out of buying it, although I'm desperate for some organization in my craft room.

So, today we made our way back to Hobby Lobby and I told myself that if the kit was still back there, it was meant to be mine. And here she is in only part of her glory:

Only part of her glory because this thing is so big I don't even have room for it. And I have a ROOM now!! So, I just assembled it to fit my needs right now and all the other parts will be stored or used somewhere else until a later date. It's so modular and versatile. I took the doors off this closet and have bins with fabric tucked under the desk it's sitting on. A perfect little nook.

Spare parts

The best part: it was only $47 marked down from $146!! Whoah...what was I thinking to pass that up the first time?'s the rest of the room waiting to be put together. I my wildest dreams...thought I'd have a room dedicated to crafting. Now I'm having visions of actually having one of those *to-swoon-over* pretty crafting spots we always see in magazines. Haha....not really, but I'm QUITE thrilled with this little spot of mine!

Here is the custom made scrapbooking table that my talented man built me. This is the only space I had to work with in our old house...and it was in our bedroom! I love it, though, and it will still be put to good use. And it will finally be painted!!

And there's even a little room for exercising tucked back there in the corner. Nothing like sweating while you're gazing around your room dreaming of what to do next! Maybe it's just what I'll need when get those creative juices flowing!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Homemade Cleaner: Soft Scrub

Homemade cleaning products are the latest craZe, aren't they? I have my favorites....I'm loyal to my homemade laundry detergent, my homemade deodorant, my vinegar in a spray bottle for windows and most surfaces, my baking soda to clean baked on grime and ovens. This one caught my eye for some reason and I have to say I am so glad I gave it a try. It is


I saw it here on Make it Give it. I mixed it up, substituting the lavender oil with lemon oil since it's the only one I had.

Here's my grimy sink I know you would just love to see. I cleaned it when we moved in, but not very thoroughly....just enough to be comfortable that I wasn't washing dishes in someone else's funk. And then it kind of got neglected as we settled in and unpacked.

But then I put this fabulous smelling cleanser to work and it shined up in a jiffy and smelled good!!

Give it a try! You'll love it, I know it. And as a funny little side note, after I mixed it up, one of my kids took a big whiff of it. She loved the way it smelled and said...." I smell mint"....yup, there's mint. Then she said, "I also smell Tea Tree Oil" LOL! My six year old not only knows what Tea Tree Oil is, but can pick it out of a line-up!! Love it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Monday, but not Meatless

I have to share this creation I made the other morning, although it's not meatless. It would be just as delicious as a vegetarian meal, so go ahead and try it for Meatless Monday sometime....I know I'll make it again!

I took two portabello mushroom caps and sauteed them for a few minutes with olive oil.
I had deli ham that was sliced a little thicker than I prefer for sandwiches, so I grilled up two slices.
I thickly sliced a nice, ripe tomato.
I scrambled 4 eggs.

Then I layered it all up on top of the mushrooms and topped with cheese and fresh parsley.

Wow! It was a delicious, satisfying breakfast. I can think of several other ways to make this meal; with feta and spinach, for example.....and more sauteed veggies mixed into the eggs. Yum!