Monday, November 23, 2009

For Me

It took almost an entire year and sewing a lot of tote bags but I finally reached my goal. Meet my new friend... the Canon Rebel EOS XSI.

Okay, I have to be honest. Not all the money came from selling tote bags. I did have to toss in some extra for the additional super cool lense and other accessories. YAHOO!

Now I need to enroll in an adult education photography class so I can learn how to use this baby.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Glitter + Pine Cones = Christmas Decorations

I have never met a pine cone I didn't like. If they have glitter on them... even better! In fact, I use them for decorations in my house all year long. There are vintage canning jars filled with them lining the top of my kitchen cabinets.

Somehow, I have convinced my family to let me decorate the family room for Christmas in a natural theme. That means - PINE CONES!

My wonderful husband has even been taking walks with me at the parks and on the trails to help build our collection. Today was declared: Pine Cone Glittering Day!

Here are the supplies.

We had an assembly line of plates with glue and glitter.

The whole family got involved and helped roll the pine cones in glitter.
During the walks in the park we also collected other stuff like birch bark. I attempted to cover a styrofoam ball with birch but it didn't work out. My husband compared it to a child's sucker that was dropped during a hike in the woods. For some reason, I couldn't get the birch bark to stick to the ball. Hmmmm... it seemed easy in theory.

Now we just have to wait for them to dry. I don't know what I will do with them yet but I have a few ideas...
hanging on the tree,
tied to vintage red velvet ribbon as garland,
or displayed in an apothecary jar.
The next batch will be gold.

Friday, November 20, 2009


When Greta was in preschool I made her a fleece poncho. She loved it and wore it all the time.

Maybe it was nostalgia but I NEEDED to see my girls in ponchos again. I must admit, they aren't as in love with them as when they were three or four years ago but gosh... they are cute (the ponchos and the kids).

Note: I used a pattern to make these. However, the pattern called for gobs more fleece than was needed so... there will be matching scarves and hats when I finish some of my current projects.

Art Gallery

I have been slowly working on updating the girls' room. One of the projects is an Art Gallery. Before I pain stakingly filled approximately 50 nails holes in their wall and painted, I used to frame their artwork and hang it all over the wall. After a while it got out of control. The frames were mismatched and the girls wanted to change the pictures. So, I came up with this idea for an Art Gallery.

No more holes in the wall, no more frames knocked off of the wall, and they can change the pictures as often as they like. It was simple.

Buy a piece of trim from the hardware store. They even cut it to the size you need.

Then I spray painted it black... then almond... then white... and then I finally decided on black.

Next, I cut some metal roof sheeting in half and glued it on with Liquid Nails. The metal had some sharp edges so after a quick trip to the hardware store for some 1/4 inch half round trim, a little more Liquid Nails, and the sharp edges were covered. Then I spray painted it black again. Note: the paint is already chipping off of the metal so if I were to make another one I would consider painting the metal with paint that is intended for metal or just leave it silver.

There are all kinds of cute magnets around but do you think I could have gone with the easy solution? Nope. Hobby Lobby had these adorable push pins that matched the colors of their bedspread and curtains. The sharp pointes were snipped off and magnets were glued onto the back. Did you know that magnets come in different strengths? They do. My girls often have heavy pieces of art so I used the super duper strong magnets.

Before I screwed it to the wall I put felt circles on the back so I wouldn't mess up my newly painted walls with paint transfer.

Lastly, I orded a vinyl "Art Gallery" sign and painted a sign I already had black. VIOLA! The girls have their very own art gallery to display their creative pieces that cost less than $20.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Let the race begin! This deployment has really messed up my OCD-ness. I know, the deployment is over but I am still recovering.
I normally have Christmas presents taken care of by now. I like to get everything purchased so when the holiday "really" comes a knockin' I can enjoy the baking, the decorating, and the events like Disney on Ice! In fact, I haven't started addressing Christmas cards. I don't have a picture of the girls picked out yet. Maybe I could send this one - it is only a few years old. No one would notice. Right?

What do I have ready so far... NOTHING.

I had the brilliant idea of sending all my family boxes of yummy Girl Scout cookies wrapped in beautiful bows. But wait... Girl Scout cookies don't go on sale until after Christmas. WHAT!?!?!

Now I have a serious problem. I am going to have to sit down and concentrate about what I can make (I like to make at least one small handmade gift for the family and family) or buy that is easily shipped and can be enjoyed by all. But maybe, if all my creative friends send me their ideas I won't have to try so hard to think. For some reason my critical thinking skills went down hill like an Olympic bobsledder after I had my kids. I need help.

So, what about dishtowels with a cute applique on them? Aprons? or is that too gender specific? Maybe I should have a crafting get together one day.

That's all I have so far. That is how my mind is working - it is either on the yellow light or the red light.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Poppy Cat

Our sweet Poppy cat.

Little Totes

A friend requested this little bag for her daughter's baptism. It was the first time I had made one this small. I think it is about 10x8.

I love it! My girls loved it too and they want one.

I just hope I saved the pattern I made so I can easily make some more.

Welcome Home

Gene has been home for about three or four weeks now. The year that Gene was in Iraq and Afghanistan was tough on us all. As with the other deployemnts, I learned to treasure the little things like phone calls, e-mail, and getting to see the girls smile and have fun knowing that Gene was missing out and missing us.
It is hard to explain the emotions when your soldier is coming home. A year is a long time. In fact, just posting this makes me tear up and my stomach hurts a little bit. There is a bumpy adustment time for us. We have to learn to live together as a family again. The girls are doing and saying things that Gene doesn't recognize. I don't store the pots and pans in the same place.
Now, life is getting back to normal. The pictures of the redeployment really show how happy the girls were to see Gene. I especially love the one of them trying to carry his backpack so they could get him home.
Oh ya' the passengers and their families at the airport were so kind. This was the first time we didn't have a huge redeployment ceremony to experience. It was just us. Gene received many thanks for his service and the nice lady who took our family picture was so sweet... she cried. Towards the end of this deployment I was a little bitter with the Army. There were too many unknowns and frustrations for my liking. It helps when people say thank you - even though it is his job.