Thursday, May 31, 2012

The best intentions...

... always seem to get hit with a semi-truck.

I have had one heck of a week.

Our doggie is out of the woods concerning his eye, but there's still about a 30% chance we may end up with a one-eyed pirate dog. I spend more time giving that dog medication than I'd like to admit. Not to mention we found a needle in his leg that was a catheter that was supposed to have been taken out from his surgery on APRIL 30th. Yeah, I was not amused. Luckily, the vet's office was pretty on the ball and helped us out so that I didn't have to go crazy Jessi on them.

Next, we have Lily's last week of school. Tomorrow, my baby is done with the first grade. I swear it feels like I was wondering how the hell it was only September just a few weeks ago, but time flies. She's had pajama day, hat day, field day, water day, talent shows... man. It's hard to keep up with the end of school year madness. We've also enrolled her in tumbling and a ballet class for summer. I'm really excited about that because I really don't want a couch potato zombie child for the summer.

We also have the pleasure of Nic's mother coming to visit this weekend! Which means a crazy mad dash of house cleaning and organizing. She hasn't come to visit since Sagey Poo was born, so I'm excited to see her. I've lucked out and gotten an awesome mother-in-law. My sister is also coming home (YAY!) and so this weekend is going to be full of happy, family chaos.

Cleaning with a carbuncle that is otherwise called Sage makes for some interesting chore time by the way. It's quite funny to try and fold laundry when the baby in your lap keeps trying to eat it. I tried giving her a toy to chew on to distract her, but she's too smart for that. She wants to chew and slobber on whatever Mama has in hand.

I haven't finished teacher thank you cards, my rag quilt, or any of the other fun stuff I was planning for this week. Go figure. I should hopefully have some time tonight to get those cards done because, hey, last day of school tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Magical Melty Beady Bowls

I found out today as Lily and I chattered our way home from school that tomorrow is her teacher's birthday. She was pretty insistent that we get her a present and I couldn't disagree because this teacher has done amazing things with Lily and has been wonderful all year long. Every day as the first graders pile out of the room past her, she smiles and hugs every single one. Ever since I started working on my teaching degree, I pay attention to which teachers do things I would do in my, as of now, imaginary classroom. And while I would probably be labeled a weirdo if I hugged my high school students, the simple patience to take a moment to acknowledge each one every day is absolutely going to be filed away for future use.

Anyway, when I asked Lily what she wanted to give, she told me something that she had to make with her imagination. It took me a few minutes, but I thought of something. Please welcome what Lily named Magic Melty Beady Bowls.

It's a pretty simple concept. You take plastic beads, arrange them, throw them in the oven, shape and cool.

Handy for me, I still have a huge box of pony beads. When I say huge, I mean a tool box that unfolds and has tons of little compartments. I've had the box since I was younger and spent hours making candy bracelets with friends of mine. It refuses to empty itself of beads.

Since this was my first time attempting this, I wrapped my cookie sheet in foil. The plastic didn't stick, but I make a lot of cookies at my house and I need my cookie sheets. Lily and I each made our circles. I was stuck in pattern mode, but she just kind of went wild. She really liked the glitter beads.

I popped them in the oven at about 450 degrees for ten minutes or so. I kept checking them until they were totally melted. I've read lots of complaints about the fumes this creates. I opened my back door and had a fan going and it wasn't a problem for us. It also gave me an excuse to use my newest Scentsy scent. :) Once they were out of the oven, I shaped them with oven mitts on. They're pretty hot and harden quickly, so I put them back in the oven once or twice until the shapes were what I wanted.  I let them cool and that was that!

Lily wanted hers to more bowl shaped so her teacher could use it for paper clips or whatever. I love the random colors!

Here it is all wrapped up in fabric since Lily doesn't believe it counts as a present unless it's wrapped.

We kept the crafty going by making a card to go with it. I can't exactly remember where I got the general concept for the card, but it is made with an apple stamp.

Lily loved this one too. She adores painting and she was chomping at the bit to get to this part. She had a paintbrush in her hand for an hour waiting to get to it. Haha. She did a few practice runs and then we stamped the card, I added  the stem, leaf, and seeds, and the twine knot and message. I am so making more of these for a teacher stash. They are perfectly adorable.

I had an absolute blast doing all of this with Lily today. It was so much more fun than watching My Little Pony for the umpteenth time. I want to try and make bowls out of vinyl records or green army men. The pictures I have seen are awesome. I get the impression that if you have anything small and plastic, it works, but I'm a little hesitant to just try melting things in my oven all willy nilly. I hope her teacher likes the gift and I have to find a place or use for my pretty rainbow bowl. I'm sure this is another one we'll be doing again as Lily wants one for her room and I think they would also make cool coasters or light catchers.

I have linked this post to....

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lazy Weekends.

This weekend has been lovely.

Friday afternoon, Lily got "the biggest cookie dough blizzard there is Mom!" All year we have been struggling with her behavior in school. My daughter is strong willed, full of scary logic, and entirely too smart for a 1st grader. If she doesn't understand why she has to do it, or doesn't like the reason she's been told, she won't do it. Also, the reason "because I said so" doesn't work. Ha. It's one of the most frustrating and wonderful things about her. No worries about a lack of individuality or confidence with my Lily, she's got it down. So this week was the very first week in the whole school year that she got all stickers and met her HUGS goals for each day. Pretty much that translates to she did AWESOME. Though there's only two weeks of school left, I'll take it. So off we went to grab blizzards as a sweetie treat.

Saturday had us playing with blow pens (do you remember those?? So fun!) and coloring for hours. When that got boring, I broke out construction paper, scissors, and staples to make a paper chain.

A child after my own heart, she headed straight to a rainbow pattern. What was more surprising to me was that she was able to put the colors in the correct order from red to violet all by herself. Remember how I said the girl was smart? Once we went through about a hundred staples, I broke out the tape and we went through nearly a roll of that. She just kept going. I am totally remembering this one for the next time she's bored.

After we spent the day being creative, she went off to a sleep over and I had little miss Sage all to myself. We snuggled and slept only to wake up with the husband came home and then went back to snuggling and sleeping. Is there anything better than curling up and breathing in the happy scent of a baby? I can't believe that little girl is already 4 months old. It feels like I was still pregnant yesterday.

Today has been more laziness with which we'll cap off with dinner at Grandma's. There is no better place to eat in town, trust me. The husband even gets off work early so I won't have to wait up (or pretend to wait up) until 12:30 tonight. Win!

My goal for the next week is to finish a rag quilt. I WILL do it. I read 5 books this week, it's time to do something else. Wish me luck! Also, I've been playing around with the blog, so if you see anything wonky, let me know, ok?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Selling my crap = awesome.

Nic and I have decided we simply have too much STUFF. It's amazing, the things we have collected in the (almost) 5 short years we have been married and lived in this house.

A 1950's freezer that still works...
A pool table...
A matching set of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls...
Chandeliers, mismatched chairs, 3 aquariums, a mountain of kid toys, an extra sewing machine....

The list goes on and on. What I am amazed at, is that I keep selling it off, and it's WORKING. To me, it's useless. To other people, it's worth paying for. I love it. I've always enjoyed buying other people's crap, but now I understand the rush of the other side. Making money off what you can't or won't use. Ca--Ching!

I haven't even scratched the surface of our garage which could possibly hold the key to the lost city of Atlantis or a chest of pirate gold. There are boxes that haven't been opened since we moved in. Who knows what I will find in there? Some of it is as simple as listing the item and waiting for a reply. Other things are more fun because I get to re-paint, spruce, and otherwise put my mark on before adding a price tag. Old awesome frames that have no pictures? Repaint and sell as photography props! A whole collection of old glass bottles? With a little acetone, I'm working on turning them into glasses and candle holders (which will be the start of my etsy shop if I can get the method down.) I tell you, with each thing I sell, I am becoming more and more giddy and less enamored with the things that clutter my home. It's a game, and one I'm sure to continue to enjoy until I have all that STUFF out.

I think I finally understand the love of minimalism, the idea of living without things you don't need, for which I will now preach like an evangelist. Do we need a pool table that we play two or three times a YEAR? No. But we do need the space in our garage so we could maybe actually park a car in there. Does Lily still need her huge play kitchen that takes up the WHOLE extra room downstairs? Not really, but we could use the room as a place where I could play craft mama  or as a bedroom for Sage someday. We always complain that our house is too small, but I am starting to think it's just because we live with so much.

So if in the next while, you notice me randomly posting my stuff for sale online (LOVE the Beg, Barter, or Sell group I belong to on FB for this), it's not because I'm broke, going crazy, or harboring a secret etsy addiction. (Ok, that last one might be close to the truth, haha.) It's because I am now in love with finding the right person who thinks my trash is treasure! :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Three things...

Number One:

I would like it stated for the record that when I get a sunburn, I expect it to be on a hot, sunny day. Not when I have been standing out in the wind and cold for 5 hours.

Yesterday was Water Festival at the park and I volunteered to help, along with a few other students, to do one of the stations. We were a big giant plant and students got necklaces to turn them into "water molecules" to go through the process of photosynthesis and other watery fun in a plant. It was a blast and so clever. Haha. There was over 19 schools of fifth graders that came through and for those freezy five hours I repeated over and over, "Welcome to the CHLOROPLAST! This is where photosynthesis happens...." and so on. They say teaching is the best way to learn and I know for sure that's true because I have the photosynthesis process burned  into my brain forever.

Number Two:

The front cover of this month's Time magazine really bugs me.

I saw this yesterday and it's been stirring in my mind ever since. I can't say that the idea of extended breast feeding is wrong. I have to figure that it happens enough in other cultures that it must have some merit. For me and my kids it wouldn't work. I would be too weirded out. If the child is old enough to drink from a cup and I was that serious about it, I'd give them breast milk in a cup. I absolutely love nursing baby Sage. It's our time to snuggle and coo at each other and bond. I could not do that if she was 3 years old. I would feel awkward. What really makes me mad about this cover is that the mother and child don't seem to have any connection in the picture. They're not embracing in any way or even looking at one another. This picture is for shock value and I think the magazine should feel shameful when the article is supposedly about attachment parenting. I also can't help but feel mad at the mother. Her poor son is never going to get away from that image. He's 3 years old for god's sake. He doesn't have any idea of the consequences of the idea that he will now and forever be known as "the boy on that magazine cover."

 Perhaps it's important. People will be talking about it. And by talking about it, they'll be looking into attachment parenting and other positive, alternative ways to raise their children. There are better ways to raise our kids than is the societal norm these days. I like the ideas of parents actually raising and nurturing their children. I may not ascribe to all of them, but I do have to admit I agree with many of them. I don't see how this cover will be positive in the long run though.

Number Three:

The latest Lilyisms.....

Lily told her grandmother that she didn't want to grow up because kids get to eat whatever they want. She went on to explain that adults can't do that because the food would go straight to their hips.

Lily brought me home a planted sunflower as a Mother's Day project they did at school.
Lily: Mom, I planted you this but it's not growing yet. It makes me sad because I gave it all the love I could. That is how plants grow: water, sunshine, and love. I guess it needs both of us to love it.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sweater LOVE.

I have a new obsession.

Sweater recycling.

Doesn't that sound fun?

A bit of a back story....

I recently came across a wonderful Etsy shop out there called KATWISE. This talented and quirky woman makes amazing coats that would put Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat to shame. Look at all the vibrant colors and the awesomeness of this coat!!! Also, that is her house in the background and it's now my favoritest house ever. I will never look at regular boring house paint the same way again. One colored houses are now and forever boring to me. Anyways, back to the sweaters.

I was so inspired by these that when I found out she was selling a tutorial to make my own, I jumped on it. I've spent the morning reading about how to make these darlings and as soon as I get mah grubby hands on some sweaters (why yes, the random plea for your old sweaters on facebook this morning makes much more sense, no?) I am going to town.

Now what do I do when I'm feeling uber-inspired? Why go searching for MORE projects to do of course!
I have found some really cool things people are doing with sweaters. There are sweater blanketssweater vases, and even sweater rugs. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I am now wondering if I will have to build an extra room on my house to stock up on old wooly sweaters to play with. Haha. I adore patchwork anything and these projects make my little patchworky heart go pitter patter with excitement.

Well, I have a baby cooing at me and yanking on my dreadlocks. She's obviously not getting enough attention. Bye for now!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutorial Tryout: Onesie dress with a matching hair bow!

Woo hoo! Look what I made!

So I fell in love with these adorable onesie dresses the first time I saw them. I didn't think they would be too hard to make, but there are SO MANY tutorials out there. I found a few I liked and decided to take the plunge. Unfortunately it's a tent still on lil miss Sagey poo because it's a 6 month onesie, but it was laundry day when I started this project and a 6 month size onesie was the only size I could find.  Also, it's my first attempt at applique and I'm hooked.

I relied mainly on the skirted onesie  tutorial from Running With Scissors because I liked that it kept the bum of the onesie intact. I hate diapers showing and didn't want to take the time to make a diaper cover. While I was cutting out my fabric I decided to try a bow tutorial as well. It's so much cuter when hair bows and outfits are perfectly matched, right? The bow tutorial was SUPER easy and from Momtastic.

I had some adorable paisley fabric and this onesie. The dream on the front was cute, but so light it was hard to read, so I kind of wanted to cover it up. I cut a heart out of the fabric, sewed it on, and used the handy applique stitch on my sewing machine. It didn't quite cover all the green, but for a first shot, I am super impressed with myself. We'll see how it holds together after Sage wears it a time or two.

I tried to add the sleeves as in the tutorial, but they were too small and I was too lazy to cut and sew new ones. When you are cheating on your baby with your sewing machine, time is limited. As it was, this took two days to get done in between mom chores.

I think I have finally succumbed to the hair bow/flower making craze. I have made a few here and there, but the fabric bows and flowers are stinkin' adorable and quick enough that I can actually get them done during nap time. Lily has already requested some. I told her she could pick out some pieces from my fabric stash and help me make them.

Anyway, there you have it! Sweetie pie dress with my first ever applique and a matching cutie bow. Now I have to make one in a size she can actually wear right now!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy (insert holiday of choice here)!!!!!

Holy mother of tutorial loads.

Alina's Adventures in Homemaking has compiled a list of the world's best sewing tutorials
This is the most genius idea ever...and I'll have fun for hours looking at all the different tutorials for Tutorial Tryouts.

I've got a rag quilt for baby Sage and a skirted onesie in the works. Lily has informed me that she would like a crown for herself. That one's giving me a bit of a headache. Haha. I should be posting the tryout for the onesie in the next day or two, so stay tuned.

In other news, what the heck is it about May 5th this year? Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo. Revenge of the Fifth, Free Comic Book Day, AND a full moon. All of the madness makes my brain spin.

Puppy Love. Sort of.

This is our poor dog right now. It's pretty funny when I forget to be sad for him. See, the thing you have to understand about Tobi is this: he's pretty dumb on a good day. While he was given an adorable face, he's got less brain power than a small voltage battery. We have two dogs actually. Tobi is a Shih Tzu XL... meaning he's about twice the size of a normal Shih Tzu. Seriously. He's bulky. Not fat bulky, just larger than your average adorable quaint Shih Tzu. He likes to escape constantly for his own little pleasure jaunts and let me just say, he's an excellent escape artist. My husband loves this dog who makes rocks look intelligent and it's mutual. Tobi will actually sit with his nose pressed to the crack at the door and wait for Nic to come back from work. He'll then try to jump up on the couch and miss with a nice little back flip for flourish at the end.

Our other dog is Lela. She's half Chihuahua and have Chinese Crested. Chinese Cresteds are mostly hairless. So Lela has the buggy Chihuahua eyes with rhino skin that grows hair in a pattern that roughly resembles a sweater with holes on her body along with fur on her ears, tail, and feet. She's also special. She likes to lick my feet when I lay on the couch despite my repeated attempts to help her understand that touching feet is just. not. cool.

Anyway, Tobi has an eye ulcer. Yes, I thought it sounded weird too. I had to take to poor guy to the vet because his eye was all nasty looking. We get there and the vet tells me that my dog is going to go blind unless they STITCH HIS EYELID SHUT. Yuck. So now I have to give him eye drops three times a day in the tiny little spot they left open which means I have to touch the stitches and then shove pills down his throat.

The things I do for love.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am so. tired. of. studying.

I am two finals away from freedom. Two finals away from the pile of crafty projects I have spinning around in my head. Two finals away from playing with my girls. Two finals away from cleaning my wreck of a house. (I really need to figure out a better system than relying completely on the husband for the last two weeks of school.) Two finals away from having a snuggly movie night with my hubs without guilt. Two finals.

I had a final today and it went... well let's just refer to what the hubs said to me earlier today. "It's good to get bad grades once in shows your teachers you know more of the alphabet than the letter A." Har. Har. Har. I was so stressed out and mad at myself. I think I'll have my first C in a class since going back to school. That's a big deal when you're an OCD nerdy school lover.

New baby, school, and regular life all rolled into one is freaking hard. Sometimes I just want to throw my books and color coded binders across the room and/or set them on fire. I thought a semester pregnant was hard. Pffft. I'd take morning sickness during Biology Lab anytime over trying to teach myself Chemistry on 2 hours of sleep with a screaming baby. It's not just the lack of sleep and the waiting until last minute to turn in every assignment. It's the mom-guilt that I'm not focusing on the girls. Lily needs just as much one on one time as the baby. It's been hard to have to say that I can't play because I have homework or to plead in my head for the baby to go to sleep so I can meet an assignment deadline. I'm not going to school this summer and I am so happy. There's lots of plans and fun brewing and I can't wait.

I'm sure come July or so I'll be screaming for school again. I can't stay away from it too long, I love it dearly even though I bitch about it a lot.

So tomorrow bright and early at 7:30 AM (I still say that's psychological warfare) I'm off to do final one of two. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I will be home free. And I must say, I've never been so perfectly ready to fail a final in my life!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I am constantly amazed and tickled by my Lily girl. The things that come out of her mouth are just perfectly intriguing and usually full of comedic entertainment. She's such a happy little thing and so very smart. At the risk of sounding like every other parent out there, I really am blessed to have such a perfect little soul in my life.

Here's the latest collection of the things that have come out of my kid's mouth:

Regarding Earth Day....
"Mom we have to take care of this Earth because it's the only home we've got and we can't live in outer space because there's no oxygen and there's aliens."

Regarding a closet full of things at her aunt's house....
"Wow! Look at all the memories!"

Regarding her shoes....
"I need lots of new cute shoes because I need to look fab. You know what fab means right? It means fabulous."

Regarding school...
"It's a good thing I'm so smart because otherwise homework would take for-EVER."

Regarding her outfit:
"Does this look goth to you? I don't know if there is enough pink."

Regarding laziness...
Lily: "I want a treat."
Nic: "I want a million dollars."
Lily: "I wish we had a million dollars. Then I wouldn't have to go to school and I could stay home."
Nic: "No, I could stay home, but you would have to still go to school because we have to stay busy."
Lily: "Yeah, because if we don't stay busy, then we would get fat and die."

She makes me LMAO. For reals. I can only hope she keeps the zingers coming.
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