Saturday, June 30, 2012


So. freaking. tired.

Yard sales are absolutely more fun when you're the buyer rather than the seller. Or maybe that's just my grumpy mama bear self talking because I'm running on two and a half hours of sleep and no naps. It was pretty fun haggling and watching my bag fill up with money, but the sheer amount of work is exhausting.

Oh well, it's over and done and we made a couple hundred, which was our goal. Yay for met goals.

Every time I look up, I have to grin. Lily had her first art class last Wednesday. Hanging slightly askew on the wall (because she had to tape it up herself), is her masterpiece.

Her first class was a Mixed Media self portrait. They had several different stations that the kids got to play in. I think my favorite was the scratch art. The kids crayoned a block of the poster and colored over it with black paint and then scratched it off after drying. (The black circles in Lily's picture.) They played with sand, glue, foils, fabrics, paints, and all sorts of fun things. I thought it was a great idea that the art teacher actually took a picture of the kids for their posters. 

It's funny how different Lily and I are about our art. I LOVE LOVE LOVE mixed media, but I still have to have a plan or at least a general outline. Lily just goes to town. It's wild and colorful and unique, just like her. Next class is the Jackson Pollock class I am so jealous about. I'm hoping they need mother helpers again so I can stay and play in the paint spatter. 

Well, my brain, body, and eyes are shutting down. I'm off to have some well deserved catatonia. I feel so bad for poor Husbandy Face. He had to head into work at 1pm and won't be home until after midnight and he got just as little sleep as I did. That man is a trooper. 

Nighty night night!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meandering around my brain...

Here are some random things rambling about in my brain today:

1) I really, REALLY do NOT want to cut my dreadlocks in two months. I feel like I'm having to change a huge part of myself that I'm really proud of. Three years ago, I did something absolutely selfish for myself that I had wanted to do. I knew it was going to be something that would cause a stir with the people around me. I knew it was going to change the way people perceived me. I did it anyway. Putting dreadlocks in gave me a huge step in self confidence and learning to let go. Dreadlocks taught me patience. Some days I would look in the mirror and call myself crazy, but I stuck with them and now frankly, my hair is effing awesome. I don't care if you don't think so. Sure, it's just hair. On one hand, it'd be fun to do something different. I would LOVE to brush my own hair again. Dreadlocks and teaching in this area don't really mix. I don't want to jeopardize future job contacts because of hair. On the other hand, I will miss them like I would miss an arm.

2) My Sage baby is now five months. Five months! How did that happen? Her laugh is like music to my ears and she is already developing quite the personality. She loves music. It always calms her down, whether it's Phineas and Ferb or Flogging Mollys.

3) I can't wait to have a date with my husband tonight. Can't. Wait. We're going to a play, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Love it. I love that my punk rock listening, skateboarding, George Carlin quoting husband wants to see that play. He's turning down a night with the buddies at the trampoline fun house thingy. I heart my husband.

4) I signed Lily up for art lessons. She's going to make a Jackson Pollock style painting. I am jealous. 

5) I love that Lily told me it was a good thing she wasn't doing swimming lessons because that would be "one busy schedule, Mama." 

6) Confession: I sometimes tell Nic I am still nursing Sage so he will be the one to get out of bed and start the day. Then Sage and I snuggle up and go back to sleep for an hour. Hee.

7) I think we are reaching the point where we have to make a decision to buy a house or find a new house to rent. I want my own house so very bad. I want to paint the walls whatever color I like. I want to add flower beds and raised gardens and have a room in my house that is dedicated to all things crafty. The house we are living in is shrinking by the day and it's got so many issues that I would like to fix. We've been here for five years. It's home. I hate change. Gah. 

8) Our recently enacted "Fast Food Once a Week Only" rule is going better than I thought it would. We're actually sticking to it. That's huge. I am especially proud of my husband who is a junkie. Will power, you are my friend. Still, I miss cheeseburgers from Burger King.

9) I can't WAIT to see Brave. My super awesome cousin's name will be in the animation credits. I am so proud of the guy. If I could make everyone be as proud of him as I am, I would. It's always lovely to watch someone achieve something they spent their childhood talking about. It may not be a Star Wars movie, but hey, he's got time! *grin*

10) I can't do anything without taking pictures since I started this blog. I think my husband questions my sanity because more than once I have gotten a look while snapping a picture of some random thing like pieces of fabric or baking ingredients.

Now that you've had a peek inside my thought processes, have a fantastic day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cornstarch Paint and a surprise...

 I saw this on pinterest as soon as warm weather hit and have been wanting to try it out. Lily is a painter. When she grows up, she wants to be an artist. The hard part of getting this marked off my to-do list though, has been remembering cornstarch at the grocery store. I finally got it though, yay me!

You can find a million recipes for this, but my favorite was the one at Pink and Green Mama because it was pretty simple. Cornstarch, food dye, water. Go. Ha! I'd add a little cornstarch here, water there, and had way too much fun playing.

The darker colors were much more vibrant. They had quite a bit of food dye, at least 15 drops or so. I had a mini muffin tin, which was the perfect size for quite a bit of paint in more colors than a regular pan. Lily is all about the color selection. I did get asked why there was no yellow, brown, or black. How was she supposed to draw trees or the sun? *smirk*

Nic was setting up the pool in the backyard. This has been an epic battle that the pool is currently winning. Pool: 2. Humans: 0. Tomorrow we have to drain it and fill it for a third time. Our back yard is slowly forming into a mountain or something, because that pool leans like crazy when we fill it up no matter where we put it. Anyway, Lily decided that painting the table we have in the yard was better than the sidewalks out front. I thought it was fun and it washed off fine, so I gave the green light. I don't know what part she liked better, painting or playing with the hose under the guise of washing off her "canvas" so she could start over again. She painted for two hours.

Two warnings:

1) Wear clothes that can be stained. Lily has an eclectic mix of play clothes. She's very much a girly girl and has to wear sparkles and skirts even when painting her masterpieces. Fancy Nancy has nothing on my girl. She was devastated for about five minutes when she realized she had blue on her cupcake shirt. When I reminded her it was too small to wear to school anymore and it was play clothes, she then asked if she could paint the shirt. Haha.

2) It might not be the smartest idea to paint on glass with this stuff. We had the weirdest thing happen today and the the only thing we can think of as a cause is something to do with the cornstarch paint. We went outside to find our table like this:

The glass completely shattered. We could hear the glass crackling and breaking as we stood over it in disbelief and confusion. It was the strangest thing. I washed off most of the paint yesterday, but there was still some on there. The table had sat overnight completely fine, and then half way through the morning, boom. Nothing heavy enough around it that could have hit the glass to shatter it. No pre-existing cracks. Just millions of pieces. There could be other reasons, but where kids are the ones painting, I wouldn't want someone to get hurt. I can't wait to make this again for Lily to play with, but I'll stick with sidewalks from now on to be safe.

I'm bummed about the table. We just got it last summer. I only ate dinner on it one time this summer. Boo. Nic cheered me up by suggesting several different options of fixing it. His favorite is to turn it into a wood top and letting me paint a mural and sealing it. My husband has a secret crafty side.

 Anyone have any good ideas? It's a metal frame.

Moral of the story: sidewalks, people.

Linked up to...

The Shabby Nest

I'm Blue (da ba dee)

While little Miss Sage was sleeping away the afternoon....

Lily and I had a bit of one on one time. Nic and I have instilled a new policy at the house. We each make sure to spend at least 10 minutes of time one on one with Lily a day. Usually, it ends up being more time, but we start with the ten. We take her to the grocery store because she is an excellent list-checker-offer.You will never lose your list when Lily's in charge of it. Or we go outside and play on the tire swing. Nic and her like to race, him on his skateboard, her on her bike. Just a few minutes each day independently with Mom and Dad to make sure that she is not feeling like she's missing out now that there's a very demanding baby in the house. It's working like a charm.

Today we colored and made cupcakes. Blue was the theme as we were coloring a card and making cupcakes for Lily's biological father's birthday. She knows it's his favorite color (his walls are that color in his house, his christmas tree is all blue, his car is blue...) so it was blue everything. 

She drew him a blue cake with blue candles. I didn't realize that when she asked me how old he was, she was using the information to add the exact number of candles on the cake in her drawing. She was very proud that she was able to fit all of them on there. We talked about how there is even a little bit of blue in fire (for the candles) and what her favorite shade of blue is (sky blue).

Next came the cupcakes. In Lily's world, cupcakes are a mean business. The colors have to be just right. She can hardly contain her joy while waiting for them to cool enough to frost. Frosting is never enough decoration. I have 8 different kinds of edible sprinkles in my cupboards just for cupcakes.

Since these were boy cupcakes, I brought out a secret stash of candy to use as decoration this time.

At first I was worried that she was going to balk at the idea of using bugs and mushrooms because of their lack of sprinkliness, but she surprised me and picked out her favorite bugs and mushrooms to grace the cupcakes.I tried to argue for white cupcakes with blue frosting, but got shot down. So, we have bright blue cupcakes with white frosting and super fun bug/mushroom toppers. Since I was on a countdown with Sage's nap, these were just box mix and easy cream cheese frosting. Honestly though, the cake mix cupcakes are always my favorite. Call me weird, but I make cupcakes with Funfetti mix more than I make mix from scratch because it always tastes better to me. Overall, I think the cuppycakes turned out cute.

To finish off the blue theme we decided a bit of the Smurf movie was in order. All in all, it was a fabulous afternoon and she was so very proud to give her gifts. I'm trying to turn her over to the handmade-gifts-are-better darkside. Hee.

Linked up to...

The Shabby Nest

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mini Tutorial Tryout: Fish Braid Friendship Bracelet

Fish Braid Friendship Bracelet. Say that five times fast.

Can I just say how excited I am to see friendship bracelets pop back up? I adored making these as a kid. Getting a bag of colored thread was like Christmas for me when I was younger. I made them all the time.

When I found Oh So Pretty's tutorial for a fishtail bracelet, I had a moment to think, DUH! Why didn't I think of that? Then I rummaged for some thread. Her tutorial is AWESOME with step by step pictures if you don't know how to do a fish tail braid. Which you should learn. It's my go to hairstyle for Lily on mornings we are running behind.

I did pink, black, purple, and orange. I also lost my camera, so cell phone pictures had to do. Garg. 
Lily immediately stole it from me and has now claimed it as her's. It's a bit big for her wrist, but it fits perfectly as an anklet. 

Quick, easy, cute. I may add to this tutorial tryout as I complete other bracelets. We'll see how much time with two hands I can get in the next few days with baby Sagey Poo. Also, I found out that Oh So Pretty also has a feature called Inspiration Station too! Haha, so I may have to rename that feature to something else so I don't step on any toes. Have fun!


This is the best stuff in the world. Hands down. I am not ashamed (ok, maybe a little ashamed) that I ate nearly half of it over the course of the evening.

What is it??

Rhubarb Crisp.

I love rhubarb. It's in the blood. It's kind of like a family tradition to love rhubarb. Rhubarb pie, Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb get the idea. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Well, tragedy struck at my mom's house this year when her rhubarb plants died off. That's pretty impressive since it's a hard plant to kill, but they were gone. Many sad faces were made. Just what was I going to put on my pancakes for the rest of the year?

When I found out a family friend had some to spare, I jumped on it. One huge bag was not enough according to my mother when I gleefully delivered it. We would need more. Back to the plants I went. All in all, I think I gathered 16 to 20 cups worth.

First order of business was jam. This has become a special "Mama and Me" type project for me and my mom every year. We just always end up doing at least a batch together. Lily gets in on it sometimes and we have a blast. My husband salivates at the idea of a new stock of it because we never have enough to last from one jam making to the next.

Anyway, I took home enough to try a rhubarb crisp recipe Mom had stashed away. It was AMAZING. Simple too, which always is a good thing. I may have to track down more rhubarb and freeze it just so I can make this dessert again one or two more times. I tell myself it'd make an awesome breakfast.

Since I'm in such a residual rhubarb haze and want the world to share it, I'm posting the recipe.

Rhubarb Crisp, aka BLISS (that aka is my addition!)

In a 9x13 pan layer:
4 cups washed and chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
1 small package strawberry jello
1 package white cake mix
sprinkle with salt

2 cups warm water
2 cubes melted butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour over other ingredients, bake one hour at 350 degrees.

That's it. I halved the recipe and put it (barely) into two pie tins because I stupidly decided to share it with my sister. Not enough for me! Haha! I have also heard that raspberry jello is pretty awesome too.

If you make it, please let me know! I would love to know how it turned out and hear your agreements with me that it is possibly the best tasting yummy of all yummy-ness in the world. Credit for the recipe goes to my mom who got it from one of her friends who got it from who knows where. :) If you want the recipe for the jam, too bad. That's a family secret! I might be willing to trade for more rhubarb though....

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Tip Junkie handmade projects   Somewhat Simple

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dancing with the Lily Bean.

If this summer keeps up the hectic pace it's been going so far, I am going to need a coma to recover by the end of it. One thing after another, I tell you! I would rather stay busy than sit around doing nothing, but at this point, I could stand a day or two of nothing. 

Lily is super excited to start her tumbling and ballet/jazz classes this week. Going leotard shopping was an exercise in patience and the whirlwind of excitement that is my girl. We tried on several different leotards and she wanted me to snap phone pictures of every one. As if that wasn't enough, she wanted me to text them to her grandma and her aunt so they could provide feedback on their favorite. She was so dazzled by all the colors, she had to touch everything. 

"Look! Mom! This one is in America's colors with stars!" 

"Mom! This one has a HAIR THING that matches!"

"Mom, these zebra shorts would be totally perfect with the pink one!"

I was as frazzled as I was amused by the end of it. 

We finally settled on this one. It's velvety, has rhinestones on the collar, and sort of has its own shorts. I tried to get her to just stand there for the picture, but it wouldn't do for Lily to be boring. She had to pose. I have to admit, it's very easy to notice how grown up she looks in her leotard. She's got a mile of leg already. We are going to have to designate a boy-beating stick some day much sooner than I care to acknowledge.

Feeling left out of the fun, grandma had to take her shopping for a second leotard since she is in two different classes. That one is much more sedate and classic. Simple black with pink tights. She'll wear that one for dance and I'll have to add a picture when I get her all ready tomorrow. That shopping experience was no less boring than the first.

I can't describe how much I have been anticipating and worrying over these classes for Lily. She so needs help in the grace and bodily control department. There is a video on grandma's phone that the family has lovingly dubbed the "Lily's Got No Rhythm" video. LOL. However, she is a child that is in her own little world and has had difficulties in regular classroom settings. Her mind is fascinatingly unique and I think that's often why she forgets things like self control and watching where she's walking. She has been counting down the days. I'm afraid she'll have trouble falling in line and directions, but I'm hoping it works out in the long run. We'll see!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Inspiration Station

I just want to make beautiful things...

So after a wonderful weekend with the mother-in-law (who was kind enough to buy us a shiny, new air conditioner!!!!) and my sister, and my other sister's baby shower (new baby!!!!!) .... I am exhausted.

At least my sunburn is from actual sunshine this time.

I haven't had much crafty creative time, but I sure found some great ideas to try! So I am going to annoy you with commentary on each idea. :)

I have been working on this post for two days and I keep getting sidetracked. The internet had too many arty crafty fun blogs and ideas! My brain wants to implode!

So welcome to Inspiration Station... I'll be your tour guide through some happy fun today!

First up, we have a fun kiddo craft that is happening at my house as soon as the Idaho weather decides to cooperate. Key words there are "Idaho weather" so it could be August. It's Bubble Prints!

BWS tips button

Side note: this is hands down one of the best kid art blogs I have ever seen. The blog is run by a K-6 art teacher and there are HUNDREDS of ideas. If you need something to do with your kiddo, go here. I spent an hour looking around and still didn't get bored. I want to try about 15 other things with Lily including a summer memory quilt idea that was inspired by this blog.

Next up, we have pure genius. If you are on pinterest, chances are you've seen this, but it is so amazing that I have to share it. Addicted 2 Decorating has made this amazing mirror out of.... SPOONS!

I love everything about this. It's from spoons. It has a gorgeous color fade. It's pretty. I have seen other spoon mirrors out there, but this one takes the cake. It is full of win and I can only hope some nice family member will take my children for a day sometime in the future so I can make this. It would look awesome in yellow or maybe purple.

Moving on... is an adorable headband from Love Stitched. I actually made a bracelet using this knot the other day, but I want to do a headband for each of us three girls in the house. It took five minutes to learn the knot. Plus, t-shirt recycling, always a favorite of mine. 

If you're more attached to your glue gun than your sewing machine, this is a crafty must do for you! I think I personally would sew the ends together, but that's just cause I want to use my sewing machine as often as I can get my sticky, grubby mom hands on it. I love the two-tone bands she has done as well.

And finally, for the knock-off win of the century, Besserina takes home the gold. I fell in LOVE with the Georgina duvet cover from Anthropologie.  I tried for several months to figure out how to afford a duvet that was worth as much as several months rent. I still have the picture of it. This is the original:

Isn't it stunning? Gah! Love love love it. Well, Besserina has a wonderful tutorial on how to make my own. It might take me a few years to get all the flowers done, but I am DOING this some day. She does her's for a toddler bed very adorable.

It may say something about me, but I think a good knock off is even better than the original. It takes some pretty fine talent to create something from a picture and make it as good (or better) than the original. I love this in white, but it would last about 2.5 seconds at my house before getting stained, so I would have to make it colorful. 

Well, this was super fun, so I'll have to do it again. Hope you find some time to get lost in Blog land and find some lovely adventures to undertake!

Friday, June 1, 2012

TP Teacher Cards

Hurray! I got the thank you cards for Lily's teachers done. It took until 3:39 AM, but whew. Deadline met. If you have seen any of the toilet paper roll craftiness going on, you'll recognize the inspiration for these cards.

It took me about two and a half toilet paper rolls to do this. My husband suffers silently and just smiles and nods when I ask him to do random things like not throw empty tp rolls away. I'm a lucky gal.  I decided to make four cards, one for each of the teachers who have been fantastic in working with Lily this year. I did one flower with five and the rest with six petals. Six looked better to me and fuller.

I folded the roll flat and tried to cut the strips evenly, but it was late and I was working around a baby who wouldn't sleep. So  then I just tried to match skinny and not so skinny strips. I ran a glue stick along the edges of the side I was gluing down to attach them to the pretty paper I had picked out. Still with me? That sounds kind of confusing so if you look at the next picture, it will hopefully make more sense. I coyldn't get a clear picture of where I was putting glue on the tp pieces.

The petals were by no means even. Deadline, remember? So I let the flowers dry to the paper and cut them out. This was actually the tedious part because it can get a bit awkward. Best advice I can give you is go slow and prepare to bend your scissor hand funny.

If you look in the picture, you can see the ragged edges of the paper. I trimmed these as best I could. It was about 1:30 AM at this point, so my eyes were probably not the best. I really wish the paper would show up better, it's really quite pretty. I have this neat glitter spray that I sprayed the back of each card and the center of each flower. The spray was something I found on clearance at Michael's, and have never found again, which is kind of a bummer.

I glued the flowers to the cards I had on hand. They were not folded cards, more like post cards. To cover up my uneven centers and to make the flowers look more finished, I spent half an hour looking for buttons. When that didn't work, I looked for flat beads. After striking out with that as well, I had an idea that ended up working out.

I took my roll of never-ending hemp and coiled it, making a perfect center. I closed the coils with a dab of glue and then used as much glue as needed to glue them down to the center of the flower. To keep in with the hemp theme, I glued a hemp stem and leaf on each card too. I feel pretty proud of myself that my crafty skills were still working on so little brain power. I wish I would have had more time to tint the edges of the card or sewn borders, but there's always a next time!

After another mad dash search for my brown marker to write the message, I gave up and settled for a turquoise crayola marker. Again, not my best work, but the space was small and I didn't have enough stickers for four cards. I really, really need to invest in some alphabet stamps. (Note to self, don't let Lily use them and I might actually keep the whole alphabet intact.) I wrote a personalized note to each of the four teachers, stuffed the cards into their envelopes and then realized I wanted a gift for Lily's main teacher.

I found a huckleberry soy candle in a mason jar that I wrapped with ribbon and called it good. Just as I settled down, the baby woke up again. Haha, the life of a mother who has a crafty obsession. Now I'm off to make my living room NOT look like a bunch of drunken elves had a paper cutting party in it last night. I love that these cards are made from something that would just end up trash. I can always get behind using household items to make something pretty. 

T-minus two hours and forty-five minutes until school's out....I wonder how long before I hear, "I'm BORED Mom!!"

I have linked this post to...

The Shabby Nest TidyMom
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