Friday, December 18, 2009

Rescued from the donation pile

So, this cheap thin plastic gaudy gold frame (originally bought from goodwill for a couple of bucks a few years ago) was sad. I used it to teach T (the 11 yr old) how to spray paint and he painted in an old leftover tan (sorr, I accidently deleted my before shots).

Then I could not pawn it off find any of my friends who needed it and it was in my donation pile – until . . I decided to paint it black and maybe my sister in law could use it in her new house. . . . but then I decided it actually looked neat in the toddler’s room.


GEDC0658I toyed with repainting it (again) pink but I kinda like how the black works. One day she will have a mirror -when she is tall enough to see herself- because at this point a mirror would just be 1) a reason fro her to climb on top of the dresser and 2) something for the rambunctious trio to break.

I used Rustoleum Black Laquer with my spray trigger clip on handle.

and here is the AFTER:




Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glitter ornaments

My friend Billie (BLOG) sent me this video. It shows how to use wood floor cleaner and fine glitter to make these really cute balls.

I looked around the house and found Zap (Home Depot Brand) wood floor cleaner in a cabinet and tried it. I used non Martha Stewart brand fine glitters and it worked just fine (pun intended.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA My non crafty brother in law even did one! (His turned out the best of the bunch! And it was pink!!) These were super easy. BUT I am glad that the clear balls I had were nice sturdy ones from Michael’s. They are meant to be handled and crafted with so they are thicker. You can take off the hook cap easily and the edges are smooth, not sharp.

I have worked with other balls that were much thinner with sharp edges under the cap. Again this year I sorted through all my old xmas balls and took out the plain colored ones that were scratched and old looking. A rinse in dishwashing liquid soapy water and the outer color comes right off. A soak and a swish (I used a bit of paper towel inside for agitation) with bleach water takes the inner silvering off. BUT the opening is often jagged sharp and the balls are thinner are require more delicate handling. A good trash to treasure thing but not exactly a good kid craft.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What my son thinks is interesting

The 11 year old had to write an essay about what is someplace he has been that is interesting.

This is what he wrote:











Naturally, he got a 100.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Giant Photo Collage Frame

The prices at my local Goodwills have been on the rise and to tell the truth I shop at other store wayyy more often than goodwill these days but I saw this and it was marked 10 bucks! I had to grab it. I put the ruler there to show the size. I guess it was in an office or something.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA   Our open plan living area has been called “cavernous”, “huge” etc and that is not a joke. Super high ceiling and the open plan make it huge. I have always been aware of that. It should be two living areas but we always use it as sort of a large play area/foyer and the livingroom in front to the tv. When we first moved in I hung 11x17 prints in frames and they looked like snapshots on the expanse of wall. So I was hoping this large frame would work with the scale of the room.  )Please Note: Furniture is being moved around ain preparation for the X-mas tree to go up so the rooms are a mess)

With a vision I went to work! I took the frame apart and had originally planned to donate the faded mat and “lovely” print to the school art teacher but I have another vision! “Ain’t nothing a little spray paint can’t fix” is the thought behind my thinking. 

    I set aside the glass and the cardboard backing and spray painted the gold frame black (Black Lacquer because I had it on hand). This was a tough choice. Black, white, another color?? The huge livingroom walls are orange- not a soft orange, ORANGE! Exactly one shade away from true burnt orange (Hook ‘em!) We lived with cream walls for over a decade and then we went bold – and love it! I brought home an orange (“for an accent wall”) and a moss green. Hub chose the orange and once we started painting, we just kept going and love it. It is rather bold, though.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA  There is a black wrought iron railing separating the dining room from the drop down sunken living room so I thought black would be better than white. Plus I knew what wrapping papers I had on hand to work with.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA  The next choice was which wrapping paper to use. I had a matte bronze and a matte gold. I was also torn between color or black & white photos. Hubby said he preferred the color photos and they look better with the gold (the B&W looked better with the bronze). I wrapped the cardboard backing in wrapping paper and just scotch taped it on.

Choosing which photos is hard, too. Do you go with all time favorites? How far back do you go? As a scrapper and in a household where literally everyone even the 2 year old takes pictures, there was a lot to choose from. I think I made some good choices.

GEDC0723I just played with the layout and stuck them on using hermafix (scrapbooking non permanent adhesive – in case I want to change the photos out later). I do wish the photo of us in the center was bigger but that was as big as I could print it. I was fitzing around with it and fussing over the layout until my non scrapbooking sister in law said I was worrying about things only *I* would notice. So I just stopped, called it done and Hubby put the frame all back together. I was kinda scared of that monster piece of glass (my knickname is “Grace” and I am rather clumsy). Then we bent back in place the gazillion staples to hold it in. (Note: A couple of the photos fell so we had to open it up and glue them down better *TWICE*!). The blank spot on one corner is intentional. It was too small for another photo so I plan on adding some vinyl- probably the word Family is fancy font.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA  I hope to find some other large scale pieces to use on this wall but- it has been blank for 17 years. I think it is in no hurry to be covered in artwork.


Gifts I am giving (or have given)

Here is a roundup of some gifts I am gifting or have gifted that have been big hits. I keep a folder with a file for each year and what I am giving each person on my list. It helps since i wrap all year long and often forget what I bought them.

All of the teachers are getting what I gave family members last year- fleece blankets with machine embroidered names on them. I bought the blankets on clearance or at thrift stores or yardsales and found a lady through craigslist who does machine embroidery.

41b3qXkvX7L__SL500_AA280_ Last year we got the Eyeclops. It hooks to the tv and can be really gross! I got mine from ebay but on the amazon link there are some photos of what it looks like on the tv screen: here.








This clock is one of my go to gifts. I actually found a better price on Amazon than in my local Bed Bath and Beyond store with a coupon! That was a shocker. Here.






This year the gadget of choice is this. It is handy and comes flat packed (hubby put it together as I am inept at stuff like that). I was worried it would be wide and scratch my ankle as I walked by it but it is not at all.

I found them for 5$ for a 2 pack through amazon. Even with the shipping, it was cheaper than what I had been paying on ebay.31UZ4NXmr6L__AA280_


I was looking on Etsy  for those jars with LED lights that look like lightening bugs but then I found this. It is really lightweight (the 2 yr old kept walking off with it) but is cute and kinda looks real or faux real. It is very bright but does not come with batteries (screw on batt cover- good thing!).






These are awesome and perfect for teachers- they clip to your keys, camera case, etc. I buy them here on etsy. Handmade, 5$, you get to pick the fabric. I always opt for a dark inner band (so it does not look grubby after awhile) and let the seller, Lara, pick the fabrics. I like that there are masculine fabrics, too. And she makes pet collars, too. How cute!




I  am also giving out these cool chalk markers. They work on car windows, dry erase boards,mirrors, etc. I have been buying them here on ebay in various colors for about 4$ each (free shipping and speedy, too!). I don’t even wrap these. I wrote on the cap in fine sharpie “to: From :” and send them to the teachers via the kids backpack.

I do this thing where I have this giant basket and all year I put stuff in it from yardsales or clearance or little stocking stuffer size things. Then I take this basket to the school at xmas and teacher appreciation week. The teachers (and office staff!) love pawing through it to pick things out.

And if you are looking for last minute gifts- don’t overlook craigslist. No shipping fees!

Lara is playing elf and offering 2 ready made and oh so super dooper cute wristlets to one of you lucky bugs – one to keep and one to give away! Leave a comment with a good gift idea (from this year or that you have done recently). Contest closes midnight the 18th and Randomizer will pick a winner.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

I went shopping at the DUMP!

My dump has a Resale Center.


I only recently discovered it and I am hooked! Hooked I tell you!!

I wish I had known they have doors (some really nice ones, too!) starting at 6$! They are all sizes and kinds. I bought a new barrel to burn leaves in for 6$ and they cut the top off for free. They kind of have stuff grouped.

There was a bin of glass blocks (1$ each), a crate full of bbq grill grates , there were bed frames and a non working go cart and lamps and fencing materials and shower stall doors and all kinds of tubes and pipes and tires and bikes and lamps and skis and toilet tank lids and a boat anchor (4$!!). There were drinking glasses and smaller stuff but I was more interested in the odds and ends.

I also ended up with these bun feet. Not sure what I will use them for yet but they were neat. At 3$ each I thought they were on the high end but they are solid wood and in great shape. I think I want to give them a wash in a bleach solution but hubby thinks it might damage the wood.













Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It’s a cookin’ day!!

What am I doing today? Busting my bum with a solid stay home day!

I am cooking up a storm!! Hubby’s work has a cookie swap tomorrow so I am making my favorite oatmeal cookies and then thought I would make some gingerbread snack cake, too, aaaand a loaf of honey oatmeal bread in the breadmaker.

Giant Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter                                                   1 cup each sugar & dark brown sugar, firmly packed         2 eggs                                                               1 tsp vanilla                                                                                    1 ½ c flour                                                      2 tsp each cinnamon, allspice & cloves  (opt)                       1 tsp ginger                                                    ½ tsp each salt & baking soda                                                   3 cups quick oats

½ tsp soda

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, spices, salt & soda. Stir flour mix into butter mix. Let dough sit at room temp for 2 hours. Drop by ¼ cup fulls onto lightly greased cookie sheets.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Coloring pages for you

Right click and save. Print using whatever you have. These are from my files. Not sure where all they are from. reindeerbignosebw

AngelBells  Gingerbread_Men_And_Bowchinese4snowmansnowman1 redpattern brb24 cat

Also this Santa is fun to do:

They also make good traceables for shrinky dinks!


Thursday, December 03, 2009

How hard is it to get a good group photo??



So I made this xmas card to prove it:


The black and whites look good you say?? A little photo shop from the photoshop king for T’s pic, N’s is a self portrait he took hiding under our bed and S had striped down and was sitting in her water table.

Ahh ok- so then I made this:

xmas09b..plp_Page1_ 3

which will be printed and distributed.

Happy Festivus!! (I wrote that in chalk ink on the back side window of mah vehicle. Hoping it makes someone smile when they see it.)


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My new fave bread!

Jo's Rosemary Bread - courtesy of

· 1 cup water

· 3 tablespoons olive oil

· 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar

· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

· 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

· 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

· 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

· 2 1/2 cups bread flour

· 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

It makes a small loaf but is oh so yummy! Tastes like Macaroni Grill’s!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Foamerator!

Saw this:

So we made it.



  1. Take a plastic soda or water bottle and cut off the bottom – used a serrated bread knife to start and then kitchen shears.

2. Cut a rag - we used part of an old washcloth – slightly larger than teh diameter of the cut off opening.

3. Rubberband the cloth to the bottle and dip it in a bubble solution- we used a disposable tinfoil pan and the Joy dishwashing liquid/glycerin bubble mix/

4. Have fun with the foam tubes you can make.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

hair clip storage



Super easy cheesy. I cut ribbon – this is ribbon for making bows for flower arrangements or presents – to lengths and used clears push pins at each ribbon’s ends.

Clip the hair clips on and done.

This works best on the pinch clips and snap clips – not so much on the french clips.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy hairbows


  Soooo, I went on another hairbow jag and made a bunch of ribbon covered clips.

I use hot glue to cover the hairclips like this:

The lime green one is buttons (from walmart). I just cut off the shanks with wire cutters and superglued them on.

The yellow flower is a little iron on patch from walmart superglued on.

The tiny white flower is some daisy chain trim that I cut up into individual flowers. The hello kitty (one of Little Bit’s faves!) is a plastic ring that was a birthday party favor – again I cut the ring part off with the wire cutters and superglued it on.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA But you are probably marveling at the amazing korker or curly ribbon one, right?? I know. It is pretty impressive. But I have to confess. It was wayyy too easy cheesy. See, last year on Christmas clearance at Hobby Lobby I found these gift bows. It is fabric ribbon already curled.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA So here is what I did. At first I tried taking it apart and cutting it the standard 3” long but I really hate sewing the ribbons together to make a korker bow and I just cannot get the hang of tying them. And then I realized it is already stapled together and on a sticky back plastic. (This photo shows one bow on the card and then two bows nestled together to make a HUGE fancy curly hairclip.)


I started off covering all my clips with ribbon. Got the clips from ebay and I am a ribbon addict so that was from my stash.

Then I trimmed each curly bow’s plastic adhesive backing to as small a rectangle around the staple as I couple and peeled off the paper backing (hardest part of this whole thing!)


GE DIGITAL CAMERA I used a gel based superglue (I use loctite) and glued the bow to the clip making sure the rectangle was aligned with the hairclip. A not covered hairclip makes a handy dandy clamp.

After that was dry, I went back with teh Gorilla Glue Super Glue and added that. It is a really runny supergle so worked well to dribble a dot here and there and let it run into the underside and fill in the gaps of where the staple was not flush with the clip. Next time I plan on giving each staple a little what with the hammer to see if they flatten a bit.

On some of them because I wanted fuller hairbows for use with a ponytail instead of two pigtails after the first bow was dry I added another curled bow at a slight angle.

I was thinking I would have to add something to the center to cover the staples but the bows are so curly that you don’t even see the staples. And you can fitz and fuss and adjust the ribbons after it is all dry to get a fuller more even bow.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

How the girls watch football


I fell asleep and them Mantha joined me and then Ophelia thought we looked cozy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1 word answers

Answer the following questions...with just 1 word....

1. Where is your cell phone? purse

2. Your hair? ponytail

3. Your mother? <roll my eyes>

4. Your father? Awwww.

5. Your favorite food? chickFilA

6. Your dream last night? dunno

7. Your favorite drink? Coke

8. Your dream/goal? serenity

9. What room are you in? bedroom

10. Your hobby? scrapbooking

11. Your fear? lizards

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Homeschooling

13. Where were you last night? home

14. Something that you aren’t? coordinated

15. Muffins? sweet

16. Wish list item? giftcards

17. Where did you grow up? bases

18. Last thing you did? rebates

19. What are you wearing? corduroys

20. Your TV? Elderly

21. Your pets? alot

22. Friends? funny

23. Your life? journey

24. Your mood? harried

25. Missing someone? Randolph

26. Vehicle? Truck

27. Something you’re not wearing? footwear

28. Your favorite store? Thriftland

29. Your favorite color? Pink

30. When was the last time you laughed? 7:30am

31. Last time you cried? Sunday (touching tv show)

32. Your best friend? Pete

33. One place that I go to over and over? Walmart

34. One person who emails me regularly? Billie

35. Favorite place to eat? ? ? ? Mami’s

I am passing this along to : and


Thursday, October 15, 2009

itouch contest

CONTEST: - giving away an itouch!! Hurry!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

scrapbooking recipes



 I scrap my recipes in 8 1/2 x 11 format and keep them in a 3 ring binder in regular page protectors.

This garlic chicken was a favorite when I worked 12 hours on the night shift.

All my recipes have to be tried (and a success!) three times before I put them in THE BOOK.







This Dill Dip is a hit at parties and the Dried Beef spread is AWESOME spread on bread or toast and is a MUST for Thanksgiving!














Roasted Sticky Chicken – I always make 2.

I NEVER marinate overnight and it is WONDERFUL!

We have even done it for Thanksgiving instead of turkey (which is over rated in my opinion).












This is a recipe my mom wrote down so I just scrapped it.













Friday, October 02, 2009

gift crafting



This was a super easy craft and would make an excellent holiday gift. I found the acrylic L shaped frame at a yardsale and the scrapbook paper and post it notes are from my stash. The photos I had to print twice because I wanted a smaller size so they would all fit. And I ended up using some of my homemade glue dots (Gawd! I love this Tack it over and over!!) on the smallest post its because they did not stick to the frame as well as the larger ones. GEDC0383 You can use any size of these clear L shaped frames. I just happened to find this one for cheap and the little flags on the side were samples I had laying around.

This glue, by the way, is sold at Michael’s and walmart and makes those clear repositionable dots- samples or coupons come on them sometimes and they peel off and look kinda like rubber cement or boogers.

~ ~ ~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How We Survived the Plague

We got the H1N1. Tested positive, bought Tamiflu and endured it. It was like a bad cold. The problem was that *I* was laid low and Pete had to run things for a couple of days. After 1 round GE DIGITAL CAMERAof meds when I could not recall what time I had my last dose (let alone try and remember the kids’!), I started this whiteboard. It was INVALUABLE!! I could tell at a glance who needed what and when the next round of doses were due.

Pete was such a trooper. he kept the kids busy and let me sleep for almost 2 days straight. Stay at home mommies need sick days, too!

We are all better. And it really was not as bad as hyped. We have had strep or colds worse than this for sure.

~ ~

Monday, September 28, 2009

ideas for fall



October 1st is when I told the kids we’d get all the Halloween decorations out of the attic.

Trust me – it is a PLETHORA!

I’ll post photos but I have quite a collection. So I was thinking about fall and going through my files to see what ideas I had saved.



We made these last year. Messy and not sure they were worth it. Might be good to distract the kids but I give it a 4 on a one to ten scale.




Picture 100

These were fun to make and easy cheesy.

I just loved Picture 101the smiley face on the turkey below!






spider bracelet


I am hoping to make these this year. They use those funky pipecleaners.





Now if only we could get below 90 degrees everyday, it might actually start to feel like fall. We organized the kids’ coat armoire yesterday- sorted out the too small Elmo hoodie and set aside the orange LLBean jacket that was still grubby from last year and needs a wash. Tried on too big big winter coats and too small winter coats. I have a stash of coats I bought at the thriftstore and I am just waiting for the prices on ebay to start going up before I list them.

C’mon Fall!

 As for Food- this is from Linda ( and they are my go-to for fall. Teachers, coworkers, bus drivers, principals- everyone just loves these. My sister in law prefers them without the chocolate chips (scandalous!) . I use canned pumpkin and gherideli choc chips (because I buy them by the truck size bags at Sam’s). I have made the giant size, the muffin tops, the minis and all sizes in between with this recipe.

Insanely Good Pumpkin-Chocolate Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour                 1 1/4 cups sugar                    1 tbls baking powder
1/2 tsp salt                                                1 tsp ground cinnamon        1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger                            1/4 tsp ground allspice        1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 can pumpkin [ ‘regular’ size can, not the large — original recipe calls for 1 CUP]
1/2 cup milk                                            1/2 cup vegetable oil             2 tbls molasses
Some amount of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400˚ and lightly grease a 12 muffin tin (I use paper holders). Sift (I don’t) flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices together in large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, and molasses. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix (I just do it all in 1 bowl- because I roll like that). Stir in your desired amount of chocolate chips (to taste). Fill the muffin cups 2/3s full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until tests done.

~ ~ ~