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!