Monday, December 05, 2011

CD case beaded frame


We have been making this for over a decade. CD case (pop out the center and take out the paper) + magnets (glue gunned to the BACK- check which side of the case has the HOLE) + lots of elmers and beads = awesomeness!


I learned early on to pick a color theme and preselect a bowlful of beads. I love using thriftstore found necklaces for this. I start with pony beads, tri beads, whatever. Put the elmers on and let the kiddo place the beads. Have a wet wipe handy or they inevitably wipe glue on their pants.


As they add beads the window morphs shape and just stop them before it is too small. I usually do it over several days. I had a bad experience with some old zip drive cases – for some reason they glued shut! I had never had that happen with cd or dvd jewel cases.

I like to pour tiny seed beads or pearls in the center window and tilt the case to make them stick to the inner edge of the glue around the “window” opening.

Day 2 we go back and add some smaller beads and fill in gaps. Same on day three maybe. And give it a good couple days to dry. You can go back and peel off glue drips. The glue dries clear but try to keep smears off the window opening. Then just open it to add a photo – which can be changed out. These make impressive (and cheap!) gifts. We once made one in shades of white for a teacher getting married – was a hit! This is something I usually keep a few on hand in the gift box (wrapped in bubblewrap).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Me: from a- z

IMAG0013Photo credit: my 4 year old

Age: 43, 44 in 2 weeks but, I usually can't remember & have to do math on my fingers to make sure.
Bed size: King – and we need it! Most nights at least one cat and one or two kidlets end up in our bed.
Chore I hate: sweeping and moping – it seems futile the moment a kid spills something.
Drive: a truck
Essential start to my day: a shower.
Favorite color: ? red ?
Gold or silver: Silver- I am always scared I will lose gold so don’t wear much of it.
Hobbies: photo crafts, paper crafts, decluttering.
Instruments I play: Is an MP3 player an instrument.
Job title: SAHM, Limon Family CEO, part time online sales person. Depends on who's asking.
Kids: 3.
Lived: Pensacola & Jacksonville Florida, Gitmo Cuba, Rota Spain, Hawaii, all over Texas (Navy Brat).
Make up: renewed my love for it. Digging 2 Faced base and Mac eyeshadows.
Number of Cats Currently: 2 inside, 1 indoor/outdoor and a passel of outdoors, some I share with my neighbor. Had over 2 dozen for about 10 years (rescuer not hoarder)
Overnights away from kids: Does hospital after labor count? Then 0.
Pet Peeve: the mouth noises my kids make and when they chew on shirts – ugh!     
Quote from a movie: "Have fun storming the castle." or “would you say I have a plethora?”
Right or left handed: Right but surrounded by lefties.
Siblings: sister 10 years younger than me and brother 23 years younger than me.
Time I wake up: 5:15 is when the alarm goes off 6:15 on saturdays.
Underwear: always.
Vegetable I hate: Eggplant.
What makes me run late: forgetting things or “having” to stop by chickfila for a tea enroute.
X-rays I've had: head, hands, arms, most recent was foot.
Yummy food I make: chex mix, dips, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, oatmeal cookies.
Zoo animal: I prefer domesticated animals – like cats (except when a fat one walks on you with teeny paws!).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Teacher craft in process


I saw this cute birthday countdown calender (on Pinterest I think) but the sign holder- although very cute- is like 8 bucks at office depot.

Kinda blowing my cheapie budget considering I was thinking of making at least 6 of these, maybe more like a dozen.

But then I looked up and saw this GEDC0384_thumb3

Remember I had made it awhile back? So I had hubby drill the holes and I made this:


(sorry for the blurry photo – too lazy busy to take another one). I used the binder rings and lots of stickers and scrapbooking leftovers. The numbers are these big black old stickers I have had fovever. I used the cropadile to punch the holes and computer printed a bunch of holidays so the teachers can just change out the holiday bit. The hard part (because math and logic is hard for me) was figuring out what number to go on the back so that once the cards are flipped to the back, they can be turned around on the rings as needed. (Boy, that makes no sense- I mean I wanted to use both sides of the cards as effectively as possible)

Then I got the bright idea that since this would be in a class there would be lots of grubby paws on it so I laminated each number card. But that created some issues. Since I had not originally calculated the laminated edging into the size, each card was too long now and I had to trim each card before laminating and then trim and round the corners with scissors because no one has made a frigging corner rounder that work on lamination (I wish to heck I could patent that idea and make a fortune!). And rounding the corners always makes me grumpy because they never look identical. ugh (ok, just me, right?) I also used the cropadile once again to re-punch the holes.

And it seems that in a fit of purging I let go all my clear acrylic frames and none of the thriftstores have ANY all of a sudden. I got one from Dollar General but it is kinda flimsy. Will try it and let ya know how it goes.

My plan is to pound these out over thanksgiving weekend and gift them to the teachers on the 12th day before the end of school before winter break when I start my 12 days of gifting. (other gifts I have set aside: bacon chocolate bars, chalkboard spraypainted mugs, chalk pens, chalkboard thought bubbles- still have to make those- fleece blankets with names on them, our annual xmas music cd and more).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Not quite the NRA


I can *NEVER* get this to work.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Goodwill Rocks!


Look what I found!! I have a couple of thriftstores that I go to regularly. This particular goodwill is in a nicer neighborhood so they have good stuff but sometimes their pricing people must be smokin’ somethin’ because the prices are all over the place.

I saw this in a basket – they line up shopping carts full of stuff and their volunteers put it on the shelves when they can. Shoppers dig through the carts in search of fresh goodies. I pulled it out and knew what it was (we have had several models of foodsavers through the years). I figured for 9 bucks if it did not work I could return it with the 2 day return policy they have for electronics. But it worked!! Sweet!

I am going to sell my old one (anyone in the Austin area interested?) . And I moved the shiny new tillia to the other counter- it was getting messy each time I used the mixer. You know about my mixer, right? (It was 10 or 15$ at a yardsale and I gave it to the hubs for xmas. He was thrilled!! And he uses it to make bread from scratch each weekend.)

And this is my mug with writing on it. I did a test using different paints and pens to see what writes on mugs. The Identipen beat them all- yes, even the porcelain pens and paints!- And you can buy it for like 4 bucks including shipping on ebay.

I did finally take off the pricetag, by the way. I left it on for over a week- it made me smile each time I saw it.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Organizing cords


I know- it looks crazy but it works!! I have them on the back of my desk right now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins!

Finally the weather feels like fall – it means the 4 yr old has to learn to wear jeans instead of stretchy pants, the 8 yr old is just dying to wear his big winter coat and the 13 yr old wants to make so much apple cider that I am googling homemade recipes because those dang little packets are rather spendy.

And in honor of fall I would like to reiterate how fabulously scrumptious these muffins are. I originally got the recipe 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 vary the chips – for grown up I might use gerhidelli, for the kids I cut back a little or use minis. 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.

No photo – because I am lame like that. But, trust me, these are *awesome*.

~ ~ ~

Friday, October 21, 2011

I’m faster that a tree!

zoom (1)

Saw this. It made me smile.

Not sure I am faster than a turkey. Don’t they flap and fly a bit??

Also- piglets are fast! Not sure I would be faster than one.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Make Your Own Shrinky Dinks

GE DIGITAL CAMERADoes everyone know that #6 recyclable plastic (usually clear take out food containers) is shrink plastic?

It is true!

So, here is what I do. I save it up and trim it down (using my scrapbooking trimmer, scissors, craft punches, etc). I round the corners using a corner punch and punch holes using a hole punch.

Then let the kids write or trace a drawing on it. They shrink up thicker and heavier than the storebought film.

I also like to make teeny tiny ones & have the kids write their names and the year on them. I use them to tag certain xmas ornaments so we know whose are who’s. Plus seeing their penmanship is always cute! I use a jump ring to attach the nametag and it is small enough that it is unobtrusive.

And because I am often lame about taking photos as I craft here are some other photos to show the shrunken size.






Wednesday, September 21, 2011

crafting with a 4 yr old

With Christmas less than 100 days away crafting is in full swing.

I got some little flat wooden hearts at Michael’s (thank you, 40% off coupon) and sprayed them with chalkboard paint (define obsession- I am not obsessed *twitch twitch*). Some I punched with my handy dandy cropodile (I was skerred but it punch right through like buttah!) and will use those as gift tags and some I am glueing to clothespins and will pin a gift’s ribbons (that sounds confusing – I just wanted tag options)

Then I had a craft fail (I stuck some cork tiles on some more kitchen cabinet doors and for some reason they made the cabinet doors not close all the way- ugh- so I ripped them off) but I made lemonade outta lemons. I traced the little chalkboard hearts and cut them out with scissors, punched cropadile holes in them and was going to leave it at that but . . . we had the glitter out and, ya know, I have glitter in my veins! They kinda look like sugar cookie ornaments now.

So, Miss Crafty 4 year old painted on the glue and I poured on the glitter (sorry, she is not to be trusted with a paper plate full of glitter on her own!) I used modge podge instead of elmers just because when I cleaned my craft closet recently I discovered a plethora (a plethora I say!!) of bottles of modge podge.

But then we had this leftover glue and glitter and the pile of clothespins was RIGHT THERE. Before I knew what happened we had glittered tiny, small and regular sized clothespins. Not sure what to do with them other than glue magnets to the back and gift them out at the holidays.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Autistic or Artistic?


This is what the eldest drew in a workbook. Wow! I think he really thinks in cartoons and his head is often this kind of a cacophony. Or he is just a pretty cool artist for a 13 yr old.

Monday, August 08, 2011




I picked up some little cork board tiles at a yardsale.

Glue gunned them to the inside of a couple of kitchen cabinets.

Tacked a couple of photos that make me smile and recipes etc on them.

The only tricky bit is to make sure the tack does not hit the shelf when the door is closed.

Easy cheesy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

May the Force Be with You



Not really sure what she was playing but I love the mix of pink, tink, magic wand and stormtrooper helmet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I *heart* the dump!


  I got all this for 8 bucks!

The water table alone will sell for more than that on craigslist!

Sweet! Do all dumps have an awesome recycling center like mine does?!?

I had mentioned it before here.

The round thing is a lazy susan and the water table is headed for CL.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

bird collage on a plate

Saw this: 6a00d8341cc08553ef01538e1ed6e0970b-800wi

Made this:  IMAG0316

We’d painted with blue paint the day before and instead of tossing the paper plate paint palette, I remembered this project. She loved it! T drew & cut the bird and egg shapes. She did the rest. We talked about nests and what they are made of. She wanted to make more! It did take a few days (and a nighttime elf adding more glue to ensure structure stability) to dry completely.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Making Angry Bird Cupcakes

Saw these and showed them to the 13 yr old and he recreated them for the 8 yr old’s birthday!


Boxed cake mix cupcakes and this frosting. The frosting was amazing and made wayyyyy too much. It covered 2 boxes of cupcakes with loads extra! Turns out it is Martha’s 7 minute frosting. Gonna have to find a recipe that makes a smaller batch.

We went through our stash of cake decorating supplies and bought a few things at central market. The eggs are candy coated almonds. The eyes are mini choc chips jammed into mini marshmellows. The beaks are gummy orange slices snipped into thirds. The bag of large marshmellows for the bellies went missing so we improvised. And T came up with the black (from angry birds Rio) bird design all by himself.


We had a yummy dinner, opened gifts and then enjoyed these! And, yes, this is the best photo of all three kids. Do you know how hard it is to get all three to look at you and smile- and not imitate an angry bird or fake a smile?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Cow Shirts!


If you know me- you know how much I adore Chick Fil A. My fave store- they know me by name. (is that a bad thing??) They know I want a sweet tea with no ice and an ice water (I mix my own – that’s how I roll).

And Friday was Dress Like A Cow Day. The littlest one needed a shirt so we made it using the spin art machine. Squeezing the paint bottles is good fine motor skillin’ for her and just plain fun. We use the paintings like stamps to make spots on a shirt. We have done this loads of times before- word of warning: If the kids are making one for you try not to let them stamp two RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CHEST. Also, don’t do red or mostly red- looks bloody. We have done spider web prints for halloween party and we have also used the artwork as gift tags, fronts for thank you notes and cards. We love our spin art machines (I may have recently downsized from 4 machines to 2- what?? I cannot pass them up at yardsales!)

The CFA dress like a cow experience was great! The 8 yr old said he had to wear those shoes because they look like hooves (how smart!) and the littlest one is wearing shoes (clear glitter jellies) but looks barefoot in the photo. She stole my hat. And does anyone get the joke I made with my mask? No one but the Husband seemed to get it. The boys wanted tie on masks. I wanted mine on a stick so the littlest one did, too.

Which brings me to a strange new phenomenon! The littlest one freaked out when she saw the CFA cow person in a costume. I mean really, really scared- hiding under the table, so scared she was on the verge of crying - Wow. That was a new thing. I sent her to the car with T while I got the food and when I got to the car she hopefully asked “Did you kill it?!?” She said the cow wanted to get her. And then all she could talk about was the “cow with the big head” and how even though it was a person in a costume it wanted to get her. *sigh* But it was still a great time.

Friday, July 01, 2011

I’m not Chikin!!

It is that time of year again- Chick Fil A Dress Like A Cow Day!! FRIDAY!!

We have done it each year. And it is always right around the soon to be 8 yr old’s birthday so he thinks it is super special.

Here we are in 2008: CFA

That baby outfit was the oldest kiddo’s 1st halloween outfit and I was determined she would wear it! No matter that it was too small. I found these cute masks on a british website and we each colored one and the boys made spin art stamped cow shirts (black puff paint on spin art machine, use the wet design to “stamp” the shirt)

2009: GEDC2807

Yes, I talked my spanish only speaking mother in law into wearing a cow hat and a mask (that she is holding just off camera in this photo). She was very confused but by the 3rd chickfila, she was digging it. And the kids ate CFA all weekend! Note my cow purse and the eldest kiddo has a cow costume (yardsale find! gold!!).



The british website with the neat cow mask seems to be defunct now so I printed cow head photos on 8x10, cut out the faces, punched out the eyes using my cropadile and used glue dots (removable- see the tutorial I made) to adhere them to sunglasses.  T& I just did cow noses, not whole masks. Even the teddy bear has a mask-on-sunglasses!! See?! Also the eldest’s t shirt from a couple years ago now fits the middle kiddo! Made me nostalgic!! And I once again squeezed the smallest into a too small outfit (it is a gap dress but we made it a top).


Yea, I’m in full planning mode. The eldest will wear the costume, the middle the cow hat, me with my cow purse. I was going to have them make paper plate cow masks this year but the sunglasses masks were so easy I think I will make them again this year. I also found an awesome cow print cowboy (cowgirl?) hat at goodwill just last week. The two little ones are still fighting over who gets to wear it so I might have to let them take turns or wear it myself! Also, we need to make a spin art tshirt for the little girl as she has no cow patterned clothes this year. I have been looking for a cow patterned ribbon bow but am too cheap to pay the etsy prices so she will probably just wear black and white instead. I want to look through my ribbon and see if I by chance have a cow print ribbon. If I do, I might use glue dots to stick it to her clothes- around the cuffs and bottom of the shirt, cuffs of the leggings- whatever works.

Is anyone else brave enough to dress up?