Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rustic Homemade Christmas Tree: Homemade Dried Fruit Slice Christmas Ornaments

When I was in 3rd grade, my class was studying Colonial America for history at Christmas time. Though in reality in colonial America Christmas was not exactly the major holiday it is today (in fact it was often outright banned in Puritan areas), we celebrated Christmas "colonial" style.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rustic Homemade Christmas Tree: Baking Soda and Cornstarch Dough Snowflake Ornaments

The minute I got a good batch of this dough whipped up, I knew the first thing I wanted to try: snowflakes. Perhaps it is related to the paper snowflake obsession, maybe it is the fact that I was born during a snowstorm in Seattle (where it doesn't snow all that much), or maybe it is just because I am weird, but I love decorating with snowflakes. They are just so pretty. But first, we must make the dough.

Rustic Homemade Christmas Tree

Decorating the tree in my childhood consisted of playing the entire family collection of Christmas music (starting with Mannheim Steamroller and skipping that weird music box CD that one of our realtors gave us once) and hanging the large collection of ornaments on our artificial tree that went through a basement flood before it was ever used the first time. We would pile the ornaments on the parts that were easiest to reach until my Dad would point out that the tree was leaning into the room, and then we would all get behind the tree and put a bunch more on there until the lean was more inwards than outwards. The logic was if it fell over, it would hit the wall as opposed to a person.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Harold and the Purple Crayon Family Halloween Costumes

We were Harold and the Purple Crayon this year for Halloween. More specifically, David was Harold, Peter was the Purple Crayon, and Patrick and I were 2 of the pages. We got the idea from this site. For more specifics on our individual costumes, see the links below.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Harold and the Purple Crayon Costumes: Harold

We are being Harold and the Purple Crayon this year. More specifically, David will be Harold, Peter will be the Purple Crayon, and Patrick and I are being the pages. We got the idea from this site, which gives instructions on how to make pages shirts her way (I did it a bit differently). It also gives instructions on how to make a crayon as a prop instead of a costume like me, but the people in the post just purchased the blue pajamas.

Harold could have been really easy if I had been lucky enough to find a pair of plain blue pajamas in David's size, but alas, I did not (okay, I also didn't look all that hard). I did purchase a pair of sweatpants I thought could maybe be turned into the pajamas on the same thrift store trip as I got my giant purple sweatshirt for the crayon, but there was a least one piece I would not have gotten on it without having to add a seam and I found some forgotten light blue knit in my craft chest. I also had matching thread and some non-skid fabric for the bottom of the feet.

Harold and The Purple Crayon Costumes: the Purple Crayon

We are being Harold and the Purple Crayon this year. More specifically, David will be Harold, Peter will be the Purple Crayon, and Patrick and I are being the pages. We got the idea from this site, which gives instructions on how to make pages shirts her way (I did it a bit differently). It also gives instructions on how to make a crayon as a prop instead of a costume.

I went to the thrift store in search of a few things for our costumes, one of which was a pair of blue pajamas for David's costume, but I had no luck. Instead, I found a giant purple sweatshirt for $3 and decided it would be great fabric for my crayon costume. Though I obviously made a purple crayon, any color would really work.

Harold and the Purple Crayon Costumes: The Pages

 Patrick hasn't wanted to dress up for Halloween for the last 3 years, which has left us without costumes for our entire marriage. David was Frankenstein's monster last Halloween as he had just learned to walk and tended to do so with his arms up in the air for perceived balance, but the costume involved painting his face slightly and putting him in a turtle-neck with aluminum foil bolts attached to the neck.

This year I was determined we would dress up, but I needed to do something that was generally understated for Patrick so that it wouldn't be pushing his comfort level too much. These requirements were one of the things that drew me to  the plan we came up with.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spray-Painted Dry Erase Calendar

When shopping for supplies for my roll-out pantry, I had no idea what to use for the back. Then, low and behold, right at the end of an aisle was a box filled with 23.75 x 23.75 inch pieces of "marker board"--for only $1.98 each. My shelf was going to be just over 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. I figured a tiny 1/4 inch short split between 2 sides wasn't going to hurt anything I cared about, so I scooped up 3.

Not only did it solve the problem of what to put as a backer for the shelves, but it also made said back functional. I live in little apartments; I am all about dual-function. My living room seating has 2 functions (also this one) and my bed was specifically designed to fit a box of diapers underneath.

Maternity T-shirt Dress

39 weeks pregnant the day before having
my baby.
I wrote the below several months ago, but never got around to finishing the post before I moved, had a baby, and entered leasing season. But we are mostly settled into our new place, all 20 apartments are leased for the next year, and my beautiful Peter is 5 months old and the mellowest baby you have ever met. Seriously, David sat on him and he barely whined. But now lets go back in time:

I am 35 weeks pregnant, and I get kind of huge-looking when pregnant. I have carried both my babies completely out in front of me. By the time I hit about 30 weeks, there are a lot of maternity clothes that can't cover me as my belly hangs out the bottom.

My Roll Out Pantry

I kind of have a kitchen storage problem. It has resulted in the "cabinet of peril" (basically, to get anything out or even to open this cabinet was risky. Glass jars were not allowed on the edge of the shelves) and the combination coat closet/pantry. To say this is ridiculous is just a bit of an understatement. But I happened upon a grand solution.

This was a brilliant idea, but was not mine. I first saw it here, but she saw it at Learning to Be Me. That blog doesn't credit the idea specifically to anyone, so it may have come from there. I have seen multiple other versions of it, however. The concept is much the same in all cases though; build a box, insert shelves, dowels, and a back, and put the whole thing on wheels. Brilliant. I made a few tweaks, but this is essentially the same thing I did.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Four Things I Did With One Can of Pumpkin

I might just possibly have a pumpkin obsession. Yeah, it is pretty bad. It was made worse when I went to the store for a can of pumpkin and the giant can of the off brand was cheaper than the small can of Libby's. And they didn't have small cans of the off brand. I was only making pumpkin cookie-dough truffles. Thus, I had leftover pumpkin. Lots of it. This resulted in pumpkin cooking galore.

So here, without further ado (and without pictures because I wasn't thinking about blogging this), I have my extended thoughts about multiple pumpkin treats.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dollar Store Wreath

There is definitely nothing too extraordinary in this post; I made a wreath--from stuff I bought at the dollar store. But I had fun and decided to document the process.

After dropping my husband off on campus, I decided to do a little dollar store shopping. I purchased a wreath frame, 7 sprigs of flowers and foliage and a roll of ribbon. I did not use the roll of ribbon in the end. Two of my sprigs were purely autumn leaves, one was berries, and the rest were flowers. One of those flower sprigs had little flowers on a central stalk and the rest were larger flowers, some with smaller "bud" type flowers mixed in. Six sprigs came from the "harvest" section of the silk flowers. The final sprig I found in the Christmas section. An y guesses which? I find it somewhat ridiculous that there is a Christmas section in September, but I digress. Anyway, the Christmas sprig is the burlap flowers.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Toddler "Proofing" Home Office: Drawer to Door

For the record, the title has quotation marks because anyone with a toddler knows  nothing is ever truly toddler proof; we just do our best to slow them down.

Well, it has been a while since I posted. In the past few months I have moved, given birth, and shown and rented numerous apartments. I also learned to fix multiple aspects of toilets, make screens, auger drains, and repair bathtub trip levers. Yes, I have moved into the fantastic world of property management. As summers are (they tell me) the property's busiest time (this is a college town in a desert; we have lots of moving out and in as well as problems with swamp coolers and AC), most of my time has been spent doing maintenance. Thus, very little has been spent on actually making our apartment our home. That really hasn't stopped us from some grand plans.