Monday, March 28, 2011

Busy Weekend

We had a very busy weekend in our house. Myles went to a sleepover on Friday night for his friend's birthday. Savannah and I spent our time crafting. She has a music program coming up this Thursday and has decided on a very special outfit to wear for the program.

Here it is:

She made a duct tape dress! It's entirely covered in duct tape. We used black duct tape to cover a cami and skirt she had, added the turquoise band to create an empire waist, and covered the bottom half with purple duct tape squares. We added a zipper to the back after realizing that duct tape has absolutely NO stretch to it. But, she is extremely pleased with the final result. She even made a duct tape purse to match.

And, I can guarantee that no one in the show will have the same dress on!

Saturday, I spent the majority of the day crocheting. I have regularly visited Lucy's blog Attic24 and it has only enhanced my crochet addiction. I saw her recent post for Hearts and Twigs and immediately had to replicate it. So, after a Saturday spent crocheting hearts and a Monday wrestling with fallen branches in my work's parking lot, here is my creation.

I love it. We'll see how long it takes my giant dog to knock it over with his giant tail.

Our last crafty project this weekend was making some paper mache newspaper nests. I had gotten this idea from the current Country Living magazine. We made our using the comics from the newspaper and I think the results are fabulous!

They were very easy to make all you have to do is cover a small bowl with plastic wrap and set it upside down on some wax paper. You then mix equal parts glue (we used Elmer's) and water. The magazine examples used old pages from a dictionary and brown lunch sacks. We used our paper shredder to shred our comics and then you just take a small handful of it and cover it with the glue mixture and set it on the plastic wrapped bowl. Keep adding more paper until your bowl is completely covered and then let it sit. Ours took about 24 hours to dry completely. But, they look really cute with some plastic eggs in them for Easter or some really yummy Easter chocolates. I think we are going to try making some more with the brown lunch sacks. But first, I'm baking a chocolate sheet cake.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh Yeah!

I finished!! I have a new blankie. I had one as a little girl and I loved it very very much. It was a great companion and if I went somewhere, so did my blankie. I sucked my thumb, too. Picture a female Linus. But, it was taken away from me much like the woobie was taken from the kid in Mr. Mom.
Anyway, I have a new blankie and I made it myself! I may have to curl up under it and watch some Smurfs cartoons and really relive my childhood.
Here it is:
And, yesterday we were lucky enough to get our first thunderstorm of the season. And it happened right after school, too. Myles is obsessed with severe weather and tornadoes and was following the storm closely on the TV and online. Then, we went outside to watch the storm on our front porch. (The front porch is where you are supposed to go when in a tornado watch, right?)
Of course tomorrow night we are supposed to get snow, so spring is already taking a little vacation. Spring is a slacker.
And my other exciting news ... I have my first little flower sprouts!

If I can keep them alive, I'll post more pictures as they grow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy First Day Of Spring!!

Well, our first day of spring is rather gloomy looking. It's really cloudy outside. But it is supposed to get up to 70 degrees today, so no complaints here. The supermoon happened last night, too. But, again too cloudy for us to see.

Since this weekend contained our first day of spring, we decided to start some seeds in our kitchen. It's very exciting. And it'll be even more exciting if I can remember to water all these little cups and actually get something to grow. Fingers crossed. My kitchen has been transformed into a makeshift greenhouse. We have started zinnias, sunflowers (2 varieties), asters, white pumpkins, some variety pack of pumpkins and squash, and a white squash. I want to start some watermelons too. Yet another year of attempting to replicate our patermelons. They were fabulous!!! Outside looked like a pumpkin, inside smelled like a watermelon. I will be patenting them!

Our squash was started a few weeks ago as part of Myles's science fair project. So, it's a little ahead of the rest.
This weekend I also tried out my first dessert from my new Gooseberry Patch cookbook.
Myles has requested the salty peanut bars. They are a lot like those salty nut rolls that are so yummy at the grocery store. These turned out good. They are definitely not a diet dessert, but is there such thing? I keep cutting very skinny little pieces for myself. I figure if I just eat a tiny little piece it's not so bad. But, I realized that 8 to 10 tiny little pieces starts to add up. Between all the desserts in this cookbook and all the girl scout cookies I've consumed, my winter flab is here to stay. Stupid yummy food.

My exercise plan has included a lot of sitting and crocheting lately. How many calories are burned while working with yarn? 2-3 calories an hour? And in order to keep my energy levels up I seem to crave 500 calorie snacks every 30 minutes, so I may have to rethink my workout regimen. Hmmmm.

But, during my latest workout session, I created my very first granny square. Granny squares and Japanese flower motifs have become my latest obsession.

And, if I'm going to mass produce granny squares, I'm going to need some yarn. So...
I'll be working out a lot.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happiest Dog in the World!!

I saw a blog post giving me the idea to make my own dog toys. I learned that at Petsmart, you can buy packages of just squeakers.


Now, let me preface this story with a little explanation of what my little dog, Fillmore, is like with a toy containing a squeaker. He is a dog on a mission. As soon as he gets a new toy with a squeaker, it becomes his mission in life to get that squeaker out. He chews the squeaker until I am on the brink of insanity. He inevitably creates a hole in the toy, pulls out all of the stuffing usually leaving a mess from one end of the house to the other, and finally gets his reward. We are then treated to a show like no other. He will toss the freed squeaker in the air and catch it. He'll lay it on the ground and roll around on it. Chase it. Growl at it. Set it in front of me to tease me with it. Basically, he loses his cool over squeakers. It's highly amusing.

So, when I told the kids that we could get a package of just squeakers, we all got evil grins on our faces at just the idea of raining bunches of squeakers down on Fillmore's head. He would likely explode from excitement. We felt quite certain that this might equate to winning the lottery for our crazy little Fillmore.

So, we sewed up some dog toys. Savannah took 2 extra squeakers downstairs to Fillmore who had been waiting at the foot of the stairs, shaking with anticipation. He could hear us squeaking those squeakers in Savannah's room while we were working and when Savannah got tired of stuffing our new dog toys, she decided the moment had come to give Fillmore his squeakers.

She was squeaking them in her hands as she went down the stairs, all the while Fillmore's tail is wagging so violently we thought it might break off. She puts her hands out over his head squeaks the squeakers one last time and drops them.

Fillmore looks down at the ground, then back up at Savannah, and sits down.

"What the hell am I supposed to do with that?" was our interpretation of his expression.

She stepped on the squeaker to squeak it again. He perked up his ears, but looked back at the squeaker and left the room.

What a let down. I guess the reward of chewing the squeaker out of the toy is what makes the squeaker so appealing. So we finished our dog toys and gave him one of those. This is him playing with it. (And, that's a belly band he's wearing. He has a proclivity for peeing on things in the house he feels he needs to claim for his own. We made them pink to punish him for this terrible habit.)

I tried to get a picture of him with the toys before he tore them apart, but he was going so crazy that all of my pictures of him are blurry. Honestly, I don't think anyone has enjoyed something I made as much as Fillmore has enjoyed these toys.

Wee Little Leprechaun

We have a nightly visitor to our house. Her name is Maeve and she is a leprechaun. She had been visiting us nightly and she and Savannah were having a pen pal relationship for a while about a year ago. The nightly letter writing got to be a bit much for Savannah and she hadn't been in touch with her for a while. Until Savannah got a little leprechaun kit. It came with a little book and a little leprechaun.
Savannah was inspired to get back in touch with Maeve as well as to create a special home for her to rest in when she stops by. This is her amazing creation.
She crafted up a ladder to assist Maeve in getting up on top of the coffee table. She also left out some cheerios in case she needs a snack.
Her letter to Maeve was left in the pink mailbox.
I'm just hoping that Maeve decides to leave her a pot of gold. And convinces Savannah that corned beef and cabbage is a very delicious meal. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who's up for a Happy Meal?

The kids were off school today for a teacher's in service day. I had to work, but I always ask them if they want me to bring anything home for them when I'm on my way home. Like usual, they were hungry, but unsure of what they wanted. (This question usually means "What can I get you from the grocery store?" not, "What drive thru do you prefer?")

So, this is the face I came home to.

I think she was trying to tell me something.

Happy Meal anyone?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A New Quick Crochet Project!

I made these cute little crochet arm bands or bracelets or cuff. I'm not sure what I want to call them. But, honestly, these take less than an hour to make. I love a quick project and the finished result is really great. Here's what the first one looks like:

So, my color choice in yarn may be a bit fall-like, but I think there is enough green in there to work for St. Patrick's Day too.

Here is the pattern:

Crochet Cuff:

CH 5

1. In 2nd CH from hook SC, in next CH do a DC, then SC in next CH, and DC in last CH

2. CH 1, turn. In last DC from previous row, do a SC. In next stitch (SC from previous row) do a DC, then a SC in next stitch, and DC in last stitch.

3. Repeat step 2 until you've reached desired length -- ends should just barely overlap when wrapped around your wrist.

4. CH 3, turn. SK 1st DC, TRC in 1st SC (2nd stitch) and in each of next 2 stitches.

5. CH 1, turn. SC in each of the 3 TRC and 1 SC in top of turning CH. Fasten off.

6. Sew on a coordinating button & weave in the ends.

Viola. You now have an adorable cuff! (I think I've decided on calling it a cuff now.) Here's the second one I've made and not quite finished.

Savannah has already requested one. And since they are really so quick, I'll probably make a bunch.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cootie Monster at the Bookstore

Ok, today I thought I would stop in at Borders on my way home from work today. I have been searching for the new Flea Market Style magazine and haven't been able to find it. Surely Borders will have it, I thought.
I was really surprised while looking for it at Borders because their magazine racks are surprisingly bare. I mean really really bare. Is this the current state of the magazine world? If so, it's very sad. Unfortunately, it directly parallels the state of my current finances, so I can't do much about it.
Anyway, I located the magazine, grabbed it and headed back to the craft book section. Honestly, there were only about 5 people shopping in the store while I was there. It was mid afternoon and not a busy time. But, of those 5 people, there was one really special lady shopping near me. I noticed her sitting on the floor in the music books section. Since there was nearly nobody in the store, when she pulled out her cell phone and started talking to someone, I could hear the whole conversation.

Here's what I heard:

Lady: "Hey, do you remember those sores I had all over my hands?" Pause. "Yeah, well they spread EVERYWHERE."

Me: What? Did I just hear her correctly?

Lady: "I went to the doctor about it and he said it was impetigo." Pause. "I know I had that as a kid too. Anyway, he said that it's EXTREMELY contagious and I could have caught it just from being near someone that had it. It's really really bad."

Me: Is this a joke? I tried to peek over the shelves to see if she was trying to be funny, but I couldn't see her. Do people really have these conversations over the cell phone in public?

Lady: "I am seriously so itchy!" Pause. "I'm at the bookstore. I wanted to go out shopping."

Me: As quickly as possible I dropped everything in my hands and hightailed it out of there.

Seriously? Was she seriously discussing her current highly contagious skin sores while casually shopping for books? All the while contaminating everything she touched?
I raced out to my car, pulled out the hand sanitizer, and bathed in it. Then, while driving home, I got an itchy feeling on my right hand.
Paranoia, I think. But, I'll let you know if I develop any sores.

Now I'm off to the kids' science fair where, hopefully, my sores and I won't become the subject of study.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I got home from work and picking the kids up from school this afternoon and felt a little crafty. I have a few things that I've been wanting to try, so this afternoon I gave one a whirl.

It's a pincushion ring.

I saw these on Alma Stoller. So hop on over there for the tutorial. They are pretty quick and easy and so darn adorable!

In other news, we are now down one box of girl scout cookies and the others are dwindling. It won't be long before we are seeking out the girl scouts at the local grocery stores. Why you gotta make your cookies so yummy, girl scouts?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Double Chin Mints

Guess what will be consuming my every waking thought for the next few days? That's right. Girl Scout Cookies.

It happens every year. Every single year.
I don't feel overcome with anxiety and impatience when I place the order. Nope. They are just cookies. And once I hear that they are in, I'm still not a cookie maniac. But, once I have opened up that first box, that's when the trouble begins. Some sort of cookie monster gas escapes the box the moment it's opened and it takes over your brain. Cookie crumbs collect in your lap as all hopes of a springtime diet fly out the window.

They are just so yummy. What do those girl scouts do to those cookies? I mean seriously. Look at that cookie.





I am trying to summon up some will power, but the cookies are a short lived treat. They disappear much too quickly. And I live with 2 piggy chomper children. I have to snarf them up as quick as possible just to ensure that I get any at all.

I have 7 boxes. They've all been opened. And they'll all be gone by the weekend.