Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spray paint season!

I must admit, with the weather warming up, I am getting excited for spray paint season!
Who's with me?!

I have a bunch of spray painting projects just waiting for the 70 degree weather.
Bring it on!

Until then, here is my latest project...
(We make cute babies.)

And speaking of spring... we got to play with lambs!  More pictures and the story here.
  (If this picture doesn't thaw out your winter chills, nothing will!)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby bassinet remix

One week (or so) until baby comes... hopefully sooner.
We got rid of baby stuff long ago.  So we are starting over with the gear.
The thing is, I already know how quickly babies grow out of stuff, and that we are probably done having babies, so I didn't want to spend a fortune on equipment.
So I have been searching Craigslist.  (Yikes.)
I found a crib for $50 that sounded nice enough, new enough, and good enough (I made sure there were no recalls on the make/model).  It turns out a family from our elementary school was selling it... and for $50, I got the crib and they threw in this bassinet (it converts to a changing table) for free!  And they delivered it!!!
First, I washed every scrap of fabric on the bassinet.  There were lots of snaps, velcro and zippers, but it all came off.  Once it was washed and put back, it looked good as new... but really neutral...
and boring.
 And then I got an idea...

And then I got fabric...

I made long covers for the sides of the bassinet.  I cut strips of fabric about 6 inches wide, folded them over about 1/3 of the way down, so that both the right sides and back sides of the fabric strips showed (I like how the back side shows the pattern and colors, only softer... so sometimes I make the back side of fabric show on purpose), and then I ran a long stitch long the folded side.  Once I had the long stitch across, I gathered the fabric by pulling on the top thread... to make ruffles.  Lots of ruffles!  

I added a ruffle to the hood, and pinned a cute felted wool flower to the inside (for baby to look at) and onto the hood (for cuteness).

 I pinned a few felted wool flowers (I made a bunch of these for Valentines Day, these were leftovers) over the embroidered words on the organizer... much better.  And I stocked up the organizer thing with diapers, wipes, burp cloth, etc.

 Okay, now baby has a nice place to dream.  Doesn't it look cozy?
Ruby immediately pulled up a stool to check it out.  Ruby approved.

Anytime now, baby.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Harry Potter Birthday Party... on the cheap

Alli turned ten this year... which is a big deal.  And she wanted a Harry Potter-themed birthday party.
First we checked out Pinterest.  There are some great ideas out there.  But I was trying to keep this party cheap, fun, and not too time-consuming.

To decorate, we gathered up stuff we already had... books, a bird cage, stuffed owl, round plastic glasses, a witch broom, a wand (stick), a witch hat.  Alli sewed a golden snitch out of felt.  (I spent $0 on this.)
Alli made a sign for the front porch that said, "Platform 9-3/4."  She just used a chalkboard and chalk.  It was cute.  I failed to take a picture of that.

We also hung a bunch of streamers.  I like to pick up packs of streamers at the local thrift shop.  They are super cheap that way.  I have a box in a closet with all colors of streamers.  It is a great way to make a big visual impact with minimal impact on the wallet.

The big project was in the dining room.  The floating candles idea was from Pinterest.  I purchased 24 LED tea lights from Amazon (about $12).  We covered toilet paper and wrapping paper rolls with cream-colored paper, glued a paper bottom on, and made a little sling across the top so the candle wouldn't fall in too far.  Some of the candles had wax drippings down the side made from the hot glue gun.

 We hung them up with clear nylon thread and white masking tape on the ceiling.  They were awesome, but took some time to put together, hang, turn on, and turn off...  overall it was worth it.  They were pretty magical.

We decorated the mantle a little... candles, books, bust statues, old paintings.  Okay, the paintings were already there.

We dipped pretzel rods in chocolate and decorated them to make wands.  Each kids made one.  We wrote named on the parchment so we knew who they belonged to.

Alli wanted a cake like the one Hagrid made for Harry.  She said pink frosting with green letters saying, "Happy Birthday Alli!"
 I guess Hagrid's cake was sloppy... oops.
Alli wanted a lemon cake.  I had a yellow cake mix, so I added a few drops of  food grade lemon essential oil.  Between the layers I put raspberry-peach preserves.  It was delicious.

It was hard to wait for the wands to harden.

They ate lunch with the lights out... candles only.  I made butter beer... it was melted butterscotch candies (about a dozen in a cup of water or so), a 2-liter of cream soda, and a 1-liter of seltzer water... topped with vanilla ice cream.

Then they played a tasting game.  I bought a small pack of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and a bigger pack of Target brand Jelly Belly beans.  The Bertie Bott's Beans are expensive and they include gross flavors.  I put the good jelly beans in a bigger bowl and the Bertie Bott's Beans in a smaller one, so the kids who were braver could try nasty flavors and the kids who were sensible could try pleasant flavors.

Alli had ten tall, skinny candles on her cake.

The gifts were opened...

I made chocolate frogs... after Christmas is a great time to buy melting chocolates.  These frogs were stuffed with marshmallows.  The candy mold cost about $5.  They were a hit.

We made golden snitches as a craft activity.  I purchased a bunch of golden Christmas ornaments (after Christmas 90% off!) and a bag of white feathers.  For $5, each girl got to make at least one... most made two.

Here is Alli's snitch... we hung it on clear nylon string.
 The goody bag included gold coins from Gringott's bank, a chocolate frog, jelly beans, the pretzel wand, and some mints (the coins, chocolate, and mints were all Christmas clearance finds).

So that was the party.  You can read more about it here.