where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Pit of Despair

While Danny is away, I've got some big plans for his room.  I've been questioning him about his preferences for the last few weeks. 

Me: Hey Danny...
Him: (in semi-surly teenage voice) What?
Me: How would you like a corner desk?
Him: Whaa? Oh, okay.

Every good project should start with a bad 'before' picture...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Breakfast

Cooking has been an adventure and fun this week. Lauren wanted to make an omelet so she started pulling things out of the fridge; mozzarella, eggs, leeks, turkey lunch meat and scalloped potatoes. Yes, scalloped potatoes. Here is her delicious new recipe:

Scalloped Potato Omelet

1/2 cup leftover scallop potatoes that your mom made the night before that you loved
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp diced leeks
2 pieces turkey lunch meat diced
3 eggs whisked with 1 Tbsp water (makes it fluffier)
Pam for frying pan

Heat frying pan to medium high. Heat scalloped potatoes in microwave so they are already hot. Pour eggs in frying pan covered in Pam. Roll the pan gently to spread the eggs evenly. Let eggs cook just about half way. In this order add ingredients; leeks, turkey lunch meat, cheese and scalloped potatoes. Fold eggs over to cover filling. Slide on to plate and devour!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jewelry Making 101

A few weeks ago Groupon had an offer for a jewelry making class near us. I snapped it up for 1/2 off and Lauren had 4 days of creativity and fun. She used a small ceramic tile and a magazine cut out to make the butterfly pendant with a repurposed chain from 2 other pieces we had. Polymer clay and a metal stamp were used for the copper colored necklace. The 2 hooks were inserted before baking. The 2 other pendants were made by stamping and coloring a design on paper, glazing the work onto a scrabble tile finally using a low heat soldering iron to frame them. Totally fun and easy!

Wherein Thrifting and Sewing Share Top Billing

So I was at Goodwill...I grabbed this totally adorable fabric out of the bins.  I loved it--it has a small geometric vibe but also manages to reference the ikat trend that I feel myself being manipulated into liking.  Despite sacrificing my personal hygiene somewhat in a fruitless search for a flat sheet of the same fabric, I headed home.

Kids Create: Pink Fondant

See the happy creator of this . . . well, creative cake.I had some fondant leftover from cake decorating class. I kneaded pink paste food coloring into the white fondant, and immediately had my daughter's undivided attention. Easier to work with than play dough or cookie dough, two hours flew by as she was rolling out fondant, cutting it (any cookie cutter will do--she liked flowers and leaves), molding it into sculptures, and arranging it all on a sloppily iced cake.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kids Create: Encyclopedia House

Bored with the usual building blocks? Just use what you have. Miriam favors our Encyclopedia Britannica. They're large enough to create child-size thrones, beds, and, in this case, a large doll-house with multiple dormers.
This particular model was create shortly after school started last August.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Small Storage Project

Most creative things I do stem out of a need. My crayon box fell apart so I needed a small container for my Sunbeam class.

I had this small canister.

It all started with a t-shirt.

I've always had a thing for this vintage Boeing logo.
So much so that I decided it would make a great Father's Day
gift for a certain Boeing engineer that I happen to be married to.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Copy Cat!

The Inspiration piece... It might look a little familiar. Keira constructed this magnificent piece of art a week or so ago and I LOVED it. It solved my head scratching confusion of what to get my hubby for Father's Day... You see Kevin had to sell his motorcycle for the move. It was just too complicated to get it from here to Colorado... but it was so sad to see him have to say goodbye to it.

So, I copied Keira's piece with a few tweaks. She did the awesome glazing and one color silhouette version. I kept the colors clean and more manly-modern. I also mixed a shadow color with a little black mixed into the background color. Oh yeah, and mine is not 4 feet tall.
Even though the picture is cool, the best part is behind the picture where I started a new motorcycle fund for my hubby. BEST-WIFE-EVER!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Great Garage Clean-Up - The Prequel

I'm just a little giddy about tomorrow (yes, I'm officially a dork).  The first thing I need to do (and maybe you do to?), it to take a few 'before' pictures of my messy garage.

Are you in?  Even if you don't have enough time to clean your garage, maybe you can pick a small area and get it cleaned and organized.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Faux Podge Makeover

I started with this little darling.  What wasn't so darling about
it was the advertising on the lid.

Sewing Notions Scavenger Hunt

 Yesterday I made myself a messenger bag. You can see more pictures of it here.  It's frankly not my best sewing effort, but there is one technique I used that I want to share:  The habit of saving useful bits and pieces from items that no longer are (useful, I mean).  Sometimes the best finds are from things you wouldn't give a second glance to.  I'll break down my sources and you'll see what I mean.
  • brown grosgrain ribbon - I have two (quite long) lengths that were originally tied around fleece blankets that the kids got for Christmas.
  • swivel hooks - from an unused strap (I don't remember for sure what the strap was for - possibly luggage)
  • d-rings - from an old computer bag.
  • buckle - from an EFY name tag lanyard.
The brown grosgrain is attached to the d-ring which is attached to the swivel hook....

Besides saving 'found notions' you also need to have a place for them...
so that you can find them again when you need them.

Grandma Hanna was a master at scavenging.  She gave me a bag of used
zippers about 25 years ago. I still have quite a few of them,  plus, I've added
to the stash at times.

 I have to admit that I've not been quite as good about scavenging as I could be.  I haven't taken out a zipper or snipped off buttons in quite a while, but I do keep an eye out at this time of year for all of the lovely bits and pieces that can be saved from an otherwise unsalvageable kids backpack.

Okay, so say you've rescued a zipper...but you don't have any experience installing zips.  Here's a great little project for a lined zippered pouch from Skip to my Lou that's great for novice zipper put-er-inners.

Please notice the previously used zipper...

I know, I know...too bright!  But wow, it seems like we haven't seen the sun
in ages, so deal with it.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Chalkboard Name Tags

I made these really cute name tags for our 8th grade graduation reception. I found the basic idea on One Pretty thing but made it my own. I bought 20 thin wood ovals from Michaels, 19 cents each. I had to use a paint scraper to get the stickers off the back.

I tried just spray painting it with Krylon Chalkboard spray paint but the glue from the stickers left it tacky even after 24 hours drying. So, I sanded with 220 grit paper - it made all the difference! Sand the wood enough to get the sticker residue off and enough to smooth out the side you will be writing on and the edges just a bit. It took about a minute for each one.

I sprayed each piece 3 times front and back letting it dry about 30 minutes in between coats. Once they were dry I hot glued a 1" bar pin to the back about 1/4 of the way from the top (if you do it in the center it the pin will flop forward when pinned on fabric).
Finally I roughed up the edge of the chalk so it would show up thicker and made a sample for the kids that will be writing their own tags.

So much fun! I'm totally going to use these next year for field trips!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread

I've been figuring out my Three Dollar Rummage Sale Mad Thrifting Skillz (Oh yes.  Z) Serger this week and I'm getting better and better at it.  Still, it doesn't leave much room for error.  When you've zipped through a line of fabric that's it.  No do-overs.  No measuring twice.  Unless...

So, I made this binder cover for Tia and wasn't really wanting to start the project for the longest time and the time I picked to begin it was while I was having an absorbing phone call with my friend in Utah.  Turns out this was a bad idea.  On the up-side, I don't think seam-ripping through four serger threads is the end of the world anymore. 

But if after all that work I did to make it adorable and awesome it doesn't fit her binder?  That, my dears, is the end of the world.

Make it happen!

Alright, Debbie twisted my arm enough to get me to post these pics here. These are in reference to Kids Craft Week going on this week. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed the atmospheres that I have created in each of their separate spaces. It had been a while since I had redone the spaces, and, once I figured out what I wanted to do, it only took a a little money (less than $200 for each room) and a lot of !!!free!!! hard work.
There is no reason to suffer a bland contractor white space because you think you can't afford an amazing room... just get creative.

Location, location, location.

When it comes to letting kids be creative, I tend to be a bit of a weenie.  It's not that I mind them getting messy - it's just that I'm not too fond of cleaning up after them.  I've found that it helps immensely to have a dedicated place for it...preferably outside.

Where will your kids be crafting this summer? Inside or out?

Are you ready for them? I know I'm not, but at least I've got a start at it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Look what I made→

I'd just like to point out the Google Calendar that I installed on our sidebar (thanks to a little nagging encouraging from Suzanne).  It doesn't look like much, but if you click on the Google Calendar button (bottom right) it will open up a calendar of events for this blog. Click on "Month" and you'll be able to scroll down and see what's ongoing and upcoming for the next few weeks!

The 'Month' button is at the upper right - if you then scroll down, this is what
you should see.