Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Conkerr Cancer Pillowcase

My friend, Amy, and I have been teaching a sewing class for the elementary-aged kids at church over the past three weeks.  This week they will finish making their very own pillowcases and also have the opportunity to make a second case to donate to the Conkerr Cancer Pillowcase Program at a local hospital.  I made a pillowcase today to donate to a student of mine who is in the hospital with cancer.  It was really easy to make using the "roll-up" method.  Here's how it's done.

Pre-step - wash all fabric before cutting/sewing
Step 1 - Cut main fabric to 41" x 27" and iron
Step 2 - Cut accent (cuff) fabric to 41" x 10" and iron
Step 3 - Lay accent piece right side up on work surface

Step 4 - lay main piece wrong side up on top of accent piece

Step 5 - roll main fabric up from the bottom towards the top
Step 6 - bring accent fabric up and over rolled up main fabric

Step 7 - pin the heck out of it

Step 7.5 - admire your handiwork

Step 8 - sew a straight stitch along length

Step 8.5 - admire your handiwork

Step 9 - start to pull main fabric out of its roll

Step 9.5 - keep pulling

Done with the cuff - note how all the raw edges are hidden

I finished off the case with French seams on the side and bottom to keep all the raw edges enclosed. (Here is a great tutorial on how to do a French seem by Coletterie.)  But, you can can simply sew the right sides together and serge, zigzag stitch, or trim/press the edges.  From start to finish it took me less than an hour, and that was with lots of extra ironing and sewing for the French seams.

I can't wait for the kids to finish their pillowcases!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

RDS Recital 2012

Today was our 3rd Robin's Dance Studio recital (Chloe's 6th recital and Bradley's 3rd).  I had to do the mother/son dance with Bradley since I kinda sorta forced Mike to dance with Chloe last year.  Not too much foresight there, huh? But, the kids all did great and much fun was had by all. 

From L-R: Bradley, Chloe, Me, Alexis, Erin, Alyssa, Meghan, McKenna, Kim

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bluebonnets 2012

This year we brought the Cousins along for our annual Texas Bluebonnet pictures.  

Chloe (7), Bradley (6)

Alexis (13), Alec (9), Bradley, Chloe, Alyssa (4)

Me and my sister (both 29, of course)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

No more curls

Bradley has always had long, curly hair and he's always been proud of it.  But, lately some rotten boys at school have been teasing him, so he has been begging me for a hair cut.  Today, I finally gave in and only cried a tiny bit as he got his first real haircut.  He is an absolute doll, but it's going to take me a while to get used to his new look.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meet Rosie

Turns out Rocky was lonely.  So, at Repticon (really) Chloe chose a little friend for him - Rosie. She was born in October and is a Tequila corn snake.  Let's just hope they remain a family of only two.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Meet Rocky

We are now the proud owners of a new pet - Rocky, the baby corn snake.  He will get to be about 5 feet long, live for 20 years, and eat mice.  He will live in my daughter's room and she could not be happier.  Anyone want to come over and play?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Here's Chloe with her cookies all ready for delivery Still need to order? Give us a call! :)

Huge thanks to everyone who ordered! We'll see you soon!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY Speeder

Just Bradley racing through Endor after Storm Troopers on his homemade speeder. Jam their comlink. Center switch!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's That Smell?

A couple of weeks ago I grabbed a t-shirt from my closet and when I put it on I actually gasped and said out loud, "Good God, what is that smell?" I quickly realized it was me and I had a moment of panic, but then realized it wasn't really me - it was just the t-shirt. I jumped right back to freaking out, though, because seriously why did my t-shirt freaking smell like funk? Yucky footy dirty feetsy funk. Because I am pretty bright I deduced that my t-shirt had the horrific aroma of Man Foot because it had been hanging right next to the shelf upon which my husband puts his shoes. Stank. Contagious stank. {seriously, UGH}

After I overreacted and washed all my clothes within a few yards of his shoes, I set to the task of dealing with the source of the problem. Boys are so gross, but I can't do anything about that. Which left the shoes. Now, I know Man Foot is nasty, so I've bought all those fancy inserts and gels and such for my husband's shoes. He's gellin' but he's still smellin'.

I tried bacteria-eating, odor-fighting powder, but my husband didn't exactly like the poofs of smoke when he walked (or the fact that all his socks had a cloudy tint to them). I tried good ol' baking soda, but same issues with the powder. Then, when I was doing laundry (where I spend a lot of time now that it is so darn cute in my laundry room) I got an idea - I stuck fabric softener sheets in each of his shoes.

Guess what? It totally worked!! He just takes them out in the morning and sticks them back in at the end of the day. His shoes no longer stink, which has stopped my clothes from stinking, which has stopped me from stinking. And that, my friends, is sweet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lights Out

About five minutes into our Girl Scout meeting tonight the power suddenly went out (the weather wasn't bad or anything) and not a single one of the 16 girls there panicked or screamed or squeeled! (These are 1st and 2nd graders (Daisies and Brownies), y'all.)

I turned on the flashlight on my phone, and asked them if we had any flashlights in our Camp Kit. One girl excitedly told us that we did, because she had brought them. So, my co-leader went to get them. I told the girls not to worry and one little voice said, "It's okay - I have my buddy." I scanned my flashlight phone around the room and each girl had the hand of a girl next to her. And no one was scared. They didn't get all silly or goofy, and they were ready to continue their meeting.

My co-leader got a bunch of candles lit and for the majority of the rest of our 1.5 hour long meeting, our crazy cool girls met all of their objectives for the evening by candlelight and flashlight.

They worked, sang, ate snack, cleaned up, and took care of business in the dark. Because Girl Scouts, even little ones, can totally do anything.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tech Family

I came home from the gym today to find my family lounging about...

Glued to their technology.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Removing Glitter Nail Polish

The holidays are over, and I think it's time to move on from my ultra glitter nail polish! Have you tried Sally Hansen's Gem Crush polish? Talk about bling! It's great because the glitter doesn't just float around and clump up like most glitter polishes - it's full coverage with micro glitter and larger glitter chunks. (Costs around $7-$8 at the drug store, but I found it on sale with a $2.5o off coupon at my local grocery store before Christmas.)

I did mine in the red Cha-Ching for Christmas and then did the Lady Luck for New Years. But, it was starting to chip and flake, so it had to go.

Now, if you've ever used glitter nail polish (and if you haven't, do you want me to do your nails?) you know that getting it off can be a massive pain. Usually you have to scrub and scrub until you are sore! But, here's the easy way to manage it...

First, you need some basic things which you probably already have: Foil, acetone polish remover, and cotton balls. You'll also need some scissors to cut up the foil. (Bonus: cutting heavy duty foil sharpens your scissors. You could also use a square craft punch.) Cut the foil into 10 pieces each about 3"x3".

Step 1 - polish remover. Wet the cotton ball, but don't soak it. I usually just block the top with the cotton ball and flip it over quickly once to get the right amount of remover.

Step 2: wrap. Put your finger upside down onto the wet cotton ball (or hold it onto your finger) and wrap it with the foil. Give it a little squeeze to get the remover flowing around your nail (but don't squeeze so hard that it starts dripping out of your foil wrap).

Step 4: repeat. Get all your nails cozy. Now, you can also do your other hand so you can have all 10 soaking at the same time. I'm not that coordinated, though, so I do each hand separately.

Set a timer or watch the clock for 5 minutes. Chase your kids or dog with your robot hands, do a little finger tap dance on the counter, or play on Pinterest. Ahh, Pinterest. Just don't get sucked into something and forget to take off the foil because if it dries it makes a big, sticky cotton mess. Not that I've done that or anything. Okay.

Step 5: ooooo! Give your finger a final squeeze and then twist the foil and cotton ball around to get the last dregs of polish off of your finger. Sometimes you'll have some glitter left over that you just need to brush away (the glitter doesn't actually dissolve or anything, so I usually have some stuck under my nail and I just use a tooth pick to flick it out).

Here are my nails right after taking the foil wraps off:

And, finally, here are my nails after doing my simple sugar scrub, filing, buffing, and with my staple O.P.I.'s Natural Nail Base Coat:

I can either leave them like this or add my next color when I'm ready. Hope this helps you - and encourages you to try some fun glitter polishes! (Really, I will totally paint your nails if you come over.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Laundry Room Make-over (a work in progress)

We've been in our house for four years and the laundry room has always bugged me. It was the plain basic flat white done by the builder and that paint is really bad about collecting dust. It's always a battle: me vs. the dust creature army (and I usually retreat in terror). So, on Friday I saw that the paint was on sale, found a great color and started my project. I always forget to take "before" shots, but here are some pictures...

This is my first "test" of the paint color. I was trying to decide whether or not to do the whole room the blue (Bermuda Bay by Glidden) or to just do an accent wall and then do the rest of the walls a lighter color. But, I found this great website (House of Turquoise) that has samples of all kinds of amazing turquoise rooms and I saw plenty of rooms smaller than mine done beautifully. My laundry room is only 9' by 6.5', but it has 9' ceilings, so that really opens up the space and I figured it could handle the full coverage.

Of course, while the paint was drying I spent some time playing on Pinterest and I found this great pin of a gal who has a very cool way to tint mason jars (check it out here). I thought I would try it with vases since I don't have any mason jars. I also didn't have any vases, but a quick trip to the thrift store yielded two great vases for $.50 each and a pretty milk glass vase for $.75. Go, me! :)

I followed the directions, but I managed to goof somehow (or it's probably just different with the greater surface area of the vases and completely unrelated to an error on my part, right?). The vases did take the tint, but they ended up with a bubbly texture rather than the smooth look I was going for. But, I think they still look pretty. From a distance.

This first one is how they looked during the tinting.

And here is a close-up of the larger one after. See the weird texture? Anyone know what I did wrong?

Sunday I finished all the final touch-ups on the paint and I made a run to the fabric store to pick up some fabric to make the curtains (I let Chloe pick the fabric - she has a great eye for color). Mike wanted them to cover the whole window, but I only wanted half length so the light would still pour in. Not sure if I made the right choice, but we'll see. I just finished the curtains this evening, so I'll know for sure tomorrow in the day light.

I still have a lot more to do, of course. I'm working on the hanger rod slowly. It was dark wood, so it's taking several coats of spray paint to get good coverage. I'd also like to find an old fashioned washboard to hang on the wall, and maybe a tin wash tub to put on the shelf. It's a work in progress (like all my projects). I added some of my old wooden spools to the big vase and some wooden clothespins to the smaller one.

Paint: $12 (normally $18), 1 gallon
Fabric: $3.99 patterned (normally $7.99/yd), 1 yard; $1.99 muslin for lining (normally $4.99/yd), 1 yard
Boxes: $2 ea (normally $6 ea), 4 boxes
Vases: $1.75, 3 vases

Already had: paint brushes, curtain rod, thread

Not bad for less than $30, huh?

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