Friday, June 29, 2012

Etched Glass Trifle

A cute couple I know is getting married on the 7th, so I had to get my gift together finally today. I have had it in my mind for weeks. The bride and groom have a thing for baseball and all their engagement pics go a little something like this...

Beautiful photography courtesy of Sutherland Farm Hills Photography 
So what else could I do but an etched glass trifle with a baseball on it???  Everyone has monogrammed houseware, but this is unique and personal, and I have been dying to try my hand at glass etching since it is an absolute favorite of mine!  This is what I ended up with.  I hope she loves it as much as I do!

And here it is filled.  I thought an ice cream scoop and dish cloths would pair nicely and the dish cloths were in such wonderfully summery colors to match the bride's bright and bubbly personality.

Now I just need to make a card!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seascape Photo Shadowbox

Finally I have a new project to post.  This idea started brewing while we were on our Orange Beach vacation.  One thing my family loves to do is travel together and we love our annual beach trip.  We like to try out new beaches, too.  The only thing about vacations is they are NEVER long enough, so this year I wanted to bring the beach back with me.  Thus the Seascape Photo Shadowbox is born....

I did them in two varieties because I wanted to do them in a set, but not have them identical, so we have surf and sand.

What I used:
  • 2 premade shadow boxes (50% off from Hobby Lobby)
  • Modge Podge in matte
  • 2 - 8 x 10 vacation photos
  • Sand (I used the real stuff from the beach trip, but you can buy it at your local craft store, also.)
  • Shells - same as above
  • Acrylic craft water
  • Foam brush
The first thing I did was paint my shadow boxes, because unfortunately they were out of the white, and I wanted this to feel beachy.  You can definitely skip this step if you are fortunate enough to find the color you want.  I don't particularly love painting.

Next, I took the Modge Podge or other decoupaging medium of your choice and coated down the back interior portion of the shadow box with a foam brush.

Then I layed the photos down onto the shadow box back and rubbed them down so that there were no bubbles underneath.

Once you have let the glue dry you can start coating down the front of your photos.  Don't worry it is supposed to look funny.  It will dry clear.

Do NOT touch them while they are drying!  I let mine dry over night and cure so that when I started the next step foreign objects would not stick to the surface of my pictures.  My photos were not tacky at all when I started putting the shadow box together.  For both types of shadow box you will put your back onto the shadow box and take tape, duct, packing, or whatever sticky variety you have and tape across the bottom outside portion of the back so that your sand or craft water do not leak out.  If you do not do this you will have a mess.  Since this is on the back of my shadow box and I will be hanging mine anyway I just used clear packing tape.

Then I just pulled the top portion of the backing open just a smidge so that I could pour some sand down into the shadow box.  When I got the amount I wanted into the shadow box I put in a few of the shells we collected and closed up the back securing the latches.  The sand will move around so you will want to keep it sitting upright.

For the surf variety I started the same way by taping across the bottom back portion.  I then prepared the Craft Water as directed on the packaging.  I pulled the top back open slightly I put in a small amount of sand and shells in the very bottom.  Then using oven mitts I poured in a little of the Craft Water and closed the back, securing the latches.  Be careful not to tilt your box or you will have waves and splashes in your shadow box, which can also be a neat effect if that is what you want.  Then just let it sit and cure.  Every variety of craft water is different but the one I used started to turn to gel within 15 minutes.

Now go make your own. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back to the Real World

We trucked it on home today.  I hated to say goodbye to good old Orange Beach.  It was very kind to us and the weather held out fantastically for the entire week.  Unfortunately this week isn't looking as good for the poor folks just heading down with the tropical storm forming in the gulf.  Vacations are just never long enough so it always stinks when the weather is bad.

The kids had a blast from net fishing in the ocean, to fishing off the dock in the harbor, to visiting the pier, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo -- The Little Zoo That Could, and Battleship Alabama.  They were already begging to come back next year two days into the week-long trip.  We are beat from the trip home, so I am going to make this short, but I wanted to leave you with a few more pics from the trip.  Look for the next how-to coming up later in the week!  Hint - We will be using vacation pictures as our inspiration!

This is our little friend, Oscar.  If you look closely you will see he has fishing line stuck in his wing.  He likes to beg the fisherman for their rejects.

Just in case you were thinking about breaking into the zoo... HAHA

Checking out the fish they caught!

What is this stuff!!

Gulf State Park

Harbor at sunset!  So beautiful.

These little piggies went to the beach.... Unfortunately these little piggies had to go wee wee wee all the way home. :(

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket - Pattern Review

After a very long and painful wait trying to adopt, my cousin finally got word she was going to get a baby girl.  I had already had my eye on a few patterns for a baby blanket for her when the time came, so I pulled up all my bookmarked patterns and looked through the yarn I had trying to decide which was right for her.  I am a member of and I got the Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket pattern by Celeste Young from Ravelry as a free download.  If you crochet or knit and you are not a member of that site, go join now.  :) 

I found the pattern to be very easy to follow.  It was well written and all the stitch counts came out correctly.  I changed up the color combinations and the number of rows per color to fit my own color palette, and that was not difficult to do either.  I used cotton yarn which made it very soft.  I got a lot of compliments on this afghan and my cousin has used the afghan in several of this sweet baby's portraits since her birth 5 months ago.

Don't you just want to squeeze her!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Toes in the Water, Toes in the Sand

Hello from sunny Orange Beach!  Thought today since I am on vacation and have nothing crafty to share with you that I would send a little Instagram Post Card to all my virtual buddies out there.

Just in case you were wondering the nail polish underneath all that sand is "Flashy Fuschia." 

Lots of wind today, so the surf was up, and lots of seaweed left from all the storms in the gulf last week.  The kids had a blast, though, because it made the fishing easier apparently.

Having boys is very educational sometimes.  I now know what a Gulf Pipe Fish is for example.  Look those up.  They are rather interesting... like a straightened out seahorse.

Check out the size of the crab they caught with just those little nets!  Very cool little fella. 

More to come.....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hot Taco Rice

Tonight has been spent packing and cleaning and preparing all around for our trip.  We leave tomorrow for Orange Beach, and there was so much to do around here before we could be ready to go.  It is nights like this that we turn to our old reliable recipes that are quick and guaranteed to taste good time and time again.  So I am going to share with you one of our favorite quick recipes that we enjoy as a family.  I think my mom got it out of a magazine probably 14 or so years ago and it still just hangs around.

What You Will Need:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 8 oz. picante sauce
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)
  • white rice
  • toppings of your choosing (ex. lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream)
  • tortilla chips
Start by browning your ground beef.  Drain it.  Then stir in picante sauce, tomato sauce, and chicken bouillon cube.  Stir.  Cover and let simmer until bouillon cube is completely dissolved.

While that is cooking, bring some water to a boil for your rice.  You can use any variety that you like.  I used the boil-in-a-bag variety, but it is just preference.  Cook until light and fluffy.  Drain.

When the bouillon is dissolved and your rice is finished you are ready to serve.  First you will put a layer of rice on your plates, then spoon the beef mixture over that.  Sprinkle with cheese and any toppings.  Serve with chips. 

See how easy that was??

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Footprint Door Mat How-To

I have been seeing all these pins on Pinterest of monogrammed door mats so I thought I would change that up a little bit.  My last name will be the same forever, but my kids are growing way too fast so why not preserve this moment.  I have always been a sucker for baby feet, so the Footprint Door Mat was born.

What I used:
  • $6 Wal-Mart door mat
  • Black acrylic craft pain
  • Foam brushes
  • Paper
  • Scanner, Silhouette Cameo, and vinyl (optional)
  • If you do not have a Silhouette freezer paper will work also.
First off you will need to prep and paint those precious baby tootsies.  You might want to have a bucket of water close by or do this in the bathroom because it can get messy.  We did one foot at a time.  My boys loved it!

Next, you will have them step directly down onto a piece of white paper.

You will probably have some lighter spots like in the photo above.  If you are using a Silhouette for this you will want to take your black paint and paint in those light spots so that it is a more solid color.  It makes the next step much easier.

Silhouette instructions
When you have finished painting them in, let the paint dry.  Scan them into your computer if using your Silhouette.  When you open your Silhouette software you will click the open folder and find the location you saved your footprints to.  You may have to change the file type in the drop down menu to .jpg to find it.  Then click Open.  When the footprints show up in your Silhouette Studio software you will go to the top menu and find Object.  Then go down to where it says Trace.  On the right side will pop up the trace options.  Select your trace area.  Then choose "trace outer edge."  When you have done this you can select your media if you haven't already and load it into the Silhouette.  Once you set your blade to the appropriate setting you are ready to cut!  You are going to use the negative portion for your stencil so use your Silhouette hook and peel out the inner foot print.  Then you will transfer your stencil onto the rug.  It may not stick firmly if you are using a highly textured rug like the one I used, but just hold it down as you pull off the transfer paper and it will work. :)

Once you have your stencil secured to the mat you will take your foam brushes and paint those feet!  I coated them several times to make sure to get it good and saturated and dark getting into the textured spots.  Peel it off, and Voila!

The great thing is now you have the footprints saved and scanned into your computer!  Think of all the great crafts you can do with them now!  They would make great grandparent gifts!

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Doodlebug's Birthday Party

Today was my niece's birthday party.  She is 2 now.  All I can say is I forgot how stressful birthday parties can be at that age.  I think everyone had a great time, but we had a lot of tired kiddos who desperately needed a nap by the time it was over.  The pictures are from my phone so they could be better, but I tried to lighten them with Instagram some.  Have I mentioned how much I love that app?? ;)

She couldn't wait to get her hands in the cake.

J-Bird seems to be feeling better now, and I think she had a good time because even without a nap I think she cried less than all the other little kids.  Haha.

The boys got to go swimming so they were excited!  Seriously have to get them in swim lessons at the Y this year.

Next on the countdown list:
  1. Four more days of school and we will FINALLY be out.  I already have a couple of fun crafts lined up for the kids to do.  Plus summer reading at the library as usual, so hopefully we can have lots of fun time together this summer.  If it all pans out, I am hoping to do a kid craft once a week featured on the blog throughout the summer so stay tuned!
  2. Leave for the beach in 7 days.  Lots of packing to be done this week!!
  3. Hubby starts his new job on Monday.  Anxious and happy for him all at once.  Lots of changes on our way, but hopefully mostly for the good.  I know God has something great in store for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thrift Store Score and a Prayer Request

This post may seem a little random, because I have a couple nonconnected things to share today, but that is how it is sometimes.  First off, I wanted to share some things that I found in a thrift store here in town.  I am totally not a thrifter by nature.  I have tried several times, and I am just not gifted with the "eye" it takes to see the potential in things like this.  So you can imagine how excited I was since I went in with no expectations and came out with treasure!

This is what I got:  Probably at least 5 yards of fabric, a candlestick, and a picture frame (not shown) all for $7.50. The candlestick and the picture frame you will probably see down the road.  I have some crafty plans for them.  Yay me!

Now, for something a little more serious, I'd like to appeal to those of you who pray.  A close friend of the family has been in the hospital for a few days.  She is 52.  They found a tumor in her pelvis the size of a cantalope.  She had not been sick previously aside from what she thought was an upper respiratory infection that she couldn't get rid of.  They did the surgery to remove it along with a complete hysterectomy, and found it to be cancer and of an advanced stage.  Everyone is in shock, so I ask that you please pray for her healing, and that God receive the glory for it all.  After all He said if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

Sometimes motherhood feels that way don't you think?  Don't get me wrong, I have wanted children since I was a child myself.  I love my kids more than I love my own life, and they are the best things I have ever done, but some days are exhausting and you fall into bed at night completely drained.  Anyone who has spent hours and hours rocking a sick baby knows what I am talking about.  Anyone who has spent all day refereeing fighting siblings knows what I am talking about.  It's part of the "job," and we do it willingly, lovingly, with no regret.

Today was one of those days around here.  One of those days when you don't get your own hair washed or the laundry done or the floor vacuumed. 

The day started off with appointments at the eye doctor for the boys with the baby in tow.  The baby who has not been feeling that well for a couple of days.  We come to learn that our oldest will probably be in glasses in the next year or two.  Not exactly what we wanted to hear, but not altogether surprised by it considering his genes.

Now, baby J-bird has had swollen gums and all the tell tale signs of teething and this is what we attributed all her fussiness and fever to, but now the fever has been going on for three days.  The tooth has still not surfaced, and she seems to be feeling worse.  It looks like the pediatrician is on the agenda for tomorrow.  I hate it when my babies feel bad!!

Despite her wanting to be held most of the day I did get to get some sewing done, though.  Daddy to the rescue.  I had to finish my niece's birthday present, because her party is this Saturday.  I hope that they like it.

I started off by cutting out the #2 with my Silhouette Cameo and applying it with a warm iron.  Then I stitched it down.  Then I made the Twirly Girl Skirt from the book Little Girls Big Style, but any tiered skirt pattern would have worked.  I really love the way it turned out!

Now to get J-bird feeling well before Saturday!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Purse Palooza fabric reveal

Well, I can finally cross one crafting related to-do off the list.  I went fabric shopping today.  My wallet did not appreciate it.  My main objective walking into the craft store, a.k.a. Hobby Lobby, was to find the materials I needed for my Purse Palooza bag entry.  (If you have never heard of Purse Palooza before click the little ticket button to the left and it will tell you all about it.) 

After wandering around and looking at just about every fabric there, and then walking it a second time I finally figured out what it was I wanted, and I took a completely different turn with the bag than I originally intended.  It's summer and I wanted something cheery, but that still bordered on neutral-ish. 

Drum roll please......

Now, I just hope the bag turns out as awesome as I envision it to.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What do me and J. Lo have in common?

I mean really, aside from both being drop dead gorgeous, having incredible singing voices, and ample booty what could I possibly have in common with J.Lo?  Well, I am so glad you asked. 

I went to the eye doctor today in hopes of finding some prescription sunglasses.  Well, after debating for a while I decided to just get regular glasses with transition lenses so they could work double duty should something happen to my everyday glasses.  While looking I came upon this pair of glasses that I just instantly fell in love with.  Little did I know these were designed by J.Lo.  (Yes, I know the big sticker on the front of the lens should have clued me in, but I don't usually care much for designer labels so I just looked over it, LITERALLY  Haha.)  Who knew she did designer eyeglass frames??  At any rate, this is what I ended up ordering. (Keep in mind very bad cell phone pic.)

This is what I loved most about them.

So what do you think?  Are they too funky or just the right amount of funky?