Thursday, December 31, 2015

December's challenge....

For my last project, I made an arm knit infinity scarf.   I used a video tutorial by TheCraftyGemini....I strongly suggest you check it out if you are interested.  She does a really good job and uses slow mo for tricky parts.  

This first one took me about 45 minutes but after making it I know it won't take that long next time.  The trickiest part was casting on.

Wishing you all a Happy Crafting New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday happenings...

A couple days before Christmas, the kids were home alone.  They heard a loud noise and went to investigate.   They never discovered what made the noise...but I did!  The icing on the gingerbread house let loose and fell off the cake stand!  The reason it made such a loud noise is it was up on top of the china cabinet.

I replaced it with some carolers....they looked just as nice up here.

I helped Kaela make stockings using sweaters.  She got the idea off pinterest.  They were SUPER easy to make....though a little tricky using a regular sewing machine...

Osa loves to shred tissue paper.  We had just started putting gifts under the tree....lucky for me, I heard her and saved the present.

  This is what happens when you don't have thumbs!

We all went to the midnight service on Christmas Eve.  It is my favorite service because the music is acoustical and they use candle light.

We were all tired but it was totally worth staying up for it!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Crochet coffee cozies

I love cute coffee cozies!  

Dean was out of town a couple weeks ago so I filled a few hours crocheting some.

It was a great way to use up some yarn in my stash while watching "Boston Legal" reruns.  Plus, they turned out super cute.

and of course, I made myself one.....

Now we just need some cool weather to give us an excuse to use them!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Beta club convention....

Kaela is in Beta Club and went to convention a few weeks ago.   She and another girl represented the school in the "art" category.....

They were given 4 sharpies and had one hour to come up with something that represented their area.

This is what they did.....

And, yes, they WON, beating out several other teams.... and are getting to go to STATE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Weenie Roast?

Better not stand to close to the bonfire or the term "weenie" roast will take on a whole new meaning!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Nutcracker Nadine

Each year I host an ornament swap.  I wanted to send something special to one of the ladies.  She is so selfless.  She always creates the most AMAZING ornaments...and this year, she sent in a special treat bag for each of the participants.

She joins all my zombie doll swaps so while wracking my brain on what to make her, I decided a Christmas themed zombie doll would do the trick.

I know, I am so out of control....but here she is in all her glittery gory (oops, GLORY!)


I wrote a little poem to go with her of course, half the fun of creating these dolls is "telling" why they are zombies!

Oh, and she already has a boyfriend!  Of course, he had no IDEA that she was going to eat him for dinner after their "date.!"  That was fine with me, he was born in 1969, WAY too old for a young thing like Ms. Nadine!

Here is a little music to start your week....just imagine Nadine as the "star!"

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How to: paper mache snowman heads!

A couple years ago I made some snowman heads for my tree:

I wanted to do something similar for this year's ornament swap....without the hat and frill. 

Since I had to make so many this time around, I thought I'd share the main process here.   This made 14 "heads."

Here are the supplies I used:

DAS premade paper mache "dough"
ping pong balls
drill with teeny bit
teen eye screws
modge podge
paint brush and sponge brush
little bowl of water

this is what DAS looks like.  Use a coupon, it can be pricey.

Take your DAS and pinch off 14 equal sized blobs.  Roll each blob into a ball and set aside, keeping covered so they don't dry out.

Here is the ping pong ball brand I use, cheapos from Walmart.

 To get started, fllatten a ball of DAS and wrap it around the ping pong ball.  Using a teeny bit of water, smooth out lumps and edges.  Set aside and do the others.  

Once the heads are done, start the noses.  Make teeny cone shapes and carefully attach to the face.  Smooth out edged where the nose meets the face.  Now set aside to dry overnight or even for a couple of days.

Once dried, take the smallest drill bit and make a teeny hole where you want the hook to hang.  Use a bit smaller than the eye screw so it won't fall out.

Then paint your carrot nose and face and let dry.  Sorry, I forgot to take a photo! (Now Kaela said I should have made them into Gru faces or even Penguin this point, it is up to you.  I opted to stay with snowman heads.)

Once the face is painted and dried, "paint" your snowman heads with Modge Podge and sprinkle with glitter.  I actually used a bowl and dunked mine.    Let them hang and dry for a few days.  Then go BACK and check for coverage.  I hung mine in the washroom!

If you are weird, like me, and want the hook to be glittery, turn them over and glitter the eye screw the same way.

After that, you simply attach the hooks and you have a bowl of happy snowman heads.

Of course, I put one on my own tree!

Friday, December 18, 2015

whole lotta baking going on.....

I've been baking up a storm....I decided NOT to bake all the cookies and treats at once.

Instead, I'm doing a little each week so we can eat some and share some and NOT gain 80 pounds!

What do you make the day after Thanksgiving when you realize you forgot them the day OF Thanksgiving?

Apple Roses, got the recipe off Facebook....easy and sooo good!

And of course, there is always Turkey Pot Pie....recipe off Pinterest via Damn Delicious.  I admit I tweaked the recipe, adding some leftover gravy to the roux...delicious!

Pepper Nuts....been making these for EVER.  Best recipe?  From frugalgirl's blog.  I omit anise and double the cloves.  I suggest halving the recipe unless you feel like baking 8 hours straight!  lol

Basic Snicker doodles and my mom's cheese straw "cookies"....

That's all for today.....besides, I need to workout some:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Someone is turning 18 today!

I'm not going to get all gushy.....words aren't enough and I don't want to bawl my eyes out while typing this up.  

Kaela's beauty on the outside reflects her inner beauty.   It really does.  She is one of the sweetest people I've ever met.   I'm not saying that because I'm her mom....I'm saying it because it is true...and EVERYONE who knows her, tells me things they've witnessed her do.  Things that support my claim.
She has an amazing talent for art....and for helping those less fortunate.  I am so proud of her....and I love her so much! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Side yard landscaping

We have a very skinny side yard that I always thought could be pretty if we did something with it.   The yard is 50 feet long and goes from a mere 4 feet wide to 8 feet wide at the gate.

 Last year, we started the transformation process...I had a feeling the sun on this side would be better for our basil, peppers and tomatoes.

It was pretty and the veggies flourished...but that narrow strip of grass kept creeping into the beds UNDER the mulch.  It was a chore keeping it out.   

Over the summer, we put down plastic to kill that strip of grass.  Imagine living with this for several months...just awful.  But it did the trick, killing all the grass.

 Dean and I pulled up the plastic.  Then I freaked out thinking that it wasn't going to "look like I thought it would..." He told me to go away and patiently put down a thick layer of weed liner by himself.  

Then, the past two weekends, we FINISHED it!  Between the striping and the pebbles and the mulching and the stones, it was a lot of work.  But it is gorgeous and I love it.

Coming from the back yard, around the rosemary:

....the mulch strips to the left and right will be filled with veggies and herbs like last year.

This is the view when the gate is open.

The bench and table will be useful when I harvest and weed.  I am going to add a few underplantings of shamrock, alyssum and nasturtium at the edges....have to wait until spring for that though.

I am so happy with how it turned out.  I simply adore my little secret garden.  I cannot wait until the edges are softened by fluffs of ground cover....and I am again harvesting summer bounty.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ornament swap tree

Each year I host this swap and each year I love what is lovingly made and sent in.
This year was no different.   

I admit, I was so busy that I almost didn't host it but then I decided to do it anyway....I had an email from someone unexpected asking when I was hosting...and I just couldn't say no!

 Hosting takes a lot of time.  The hardest part is sorting the ornaments to give "balance" to everyone's return is no easy task.  

That being said, I always make a few different ornaments as I try to give every box at least 1 little "extra."

Here is what I received this year:

A sweet snowman atop a jingle bell (and YES, my daughter absconded with it right after the photo was taken!)  I'll be stealing it back when I pack them away!

A fun santa in a boot scene, reminiscent of the vintage style I adore.

A cute Ruddie!  Simple and sweet with a cute scarf.  Some even had glitter noses!

and a fun lollipop!

A few people made me an extra for hosting.  Some I had to use to balance out a few boxes, but I did get to keep this lovely doe in a storm of words....she is much prettier in person, all glittery and perfect.

and this wire and beaded tree topping star....

I put them all on a small tree I made for the bar using another urn. (yet, another craptastic to fantastic tree.)   

I filled the rest in with some other ornaments I made or received from past swaps.  

Here is one side:

and the other....

Peeking out from the back is the snowman head I made this year.  I truly adore all my handmade lovelies and thank all the participants who work SO HARD to create lovely ornaments to share with the group.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Missing Leonardo Da Kitty

This time of year has us jumping.....

Our annual donation to the pet shelter.   I managed to make  25 beds again.  It was a busy few months, crocheting and sewing them. (see, told ya I was doing stuff!)

Leo went missing the day we dropped off our donation.  Here he is in the last photo I took of him.  Look how handsome.  He was a mellowed out guy by this age.

We it was risky, allowing him to become and indoor/outdoor cat.  But he was a miserable indoor kitty....stress related health issues and basically unhappy.  We almost put him down he was so sickly.  
I guess the trade off of him being happy and healthy for close to 9 years outweighs the sadness I feel now.
The not knowing is tough.  Even Osa still looks for him.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

craptastic to fantastic~November's craft along challenge!

Okay, so I couldn't resist that title

Last January, I found a crappy little tree on the clearance shelf at a local store.  It was 90% off.   Yes, I spent 2 bucks on a broken tree....

So I took it home and found the broken light and fixed it.  Then I drug out this urn I had in the garage and painted it a goldish color.  After stuffing it with floral foam, I shoved the broken end of the tree into it and stabilized it with more foam.  I covered the whole mess up with a bag of mixed moss.

It was meant for my kitchen bar but Kaela wanted a tree for her room this year.  So, I swapped this out for the 4 footer I had at school.    This sits on the back table and all the kids love to come check out the hand made ornaments on it.

I have another urn and have been eyeballing these same little trees....just waiting for a good sale.  They were originally 30.00, no way am I spending that!

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