Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Gifts for little boys...

I saw this idea linked on One Pretty Thing and thought it would be perfect to add to my 'Handmade Christmas' list. I have two little boys - sons of my bestest friend - on my list. They're 2 and 4. The 'car' one is for the 2 year old and I'm going to attempt a 'train' theme on for the 4 year old.

The tutorial is here - it's very straightforward, though. The pockets at the bottom hold cars, the 'road' flips up for play and down over the cars to be rolled up for travel. Perfect for waits at the Doctor's office, going to Grandma's house, etc. I hope they love them!

Here is it rolled up and tied, It has about 4 cars in it so it's pretty bumpy :-)

And here it is opened up. The road flips up and is perfect for a little playtime with the cars.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Child-sized 'Snuggie' for Paige

Everytime that silly informercial comes on, Paige and Blake both say they want one. Now, both can be cold-natured and love snuggling up with blankets, so they actually might really use it.

However, I fear the 'one size fits all' mentality would be a bit harder to maneuver for a 7 year old. Plus, there's no cool patterns available. So using a variety of sources and patterns I found online, I made this one for Paige:

Here's a closeup of the top. The colors are just her style and it's sized nice and roomy for her.

Fleece doesn't fray, so there's no need to finish all edges, but I ran a small hem around the entire perimeter to give it a more finished look.

This is the fleece I'll be using to make Blake's 'Snuggie'. Lessons learned on the first - I think I'll reduce the space across the chest (between the sleeves) and a little bit of the sleeve length for his.

I hope they like them - and actually use them! Now to put them away to hide until Christmas :-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rainbow Cake

Have you seen this? I know it's been all over blogland, but I guess I'm late coming to the party.

Omnomicon's Rainbow Cake

Once I showed it to Paige, she loved the bright colors and was anxious to try it. We used our own cake and frosting recipes, but followed the same 'method'.

Here it is 'in process':

She decided she wanted a Panda Bear cake, so I did the best I could on short notice. It's not near as elaborate as others I've made in the past, but she wasn't having a 'real' party anyway, so we made do. It was actually pretty neat - the plain black and white cake on the outside exploded with color once cut.

Excuse the messy photos - note to self: wipe crumbs and frosting from plate when taking blog photos... oh, and clean clutter off surrounding table...

It was yummy!

Baby Shower Goodies

I went to a lovely Baby Shower yesterday for the mom of one of my Girl Scouts. It was a lot of fun - it's been a while since I've been to a shower.
So, with dear hubby laid off from work, I needed to be as frugal as possible. I found some cute patterns online HERE and HERE and made some bib and bootie sets. The booties would have been cute with a coordinating embellished onesie as well, but the mom-to-be mentioned that she had lots of clothes already.
This first set is made from repurposed 'fabric' I had around the house. The backside of the bib and the outside sole of the booties are denim from old jeans. The khaki fabric was once a pair of cargo maternity pants, and the aqua stripe was a cute button-down shirt my son never wore and has outgrown.

This set was just a cute baby flannel that my momma passed on to me - so soft!

And then this one - it's cute on both sides. The doggy flannel came from my Mom and I had the red flannel from another project. This was my daughter's favorite set.

Oh, and the surprise of the shower... ever seen the relay game involving plungers, toilet paper rolls, and no hands? Way too much fun - I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Furniture Re-Do

We were planning to move Paige into my recently-vacated Mother-in-Law's bedroom. We cleared out the room and painted it the same Vienna Turquoise that was in her existing room. She would move to this room (bigger closet and she loves the window seat) and we'd get Dean settled into her old room. Well... one major 'mistake' on her part later and she no longer gets the priviledge of changing rooms. She can stay where she is and we'll move Dean into this room.

During all of this, we discovered that both her large desk and large dresser will not fit well into the layout of this room - there's one small wall between the door and the closet and neither her bed, dresser or desk would fit there - meaning all three of those large items would have to crowd onto one side of the room.

I was on the hunt for a more narrow dresser and found this one on Craigslist:

It wasn't very pretty, but I liked the 'girly' lines to the top edge and the legs. So I removed the hardware, sanded and painted a nice chocolate brown (so hip with the turquoise these days!) I headed out after the painting was all done to get new hardware (just planned to use the existing holes) only to discover that the old hardware was a very non-standard size (2" hole spacing). I could not find any new handles at all to fit. Mark suggested I fill and sand the existing holes, but that would mean repainting AGAIN and I just wasn't up for that.

So I picked up some flat wooden plaques from the craft store, painted the edges brown and ModPodged some pretty decorative paper to them and used those to cover up the holes. Drilled some new holes and found some knobs I already had from an old dresser (just needed to spray paint them) and it was done!

So it's up in the new room (now Dean's room) and isn't very masculine... but maybe Paige will inherit it some day...

I've linked this over at The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday Linky Party and The Shabby Chic Cottage's Trasformation Thursday! Go check out some of the amazing projects!


We just had Paige's Birthday a few weeks ago. I was looking back over several years worth of pictures and love the chronicle of time the birthday pictures show. I also love LOVE love making their cakes. I thought about, at one time, selling cakes; but the 'right' way to do it involves having your home kitchen inspected and certified 'commercial' before you can get a license to sell. Way too much trouble... so I just do it for fun.

Some years I really went all out with the cake, matching favors and goody bags, etc. Some years there just wasn't time.
I know we should be looking at Paige, but somehow I'm missing her 3rd and 7th BDay pics and need to find them before I post hers.
So, Blake's 1st Birthday was just family and a small baseball-decorated smash cake for him. No digital pics - maybe I'll scan them in soon. His 2nd Birthday was the first 'big' one with friends. It was a firetruck theme.

Blake's 3rd Birthday was at Chuck E. Cheese's and was all about Spongebob Squarepants.

Blake's 4th Birthday was just a small 'party' at his daycare - but they didn't allow home-baked goods so it had to be a store-bough Dinosaur cake that year.

Blake's 5th Birthday was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I forgot to get a head-on picture of the cake though.

His 6th Birthday was at Pump-It-Up (bounce houses and obstacle courses) and had a Star Wars theme. The boy loves him some TOYS on his cake :-)

And his 7th Birthday. I'll be honest here - I was 7 months pregnant and really just 'phoned in' this cake. The party was on a Friday night and I'd worked all day and just really didn't have time to decorate it like I wanted to. The party was a 'Night at the Museum' theme as I took him and his friends to see the 2nd movie and then have a sleepover. The cake just has two little toys from the movie and uses one of the lines "Dum Dum - Give me Gum Gum". Blake didn't seem to mind.

It's so neat to see how he's grown and changed over the years. He's a real sweetheart and will still cuddle with me almost anytime I ask. He's got a real sensitive side to him although he can be a real tough guy when his friends are around.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Furniture Makeover

I know I previewed that cute little cabinet a few weeks back and have yet to show the 'after'. I'm not completely happy with it and am still putting some thought into it.

So, here's another more recent project.

I bought two of these simple chairs on Craigslist super cheap ($5 each) - didn't really know yet what I wanted to do with them and they're just not as comfortable as I was hoping... but for $5 I'm sure we can find some use for them.

So this is the first one. I'm horrible at this - I hate sanding. So I go the 'quick and dirty' route and hope it holds up. I simply wiped this down with a wet rag, primed and spray painted. No repairs or sanding at all on the frame. So... it's far from perfect but it is cute.

For the seat, I removed all of the cane (?) and was left with an outer wooden frame. I stapled a quick woven 4-strap upholstery webbing base, added padding, and stapled fabric over the whole thing. I wished I'd used more padding and may redo it, but I'll have to buy more staples first :-)

The fabric, batting and paint I already had on hand. I did buy the upholstery webbing but still have some leftover. Total cost - under $10.



So this is what happens...

when you leave your camera unattended....
It always makes me laugh when I download all the pics from my camera (I'm lazy and don't do it as often as I should) and I find some pictures I know *I* didn't take. Paige got her own digital camera for Christmas last year, but the kiddos always seem to find my camera if I leave it laying around instead of putting it on my desk like I should.

So a couple weeks ago I was painting the third bedroom for Paige to move in there. Since then, there's been some misbehavior and she is now NOT going to move in there...but I'll save that for another post.

I had just recovered the window seat custion in a fuzzy turquoise fabric and the room was pretty empty otherwise - wonderful play time, right? So first there's this... I believe this is Blake in a... um... pillowcase?

THEN I see this one... first question is...

Is that a 'gang sign' of some sort? Where did Blake get that from and does he think it's cool?

Then... I notice Paige's face (I'll hold here for your laughter :-)

Classic. Maybe I should leave my camera laying around more often, eh?

Friday, August 21, 2009

I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Ever had your A/C unit go out... in August... in Houston...? It's pretty much just miserable. Doing our best to get through this, but it will likely be several more days before we figure it all out.

I'll play catch-up and post these pictures of Dean's first haircut. The first two are the front and back 'BEFORE' pictures. Notice those cute little curlies at the back? Adorable, I know, but he was looking a little scraggly and I was worried that trimming up over his eyes and around his ears while preserving those curls would border on mullet-town. Just had to do it!

I'm so glad it was my AMAZING sister-in-law who was able to give him his first haircut.
THANK YOU Aunt Wendy for the new cool 'do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poor Baby!

See this sweet boy?

He just turned 1 last month and, for his life up to now, has been relatively healthy. But a few weeks ago, he got sick... fever for days and... um.... diaper issues. He got a horrible, awful, painful diaper rash. The fever lasted over a week and we finally got a diagnosis of Hand, Foot & Mouth disease. The symptoms paled in comparison to the side effects. It was the first time he'd had a BAD diaper rash.

And I mean BAD!!!

So... what's a Momma to do? Me? I whip up some 'homemade diaper cream'! Yep - it was a 'recipe' shared on a ParentsPlace message board when my daughter was little - so that was over 8 years ago. It's still the best thing I've ever used to clear up that rash super fast. I mean, within half a day the pain seemed to be gone (no more tears at diaper change time) and the redness was significantly reduced. Let me share...

1 part original Desitin (not Creamy, generally 4 oz. - accept no substitute)

1 part Maalox (generic is ok, flavor is irrelevant :-)

1 part Eucerin Cream (not lotion, generic ok here too)

Mix together. Sometimes it takes a while to incoporate the liquid (Maalox) into the creams, but it'll get there. Slather on GENEROUSLY at every diaper change and you'll be AMAZED at how quikly it works. I know the Maalox helps to neutralize the acid from the 'upset stomach issues', the Eucerin soothes, and the Desitin protects.

So on his Birthday, this sweet boy was feeling much better:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cabinet makeover

Okay, here's where we'll start.

Do you 'do' Craigslist? Never have before (too many seedy stories) but started checking out the 'for sale' section just for my little area of town. I was looking for some dining room chairs to go with the 'new to me' table my sis-in-law gave us. But then I saw this cute little cabinet... perfect for in my downstairs bathroom.
Get this - it was only $10. But the color was all wrong. I love the 'shabby chic' look, but didn't like the orangey-wood showing through on this.
So it's in process - the results will be posted in a few days.

Welcome to my blog!

How did I miss out on such amazing blogs for so long? Really, when I first heard about people reading blogs I thought it was just mindless meandering thoughts... accounts of boring daily lives. I guess I 'discovered' blogs when someone sent me a link to Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls - I LOVED the step-by-step photos and spent days reading through ALL of her recipes. If you haven't tried any yet - do it now! Then I discovered her Confessions and was hooked!

Then... I saw people linking to THEIR blogs in her comments section. And most of THOSE blogs had links to OTHER blogs THEY enjoy. I found blogs about cooking frugal family meals, baking, crafts, family life, sewing, home businesses, decorating, and even cutesy girly hairdos. There are just NOT enough hours in the day! Really!

So... so... well... I like to cook... I often make frugal family meals... and I adore baking (just ask my thighs)... and I've always enjoyed sewing and lots of other crafts... and who wouldn't want to read about my family... and I should have a blog!

Welcome. Enjoy. Come along on this journey with me. I can't wait to become a part of an amazing community and to share my everything with others. ~Carri