Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Land of Leprechauns!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 Although I am not of Irish decent my husband and hellions are lucky enough to have ancestors from the Emerald Isle.  I am still proud to say that for 3 of my 29 St. Patty's Days I have had a wee-bit-o Irish in me!

I've had the directions for this face warmer in my arsenal of crochet patterns for a little while now. The Tool requested one after he saw something similar on an etsy page I left open.  I think this shade of orange was just perfect to transform my Irish family into leprechauns! When I find the original maker of the pattern I will link to it so you too can have an awesome way to make yourself a leprechaun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Snow is Melting - Spring is Coming!

I've committed another DeStashing! 

Full of fun colors and cute detailing this little tote with wallet is here just in time for spring!  I found this group of fat quarters at an unclaimed freight store a few months ago. There were (from what I can remember) about $5 for a bundle of six! It's pretty difficult for me to pass up such an awesome deal like that so I got two bunches. This is the little project that these fun colors were waiting for.

The adorable tote with matching wallet were made from two fat quarters of  coordinating fabric. There is enough left to make another wallet, or as The Tool suggested, a coin purse. I'm just gonna show off the cute finished project. Maybe I'll make a tutorial with the next one I make.

An attempt at an *artsy* photo shoot.

Wallet ready for it's close up:

After I took the photo and loaded I realized I should have put something in the wallet. Silly ME!

Total Cost:  Maybe about $3.00  - two fat quarters at 83cents a piece.
and some fusible interfacing. 
Not too Shabby!

Time Cost: Took about 2 hours. But was also watching a movie and folding laundry.
Multi-tasking at it's best.

And Even though it's Wednesday:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Get Everything you Want on your Birthday

In only THREE easy steps:

Step 1:   Have The Tool make a cake with the hellions. Over sprinkling unavoidable.

The Tool trying to "spread" the sprinkles. This makes my heart melt.

Step 2:    Fight with Bubba to keep fingers out of cake long enough to sing "Happy Birthday" song.

Step 3:    Get first taste of delicious cake by licking the frosting off loving child's hand.

What more could a mother ask for?
It was a great birthday celebration.
Thanks for another great year.
                        ~ Dee

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Capture - B&W Emotions

I've been stalking observing the photo challenges over at "i should be folding laundry" for a while now. More recently I've chosen to throw down the gauntlet and join in the fun. This week the test is to capture emotion, and to make it more interesting, in black and white.

I can't say that I'm any good at taking photos - I'm a point and click kinda gal, more so now with the digital ability to see what I've got right away.  I turned on my cameras black and white option and was amazed at how instantly my family photos turned into pretty amazing shots.  I've learned that sometimes color can distract from the "feeling" of the photo.  Here is a small bit of the many B&W photos I got of my kiddos playing in the fresh snow yesterday. I think I captured some great emotions.


This is the first time I took Bubba out in the snow. He was full of wonder and awe.


My poor Monkey just wanted to run and play. "Enough of these pictures, Mom!"


Oh, Princess, you are quite the diva. She loves to have her picture taken.

Finally my three-fer! I was able to capture (starting with princess and going counter-clockwise)


Princess - always smiling.
Monkey - confused as usual.
Bubba - just wants to get up!

It was pretty neat to turn off the color and to just shoot photos. I may have to use this function more often. Even The Tool thought the photos captured were more artful than the normal point and click that normally comes from trying to get all three hellions in a picture. I may have to continue with the challenges.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Husband is an Addict

As hard as it is for me to admit - my husband, The Tool, is addicted to Craig's List. 

Now before I divulge the dirty little secret that is The Tool's alone I have to confess that I too have my demons. - Facebook, Blogs, Sleeping - all addictions that seem to distract from my job as wife and mother. With this aired let me continue with The Tool's addiction - as this preoccupation has actually had some advantages.

The Tool comes home, and before acknowledging the clean (HA!) home, adoring wife, and loving children that anxiously await his daily, triumphant return, will sit at the computer to check what has been offered for free on Craig's List.  He's been able to score some pretty neat items with his dedication to cheap finds.  From much needed storm doors to the more frivolous canoe, The Tool, has stumbled upon a vast assortment of goodies for FREE or nearly free with this online community of want-ads.

The most recent wonderful find was a light fixture.  The ad was posted for a light fixture to be given away because "the wife wants a new one." A sound reason to get rid  of a perfectly good light fixture. (At least they didn't throw it in the trash - I can only imagine how often this does happen - WASTE!)

 I wish that I saved the pic that was in the ad. It showed the light in a grand entry way, with  a 16 foot ceiling.  The gentleman giving away the light was kind enough to ask if our ceiling was high enough because it was a pretty big fixture.  The Tool will pick up anything that is free that he thinks he can use or even turn around to sell for profit. If the light didn't fit - at least he could probably sell it for $50 or so. 

We took a family trip to pick up the light. It was HUGE! It was UGLY! It had POTENTIAL!
After a little research - I found out it is a bowl pendant style chandelier.
Again, I wish I had a full before pic to show, but you can use your imagination.

This is the color of the metal parts before The Tool painted them a much warmer brown tone.

Originally - the thing hung a little too low. About 4 feet down into our 10 foot dinning room. Granted the Tool and I are both relatively short - something that low was a bit daunting for our small charming home.  The Tool was able to cut and re-weld the pieces that held the bowl in place from the ceiling mount. The only other adjustment made to the piece was to add a cord and chain so that we could have electricity run to it.  Eventually The Tool would love to have in ceiling wires for it, but I feel the chain just adds to the vintage feel of our 111 year old home.

Total Cost: $21.78
Spray Paint - $6.79
Wire/ Chain Kit: $14.99
 Time Spent: About 3 hours total -
 between spray paint, ceiling holes, and time driving.

Seeing that similar light fixtures in stores and online can sell anywhere from $250 to $1000+  I say we came out pretty ahead on this great Craig's List find.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Defeated & Deflated

Warning: Feelings and Opinions are expressed below.

Recently I was inspired by a post over at Miranda's blog "The Simple Life of Lily and Claire" about feeling "gross and uncomfortable" in our skin. Miranda is a mom of two wonderful little girls.  She writes about them, life, and sometimes struggles with weight loss. While I cannot relate to being overweight, or trying to lose weight, I can definitely relate to the feeling "gross and uncomfortable." Miranda's post was just so perfectly timed and hit home with an experience I had while at The Victoria's Secret this weekend.

The Tool lovingly bought me some "stockings" from The Victoria's Secret for Christmas. I love that he was being thoughtful and got me a gift but what am I going to do with a pair of $16, thigh-high, black stockings that were too big anyway? After our fun visit with the tax prep dude we went to return the stockings. I was looking around trying to decide what to get with my $16 merchandise credit. The Tool was dragging the hellions behind me, trying to keep six little hands from pulling all the lacy underthings off the racks. After the fourth well-meaning saleswoman asked me if there was something I was looking for I finally asked for help. This is pretty much the conversation verbatim.

Your Queen Wifey: (sheepishly) "Would you happen to have something in a 30 or 32 double A?"

SalesWoman: (very loudly) "We happen to have a 32AA in our *really expensive waterballon, push up to your neck* line."

YQW: (confused look) uh...

SW: (still very loud) "Would you like to be sized today? Many women come in and think they are a double A, but we can usually get them into an A or even a B"

YQW: (with a glimmer of hope) "Sure"

I am then ushered into the dressing area where I am handed off to a sizing expert.

SW: (to the Sizing Expert) " We need to get her sized today. She thinks she's a double AA. Let's see if we can get her into a *still sounds like torture* bra probably in an A or B."

YQW: (to Sizing Expert) "I'm pretty sure I'm a size double AA. There's not much there. This is all bra."

I do the trick to remove your bra under you shirt so that she can get an accurate measurement. This is followed by a stranger I just met feeling me up while I try to avoid eye contact with the other ladies waiting to be groped sized.

SE: (loud enough to be heard on Mars) "30 and 30. You're right double AA."

YQW: "So do you have a double AA I could try on?"

SalesWoman: "How are we doing in here?"

Sizing Expert: "Yeah, she was right. There's nothing there."

Both women then convince me to try on 6 different styles of bras, all of which were 32A - and of course did not fit. All of them gapped in the cup. I ended up just getting some more underpanties and left without a much needed bra.

This left me feeling defeated and deflated. 

Problem is there is nothing to keep the band down and my current bras just ride up over my lack of boobs and I end up pulling my bra back into place at least every 12.7 seconds. Most days I just go without. But after breastfeeding 3 children what is left there is basically just nipples. Not exactly what I want to be advertising all the time.

It just makes me feel that no matter what size you are there is always something that we don't like and hate about ourselves.  The simple fact that I am shaped like an 11 year old boy makes me feel gross and uncomfortable. Often times I look in the mirror and all I see is a lanky, awkward stick. There is not much that I wouldn't give to look curvy, sexy, and womanly. 

I try to gain weight. I eat junk because I want to gain weight, but am probably setting myself up for heart disease or diabetes. I don't exercise for fear of looking too muscular instead of soft like a woman should be.
I don't want to sound braggy, cause I'm not. I don't like it this way. I know most women will read this and think "poor skinny bi*&h - are we supposed to feel sorry for you?"  I don't often share this feeling because of that reason. 

No matter what our size - our goal should include being healthy for us and for our children.

Is this just what comes from being a woman in our society - are we programmed to think that no matter what we are never perfect? 

Women's bodies are amazing! I myself have made three beautiful babies! I was able to experience breastfeeding.  Pretty neat what my body can do. But still I look at it and feel gross.  What an unfair exchange for being able to give life.

The Victoria's Secret can't even get me a bra. Back to the little girl section at my local Walmart.

At least until I have the $7500 to buy me some new, awesome jugs.

Total Price: $ Humiliation and Defeat

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fabric DeStashing The First - Half Apron

The Tool I have decided that I have too much fabric that is sitting around "waiting" to be used. Most of it is super awesome money saving deals that I have just THE Project for and had to bring it home. Well time to start putting some of this stash to use.

So project by project I will declutter my basement in hopes of someday having a crafting room. That hopefully will be completely organized to my standards and allow my creativity to flow.

Some of these projects will be used at home for me, some will be gifts, and some will probably find their way to my etsy store. Heck- if I can make a little money too- I'm cool with that!

So to kick it off. This fabric has been in my stash since probably Summer 2003. This was the start of it all and it only seemed fitting that my first project come from this buy.  So I present to you a very country kitsch cool apron:

Gonna have to have The Tool work on taking better pics.
I need to get to cropping!!

Total Cost: $UNKNOWN - but probably less than 50cents.

Time Spent: About an hour. Watch a movie with The Tool while multitasking.

Both fabrics were from Walmart probably in the $1.00 / yard pile - as the summer of 2003 I was a poor, college student in transition.

Love this little half apron - think it'll work it's way to etsy.