Saturday, September 12, 2009

From Pooh to Planets

This lamp used to be in my daughter's room but it has been replaced by a more grown up sort of lighting. I was going to donate this one but I just couldn't bring myself to part with it. It was my baby's lamp!!!

Then I found a brand new, still-in-the-package lampshade at the thrift store for dirt cheap. That gave me the inspiration I needed to change this from Pooh. Here are the details on the base before the make-over...

A little sanding, a coat of spray primer, a little spray paint and Shah-zam! Here's what it looks like now...

Poor Pooh, he's all gone!

My son loves the moon and we have glow in the dark stars all over his ceiling. The colors in his room are blue and green, so this fits perfectly in his room. He loves it. I'm considering putting glow-in-the-dark paint on top of the images on the shade. Hmmm, can't decide.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Easy Kitchen Crafting

My salt and pepper got a make-over today. I use a refillable grinder for each. Both of them have a big "S" on the front. This annoys me. I know, I know. There are much bigger things in life. The "S" is for the brand name but to me it looks like I have two containers of salt. I forgot to take a picture before I began. I realized after I'd completed the salt that I might want to blog about it. So here's a shot of the pepper with the big "S" on the front. (Instead of a "P" like my mind says it should!)

I cut out coordinating scrapbooking paper with a laminated finish on it. I ran both pieces through my Xyron to make it adhesive. Then I stuck it around the exterior covering the store labels. Finally, to remedy the double "S" annoyance that I have, I put a "P" sticker on the lid of the pepper and an "S" sticker on the lid for the Salt.

My kitchen is painted grey but the accents are red, yellow, green, and blue, so the colors of the scrapbooking paper match perfectly. I also love how they look on my new garage sale find. I found this lovely cake plate this weekend at the one garage sale I stopped at. If you flip it over, it's a chip and dip bowl. I love it!

It will spend most of it's life in the center of my table as a catch-all for the salt, pepper, napkins, and the bottle of conversation starters.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ranger's Apprentice Giveaway!!!

Deanna, over at Mom Musings is hosting a giveaway. She's giving away a copy of The Seige of Macindaw, Book 6 in the Ranger's Apprentice series. I haven't read any of the Ranger's Apprentice books but they are on my "to read" list. I have two friends that have recommended the series and I really want to read it. Perhaps if I won, it would prompt me to begin on this series.

If you love reading and want to find some good reads, check out
Deanna's blog. She's an avid reader and loves sharing her thoughts about the books she's read. Her blog is a great mix of book reviews, family activities, and with 6 kids, there's no end to the interesting topics this super - mom could post about. In addition to her reading and family adventures, she blogs about the journey she's traveling as a mother of a beautiful child with special needs. Check out her blog, you won't be sorry you did!

Oh, and don't forget to
enter her book giveaway!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Favorite Things

My friend, Deanna, tagged me for this meme: Favorite Things. I'm a little late posting this. It's been sitting in draft since May. I've been a bit of a absentee blogger lately.

These are the rules:
1. Mentioned who tagged you.
2. List six unimportant things that make you happy.
3. Tag six more blogs, then go and comment on their blogs. Let them know that have been challenged, and invite them to play along.

Here are 6 unimportant things that make me happy:

1. Coffeehouses - I do love a rich mug of Mocha topped with whipped cream or a tall Cappuccino with tons of froth. However, more that the coffee, I love the coffeehouse. The atmosphere...the aroma of beans being roasted, the heat from my mug warming my hands, the sound of beans being ground and froth being whipped, the eclectic mix of people to watch... it's a fantastic sensory experience!

My favorite coffeehouses are those that are in beautiful old buildings that formerly had a different life. I love to visit my favorite coffeehouse here in town that used to be a Pure Oil Gas Station. Growing up in town, I remember it being a barber shop. In a time when perfectly good buildings are demolished to make way for yet another building, I appreciate owners that can find new life in old buildings preserving the history of a community.

2. The Beach - Here I go with another sensory experience that makes me happy, but it does. Sand between my toes, the sound of the waves and the gulls, the sun on my face and the wind tangling my hair... all things that make me happy.

When the weather is warm enough, swimming brings me a lot of joy. My parents have always said that my brother and I should have been born fish. We love the water so!

3. Baby parts (particularly fingers and toes) - Oh, tiny babies are so perfect. Their tiny features all smooched up in baby pudge! I love ((LOVE)) baby parts.

While the fingers and toes are my favorite to examine, my favorite to squeeze is their chunky little thighs! Growing up, our family referred to this region as "hunkers." My two year old gets a daily dose of "hunker" squeezing along with his crazy momma's daily proclamation, "O-o-oh, I just love your hunkers!" Weird. I know.
4. The County Fair - Actually, any local community event makes me happy but I particularly love the fair. All of the learning opportunities for city kids to learn about agriculture are right there for them. Where else are us city slickers going to get up close an personal with a goat?

In addition to the agricultural aspect of the fair, I have a few other fair favorites: Cotton Candy, the Ferris Wheel, and the Demolition Derby. Did I ever mention that I competed in the Demolition Derby with my then future hubby as my passenger? We lost in our first round but you'd have thought we won. When the last car was left standing, instead of exiting as disgraced losers, we jumped up on top of our crumpled car and hooted and hollered as if we had won. Indeed we had, for simply being in the midst of all those crashing cars was enough of a prize for me - a happy memory!

5. Jody Rocks- Ya, I know, I rock! Hehe. Traveling as a family in the big ole' station wagon from South Dakota to Florida, I got to see a lot out the backseat windows. As we would travel that long road to Grandma and Grandpa's house, my favorite view, for as long as I can remember, are the walls of rocks that have been cut to make way for the road to come through. They tower above the road making a beautiful display for traveling families with curious kids passing through.

I'm not sure who coined the phrase, but whenever anyone in my family sees the rocks, they exclaim, "Look, Jody Rocks!" To which I reply, "Ya, I know!" Even my husband now graciously plays along and refers to them in the lingo. Jody Rocks are a part of our family vocabulary and the sight of them does indeed bring me joy. Joy in the sight but also in the family memories that they evoke!

6. Children's Books- I've always liked to read and I've always been surrounded by a bunch of avid readers. My mom and both of my brothers are reading freaks and a good friend of mine is now falling into that category too. Compared to those four, I don't read much at all yet, I still really enjoy a good book.

My favorites are Children's books. I took a Kiddy Lit class in college with a friend who was an elementary education major as well. In that class, I was introduced to so many wonderful novels and picture books that I did not know had existed. This friend and I spent tons of time that should have been spent on our college studies at Borders, searching out great Children's books. We convinced ourselves that we were going there to better prepare ourselves for our future teaching years but the reality is that we both found great pleasure in searching for authentic literature in that Border's children's department.

I am currently challenging myself to read all of the Newberry winners. I have had a lot of fun doing this. I had already read many of them but I am rereading some and also enjoying ones that I had never read before. My favorite Newberry book has always been Bridge to Terabithia but I recently read A Single Shard and absolutely loved the book. I would love to have every Newberry book in my home collection. Reading and collecting them has been fun but I still have quite a long way to go!

So, there you go, 6 unimportant things that make me happy.
There are so many great blogs out there. I'm not sure who to tag. So, if you're reading this and want to play along, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Confessions of a Garbage Picker

So, I must confess. I'm a garbage picker. I don't do it often.

Honest, I don't.

But sometimes I see something and I think, "Surely they are not throwing that away?!?!?" Then, I have to stop. I have to rescue the discarded treasure from the landfill.

This happened recently. One problem... It was one of my neighbors. I saw an easel propped up against their garbage can. Normally, if one is picking through someone else's garbage, you can hop in your car and drive away and remain anonymous. When it's a neighbor, it's not so easy. Until now, I have resisted garbage picking in my own neighbor hood. I don't want to be the neighborhood garbage picker. But this easel was screaming my name. I saw it out my front window and resisted at first. But I kept peaking out to see if it was still there. I waited until most of the neighbors had gone to work and then I ran out there and snuck it home. It was covered in paint and pretty grimy but hey, it's mine now. A little elbow grease and a hose later and I am so happy that I rescued this easel. Could you resist? Take a look at it...

It has a dry erase side and a chalk side with a clip at the top for holding paper.

It has removable trays with compartments that hold all the art supplies in place.

The only thing that is missing is the brace on one side. I'm going to see if I can get a replacement for it online but the one remaining brace holds it just fine...

The beauty of it is that it folds up easily for quick storage. Both sides can be raised or lowered to adjust the height for shorter or taller children. The other great thing about it is that it's lightweight and I can move it outside with ease for a quick wash down with the hose without ruining it.

The kids love it. They were my helpers bringing it home. At first my daughter was shocked by how messy it was. Then, after we got it cleaned up, she couldn't believe that someone would throw it out. I thought my hubby would wonder why we needed it since we do already have an easel in our home. His response was perfect, though. He said, "You could use this one downstairs while you're homeschooling the kids." Love that man.

One last thing, the trays were filled with old art supplies - mainly wet chalk - that needed to be thrown away. But to my surprise, there were some profession paint brushes in there. They took a lot more elbow grease to salvage but I got them clean and they're for me. Yippee! And it was all for FREE! I'm glad I learned to overcome my fear of the neighbors thinking I'm a crazy garbage picker!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guitar Party

I just realized that it's already July and I never posted about the June boy's birthday party. Oops!

On his actual birthday, we did a few of his favorite things. We took a nature walk - his choice of activity and it was a gorgeous day.

We let him pick dinner - "pizza wit' meat".

During his nap, his big sister helped me make cookies for him. It was her choice. She knows how much he loves cookies! The frosting and sprinkles were her idea and a nice touch.

Then, we gave him his present. He loves his big sister's guitar but it's pink and oh-so-hard to share. So, he got his own guitar and he LOVES it.

For the guitar loving little boy, we had a guitar themed birthday party a few days later for family and friends.

We used an old burned out guitar with missing electrics for a Pin the Pick on the Guitar Game. I just covered the burned parts on the body with scrapbooking paper and made a matching blindfold by covering cardboard with the same paper and attaching elastic to it.

(In case you're wondering, I don't have any idea why the guitar was burned in the first place. It was given to my husband by a co-worker who was throwing it out. He has high hopes of rebuilding it someday.)

Then, we used a piece of left over wood to make a beanbag toss. We just traced one of our guitars on the wood, cut it out with a scroll saw and then spray painted it. We used a rubber band to attach it to a guitar stand and it worked nicely.

The beanbags were made with leftover material from the quilt the boy received for his birthday last year from his grandma. I filled them with rice instead of beans because it's what we had on hand.

Next, we had Bozo buckets - guitar style. I used the cardboard box that his birthday gift came in. I traced his guitar and colored it in with crayons. I hot glued star jello molds along the guitar and put sticker numbers into the center. Instead of tossing a ball, the kids tossed guitar picks into the stars.

Our craft was to decorate a guitar. I cut out the shapes from poster board and the kids got to decorate them with an assortment of buttons, sequins, feathers, etc.

The party was complete with a cupcake guitar. It's not exactly as I had envisioned it. I had a really hard time with the frosting for the strings but the boy loved that it was a guitar and that's all that mattered.

Instead of treat bags, each of the guests went home with a guitar shirt made with freezer paper stencils.

It was a fun week of birthday celebrations!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kids' Art Silhouetted for Daddy's Day

Recently, I had the kids paint their silhouettes for their Daddy. I got the idea from this blog. I didn't follow those directions exactly. Instead of tracing the silhouette onto the contact paper before cutting, I just placed the silhouette photo over the contact paper and cut through both pages. It worked fine. I used the contact paper that I had on-hand which was not specifically removable, but I didn't have any trouble peeling it off. I used water color paints on drawing paper. I am so pleased with how they turned out.

Here's my daughter...

And, my son...

I love how they look hanging together on the wall...

Last year, I gave my husband silhouettes of the kids. I think this may be becoming an annual tradition!