Friday, September 28, 2012

Faithful Friday: until next time

Hey friends/stalkers!
My regular Faithful Friday post will be delayed until next Friday due to a couple of things:

-the electricity is out at our house, and we have no back-up generator to keep the computer going.
-my Hubs leaves in a couple of days for a work trip back to the States. Before he flies through SLC and St Louis on a 2 week excursion, I'm hoping to spend as much time as possible as a family...which means away from the computer.
-I'm working on a large shipment of inventory for a boutique in Utah, which is scheduled to ship the end of next week. My finger tips are feeling the burn (literally) from working with the hot glue gun for hours on end creating more bows and ribbon hair accessories.

Thanks for you patience, love and support for me and my little blog. I love creating, crafting and decorating...but it's even more fun to share my interests and experiences with you, my stalkers (readers).

I hope you enjoy your weekend, your family, and all the crazy projects you may be working on-and I hope the weather is nicer where you live than where I am right now (heavy rain, thunderstorms, power outage).

Thanks!
Ashley

P.S. I typed this post on my phone after the power went out...and while I still had a little battery power and 4G connection.

P.P.S. Enjoy the Hubs and Widge goofing around with my phone-taking pics of themselves :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Man Crafting a Zen Garden

 A couple of days ago I posted about my Hubs man crafting...and that special project I gave you a sneak peek of, well it was the making of a Zen Garden!

Straight from Wikipedia: The Japanese rock garden or "dry landscape" garden, often called a zen garden, creates a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes, and uses gravel or sand that is raked to represent ripples in water. Our garden is not very complicated or complex, but it is still fun.

Here are some pictures of the Hubs and Widget making mini rakes.
You can click on the collages to see them larger.




We used a pencil to mark where we wanted to cut the wood dowels, drilled some small holes, then cut the lengths we needed to assemble our mini rakes.
Another shot of the Hubs crafting...it makes me smile just thinking looking at it!
And here are the rakes. These were actually supposed to be the 'trial rakes' (that's why the pencil marks and price stick have not yet been removed) but we've been too lazy a bit too distracted to make more. The Hubs still wants to make a wider rake...we'll see if it happens in the near future (*wink *wink).
We picked up a 4 in. H x 24 in. W Classic White Deluxe Drawer Kit  from Home Depot. Assembly is required, but you can choose to leave the drawer face and slides off. You could also build a box from scratch...but since we are in Puerto Rico-away from all our tools-we used what we could get our hands on.

The Hubs put the box together, then caulked all the seams so no sand could leak out.

The only thing with using a pre-made drawer are the pre-drilled holes to attach the drawer face to the box. No worries, just caulk the holes too.



After all the caulk dries, fill your drawer with sand...our black sand came from multiple beach outings here:




And now the finished Zen Garden!

Rake your daily stress away with miniature rakes and smooth black sand. Or place the rocks strategically around the box to create a maze.

Move the sand around to make designs...even build a black sand volcano surrounded by black and white rocks. You can make one, too, and any box in any size would work fine...just make sure to seal all seams and fill with enough sand---our sand is approx 5/8" in depth if smoothed out evenly, but it's really up to you.


Have you ever had a Zen Garden, or something like it, at home or the office? Do you enjoy using it to meditate?








Monday, September 24, 2012

ZLilly Shirt & Sneak Peeks

I'm finally getting around to posting the picture of the shirt sent to our ZLilly onesie/shirt giveaway.


Kiley, the winner, requested an owl shirt for her little girl. I added eyelashes to make it even more girly :)

Speaking of ZLilly...
There is still time to take advantage of my Grand Re-Openning of ZLilly Accessories. Stop on by and use the code: HDULTA20 for 20% off you entire purchase from ZLilly.etsy.com. Remember to start your holiday shopping early because the coupon code will be good off anything in the shop, until October 4, 2012. Please let me know if you have any questions. And, if you'd like to order a custom item or would like something you've seen here on the blog (but is not listed in the shop), let me know and I will make a custom listing and be happy to let you use your coupon code on it as well.


 Now onto Sneak Peeks:
I altered a skirt I found on clearance...


The Hubs and Widget working on a mini rake for a special project...

And I tried out a new pattern with some fun ruffle fabric...
Hopefully I get all these projects finished soon, or I might be added to my craft graveyard :( Wish me luck!

Do you have some fun projects in the works?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Faithful Friday: Jousting & Mary Poppins

Lately at our house, us girls of the family have been dealing with...let's say a 'power struggle'....since the other female in the house (besides myself, of course) is 4 yrs-old, it would seem that she I would win most of the time...besides the fact that I use greater force to send air through my vocal folds (cords) when 'struggling' with the preschooler, I find the whole situation rather uncomfortable.

Arguing with a preschooler, to me, feels like participating in a medieval jousting tournament. It doesn't matter who makes the first 'offending' move, but once the move is made, both parties begin to move forward and ready their lances to strike back. This occurrence also raises an emotional response, which in turn is usually displayed in a physical way: reddening of face, raising of voice, stomping, throwing self onto floor, moving to separate self from other person (or in my daughter's case it is more like storming away from the other person...think teenage girl). But mostly it's like two brick walls trying to intimidate each other...it's not actually possible, and it's a colossal waste of time.

Sometimes I feel like I am not the best mom, and sometimes I feel like I am an awful mother...but I'm not really sure if my daughter would even consider those descriptions as options. I am her mommy, and she loves me unconditionally (and she is my daughter, and I love her unconditionally). She doesn't usually say things like, "You are an amazing Mommy!" or "Mommy, you totally ROCK!" or even "I appreciate everything you do" (although any one of those statements would make me smile and do a little happy dance). Neither does she make statements such as, "I hate you!" or "You're ruining my life!" but I'm sure those will come up eventually---10 years from now. By then, I hope to have mastered my own self control to not shout similar phrases back to her...since I should be a mature adult, and not turn back into a little preschooler with her feelings hurt.

Where was I? Oh yes...
I think I've posted this before, but I still think it is wonderful. Go here for a free 4x6 printable.

Although we have our disagreements, my Widget and I are pretty close...and not because I am practically her only opportunity to interact with other living things (I don't think My Little Ponies really count). Widget and I are a lot alike, and we all know that opposites attract...so does that mean 'sameness' repels? Maybe...but definitely not 100% of the time. We disagree about what to have for lunch, which movie to watch, the laws of physics, appropriate social interaction or behavior, what her friends names are, and nap time. But we still spend most of our time together, which I appreciate even if it isn't always as pleasant as you would hope, and we have lots of fun together (especially participating in common interests, like crafting). What Widget does say are things like, "I can't wait to be like you, Mommy" or "We are like the same, isn't that fun?" and even "Mommy, I love you!" All of which rock my world. And the other day she made my heart melt during a conversation she was having with her Daddy. She was telling her Daddy all about what she was going to do when she grows up: get bigger, find a boy, kiss him and fall in love with a chother (her way of saying each other), then sleep in a big bed together, and live happily ever after with children. Daddy asked her, "Are you excited to be a mother some day?" She stared at him for a few moments, almost in disbelief, then responded with conviction, "Oh, yes!" while giving Daddy the glare of "did you even have to ask such a silly question?"


I know that I have short comings and failures, but I also know I must be doing something right. I have not made my child loath or fear motherhood, but rather welcome it with open arms. I know that motherhood is a very special role that I have been entrusted with from my Heavenly Father, and although I am not perfect....actually more like hundreds of miles away from perfect, I am the perfectly imperfect Mommy Widget needs. She was sent to us specifically, and we thank God for her everyday.

Do you ever feel inadequate in motherhood? I am sure you are the perfectly imperfect Mommy for your own little (or not so little) ones, too! Many women have traveled this wonderfully bumpy road of motherhood without being practically perfect in every way (like Mary Poppins)...and we can too :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. Your voice gets louder the more air you force through your vocal folds (cords)...yes I raise my voice, and I'm working on it.

P.P.S. If you want to hear Widget telling me her life story (and Josh's, too) go here and look at the short clip posted on my timeline. Although the lighting is bad in the movie, it is hilarious and definitely worth the 31 seconds :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Third Thursdays with Tash: Trash to Headboard

Hey Readers-Tash here!
Have you ever dumpster dived? I really don’t normally, but our apartment complex seems to collect interesting trash. One night Spencer (my husband) and I walked by the dumpster and there was a matching head and foot-board leaning next to the recycling. Trying to recycle un-recyclable items is another thing our complex is good at. We guessed it wasn’t worth much, but would be worth our time to haul to our place to see it in the light. After all it’s free! It was dirty, and a little water damaged, but in fairly good shape. The foot board was in worse condition, but we don’t like foot-boards anyway. We only grabbed it in case we needed to pull parts off it.


The headboard hung around, taking up space in the cramped hallway that is the laundry room, until we could gather all of the supplies to upholster it.  You have no idea how weird the discussion was on upholstering.  I thought, “A big piece of plywood, foam, fabric, and buttons.  Attach it to the headboard and you’re done!”  Spencer thought, “Buttons look like a giant pillow.”  Apparently a framed giant buttoned pillow is not what you sleep under.  It will cause nightmares or something! 



The discussion on fabric was weird too.  I never thought I would be trying to talk my husband out of a color he doesn’t like.  Initially I walked past the fabric we chose.  Even though it perfectly matched the style we wanted, it looked too pink to me.  Spencer insisted it’s not pink, it’s warm with gold undertones.  Well when he put it so eloquently how could I resist? 

See I helped! There are my toes :)
Once we obtained all of our materials it took us all of Labor Day weekend to put the pieces together.  By us I mean Spencer, with a little help from me when he needed four hands.  We put it together faster than I could take pictures too.  One moment it was a mock up, then a lattice, then done! 

My husband is so good at drilling, he only needs one hand :)
Here’s the cost break down:
Headboard- Free!
Plywood- leftovers from other projects, Free!
Foam- $20, but we only used half
Fabric- $8
Hardware- approx. $200. 
Total- $228

I know what you’re thinking, “Um… Did you use solid gold nuts and bolts?”  No. Spencer decided that he just had to have a new miter saw to complete this project.  This means I have to remember that the miter saw will last at least thirty years, and be useful and helpful in more ways than I can imagine (according to my husband, of course)...just like the old headboard.  I’m sure the miter saw will come in handy when we turn it into something better than a headboard. 



It’s so nice to sleep under a headboard that is not pink, doesn’t look like a giant pillow, and doesn’t make a bang noise when you just walk next to the bed (like the old one). We do not miss the old loud headboard, not one bit. 

Thanks for reading-See you next month!
~Tash




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Half Up Funky Knot Hair

The other night, as we are running out the door, I look down to the mess on top of my daughter's head...eek! Well, I had to think quick. And that is how the Half Up Funky Knot hairdo was born.
Make half a square knot with two pieces of hair from opposite sides of head.
Gather more hair from the sides of head to make a mini pony tail (one side of pigtail). Then include one piece of hair into one mini ponytail. Then add the other knot piece into the other mini ponytail. Now you have a Half Up Funky Knot pigtails.
Then turn your child (or self) around and admire. You're done!
One last close-up shot of the top of Widget's head....Easy and quick! Enjoy :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dreaming of a Dreamsicle

So one project I started...hmmm probably in July...was finally finished last week. I made my very first pencil skirt! Super exciting, huh? I used this pattern in the pencil skirt length.

 Sorry for the not so fab pictures. Because we took these pictures right after church, the sun is harsh and my clothes are a bit wrinkly from sitting for 3 hours. I plan to get better shots, sometime, but thought I'd blog about it now. I'm worried that I'd never get around to it later :)
I picked that pattern because of the back of the skirt. I liked how the slit in the back wasn't really a slit, but more of a pleat.

I found this fabric at this fabric store. It's a type of sateen cotton (machine washable-perfect for a mom). The fabric has a slight sheen and is a bit stretchy, which means it sews like a woven fabric, but has more forgiveness like a knit. It is an orange and off-white paisley print-which reminds me of a Dreamsicle...yummy summer goodness :) (For those of you that don't know what a Dreamsicle is, think a Popsicle with orange sherbet-type out side and vanilla ice cream inside. Totally delicious!)
 I even put in two different zippers...the pattern called for a regular zipper, but I decided (once the regular zipper was in the skirt) that an invisible zipper would look better. I was right, but it took some extra time to remove the first zipper and sew in the second. I also used an invisible hem on the skirt.

Me being goofy while the Hubs takes pictures...But I can totally say I am super happy with how the skirt turned out! And now I'm dreaming of a Dreamsicle :)

Have you done any sewing for yourself lately?