Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mother's Day in the Garage

Remember, on the third Thursday of {almost} every month, my Sis-in-law, Tash, writes about her recent crafty adventures. Take it away, Tash!

Hey friends!
How has your month gone?  I hope it has been fun.  Mother's day came early to our house, because my mother was coming to visit.  My loving husband decided while they were visiting to put the crew to work, just for me.  Well and for him too.  For some unknown reason the washer and dryer live in the garage, right next to the garage door.  I know, HUH!?  Why would you ever want to do your laundry in the dirty garage?  In the summer it's the blisteringly hot dirty garage, because there is no insulation.  I know, I know, Who Designed THAT!?!  In the summer, laundry day is a miserable day.  Thanks to Spencer, my mom, her husband Dave, and my tall little bro Patrick, those days for me are over!

We began the project of beautifying, and more importantly insulating the garage, by adding more trusses.  Building codes have updated since our house was built, and we had half the amount now required.  Yikes!

At the end of the day it looked like this.

On day two we, meaning everybody except me, got to work putting up the insulation and the sheet rock.  Insulation makes me itchy, and there are other things in it that pregnant ladies should avoid.  My job was to hand screws to the strong men screwing the sheet rock to the ceiling, and to stay out of the way as much as possible.  It was harder than Patrick's job.

Here Patrick is working really hard on his second job.  He was making sure that sheet rock was secure... Or was it checking if the random plunger stuck to everything?

Thanks to all their help and Dave's fancy tools, we managed to get it all up in one day, and the seams mudded.  Just in time too...

After Mom, Dave, and Patrick left, Spencer and I finished the garage ceiling.  Really all it needed was a coat of paint to protect the sheet rock from dust and car exhaust, but where is the fun in that?  Spencer used the opportunity to practice texturing a ceiling.  It's harder than it looks, but goes by really fast.  I chose to paint with color.

After looking through the Oops Paint Section at the Home improvement store I found two that would work.  One was a bright teal, the other a warm gray.  Because I love Spencer, I like to protect his forehead from wrinkling.  I chose the gray.  If you aren't locked on a color or type of paint, the Oops section is wonderful.  The paint I found was normally $35.  I bought it for $7.  Score!

Now if I ignore the floor and the garage door, it almost looks like I have a real laundry room!  The best part will be in the dead of summer when this lady is super pregnant, but no longer melting at the thought of laundry.  I'm so grateful Mother's day came early.  I feel the love. <3

See you next month!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Miniature Nest Tutorial

 Now that we've passed St. Patty's Day, let's get to prepping your Spring decor! And, why not start out with a small a miniature sized project...I'm going to show you how I made a Miniature Nest to go in my miniature glass dome display, and it was super easy! Want to make one for yourself? Here ya go!

You only need three items to make a Miniature Nest:
-Twine (a little thicker braid is better)
-Button (about the size you would like the finished nest to be) My button was approx. 1.25" diameter
-Hot Glue Gun/Glue
 Start by gluing the end of your twine to the edge of the button, like so...
 Continue running hot glue around the edge of the button, attaching the twine all the way around. Once the button edge is completely covered, start using the glue to 'stack' the twine on top of itself...
 Continue building the nest by 'stacking' the twine row by row, until the nest is as deep as you like...but do not cut the twine yet.
 Once the preferred height is met, start gluing the twine inside the nest, covering up the button. Starting on the outer most edge of open button-face, keep gluing twine around and around until everything is covered. You can see the end of my twine is poking up from the center of my nest (below).
 Remember to glue any loose ends down (so they do not get in the way later) and remove any glue gun strings that may have been left over (I hate those things!). Tada! You now have a Miniature Nest of your very own :)
The picture above shows off the miniature size of the nest; the glass base is approximately 2.25" in diameter.

Use your Miniature Nest to add to your Spring/Easter decor...and it can be styled several ways!
*the eggs positioned in my Miniature Nest are actually Cadbury Candy Coated Mini Chocolate Eggs (and it took quite a bit of restraint to not eat all the candies while working on this project)

Friday, March 14, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Shirt - Pinch Me Not

Sometimes I can be a last minute type of person, but sometimes that a good thing. Like this 'Pinch Me Not' shirt I made for Widget.
 Because I had a deadline (the kids are celebrating St. Patty's Day today because next week they are off of school for Spring Break) I was able to crank out this shirt within a few hours from start to finish. The idea for this shirt came from the game I played as a little know the one where you pick petals off a flower one at a time while saying "he loves me, he loves me not..." Get it? Okay, here is what I did:

I started by creating the words and shapes to be cut on my Silhouette machine, being careful to cut the dull side of the iron-on vinyl with a reversed image.
I wasn't sure which design I liked better (3 or 4 'leaf' clover), so I asked my Handsome Hubby and my friend, Mandy, for their opinions. Both liked the 4-leaf clover the best, so that is what I went with.
I followed the directions of the iron-on vinyl, and adhered the words and shapes to a green shirt. Once everything had cooled down, I peeled the plastic sheet off of the glitter vinyl.
And then Widget and I paired her new shirt with a multi-colored skirt. This is the complete outfit she is wearing today, and I'm sure she didn't get pinched ;)
If you would like to make a 'Pinch Me Not' shirt of your own (and have a Silhouette craft cutting machine), I would be happy to share my file with you. Leave a comment below or send me an email and I'd be happy to send the file your way asap :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tasty Treats Tuesday - Fruity Fresh Green Salad

I made this salad to take to Parent Teacher Conference to help feed the wonderful teachers at my daughter's school. I signed up to provide a green salad, but I didn't already have a great go-to recipe for such an occasion. I thought about it for several days, and had several pregnancy cravings during that time frame (which I'm pretty sure may have skewed my decisions)...once I had settled on a few ingredients, I built my new recipe for Fruity Fresh Green Salad, and it even travels well!

Lettuce and/or Spinach (use whichever greens you like the best) - enough to fill a roasting pan
4 Apples (I used Gala apples)
1 large Can Mandarin Oranges (drained)
Bacon Pieces
Wonton Strips
Raspberry Vinaigrette
Lemon Juice

Start by slicing your apples- I use an apple corer to cut the apples, then I cut the slices in half length wise and width wise.
Put all your apples into a tupperware container, drizzle with lemon juice, cover, and shake to disperse the lemon juice around all the apples. This will help keep the apples from browning while in transit.
Prep your greens - this will vary by the type of lettuce (or spinach) you are using. I cut up my two types of lettuce after rinsing everything.
Then I spun the lettuce in a salad spinner (which I had to borrow from a friend).
Then add the greens into your serving dish (a disposable roasting pan was what I used). Sprinkle your apples, oranges, and bacon atop your can see mine all mixed together in the background of this picture:
Top with Wonton Strips right before serving. Any fruity vinaigrette would taste great on this Fruity Fresh Green Salad, but I like to serve it with a Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette. If you are sending this to a gathering and not serving it right away, you might be interested to see how I packaged my Fruity Fresh Green Salad to take to the school.
It's easy, it's tasty, and it travels well (without the Wonton Strips added, of course)...Feel free to jazz it up any way you like because this salad is versatile. I hope you try my Fruity Fresh Green Salad for your next family reunion, church function, or Tuesday night dinner at home.

Monday, March 10, 2014

St. Patrick's Day: Shamrock Charger & Mini Shamrock Frame

Do you have a heart shape paper punch in your crafting stash-or know where you can get one? If so, then you can throw together a quick and simple Shamrock Charger or Mini Shamrock Frame.

Here is how I made my Shamrock charger:
(Optional) trace and cut a circle to tape to the middle of your charge
 (I used a charger that I currently have out all year round with a vinyl picture already on it, so I used paper attached with Washi tape to create more of a blank slate for my shamrock)
Cut/Punch heart shapes out of green paper, then fold hearts in half (from bottom point to the dip on top)
Adhere the heart shapes onto your charger in the shape of a Shamrock 
(using three hearts, place the hearts with the points touching)
Cut a scrap piece of matching paper to look like a stem for the Shamrock, and adhere it in place
(Optional) If you have two sizes of paper punches, you can double layer your hearts-like pictured
Once your Shamrock is in place, you can add a bit of Washi tape and a word or phrase (like 'Lucky')

And it's a similar concept for the Mini Shamrock Frames:
Cut your hearts out of desired paper
Fill frame with coordinating paper
Adhere hearts in shamrock shape to the frame 
(I used Washi tape and placed the hearts on the outside of the glass in the frame...creating a 3D effect)
Then add your Mini Shamrock Frames to your St. Patrick's Day decor on a mantle, piano, or a window sill to create an interesting focal point for the holiday. Or add shamrocks onto treat bags or directly to your walls (using removable adhesive) for a unique twist...Just have fun with it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Braided Crown

 We've been having fun with new hairstyles as Widget's hair grows longer. Check out this crown I made her--a Braided Crown!
 I pulled some of her hair into a small high ponytail, then French braided the hair around the ponytail. The pinwheel effect is made by pulling small amounts of hair from the ponytail into the French braid. I then added some red rhinestone flowers into the braid to give it an added element of festivity :)
And this is what Widget's hair looked like that evening after I took the braid out. She thought it was great fun looking a bit like a lion...she even growled for me!

Have you tried any fun braids in your hair lately?