Friday, April 30, 2010

Not just for candles anymore....

I've been seeing a lot of these "make your own pastry cloche" or "covered dessert stand" all over the crafting blog-o-sphere. I finally decided that I had to do one myself! If I knew who originally came up with the idea, I'd certainly give them a shout out. But since it's too hard to tell, let's just give this genius craft queen a round of applause!
(image courtesy of flickr)

I am a thrift store shopper. I'm not ashamed to proclaim that to all of you internetters! That's why this project appealed to me. I knew I'd be able to find the right pieces to make this all come together! And as luck would have it, I found the cheese dish and candle holder on my first day of looking. Thrift stores are loaded with this kind of stuff!

Cheese dish $2
Candle holder $1

First thing I did was remove the little feet off of the bottom of the cheese plate. They were attached with a tiny nail so I didn't bother with any wood filler. (To my OCD friends: Fill away!)

I added this little wood disc to the candle holder so there would be a better surface for the plate to stick to. Sorry for the lousy picture!

Now the messy part....put on your old t-shirt and spray away!

Glue these babies together and....

Isn't she pretty?! I'm so excited to use this for my next party. It will be a part of a beautiful table setting with all of my Southern Living iron party ware!

So why stop now? As long as I'm buying thrift store candle sticks, I might as well make another craft blog sensation -- Apothecary Jars! That's right! Who needs Pottery Barn when you can make your own Apothecary Jars?

So here's what I spent on my trip to the thrift store for this project:

Candle Stick $.99
Wooden Disc $.59
Candy Jar $.69

I already had the glue, the paint and the thin disc.

Not bad, eh??

The candle stick was a little skinny so I bought the round cut to help make a heavier base. I carefully glued it and stuck it in a clamp so it would dry centered.

I painted the thin, round disc black and glued that onto the bottom of my jar.

Slap some paint on the candle stick, glue the pieces together....

And precariously place random items on it to hold it together while the glue sets.

And here she is....

I love it! You can do so many things with these jars. You can etch a monogram on it and give it as a handmade wedding gift. Or a unique baby gift too! You can fill it with holiday candy and tie a festive ribbon around it. So many options! Have fun!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mother's Day Gift Idea & a Candy Lei

Today is my son's birthday and I can't believe he's 9. He was due on Cinco de Mayo, but apparently wanted to be in the world before the celebration, which was fine by me because I was already on bed rest for 3 weeks. He was skinny and little and scaly and when they put him on my tummy after he was born, I thought..."Oh my gosh, he's not very cute!!" Then his bottom lip popped out (he was sucking on it) and he was VERY CUTE!

I remember holding him and crying after I came home from work on September 11th.  He was only 4.5 months old and I couldn't believe the world I brought him into. I remember coming home from work when he was about 9 months old, and he was in the garage with daddy and he was playing in a can of rusty can bet daddy heard a few strong words from me (and hasn't lived it down since). I remember when he was 2.5 and we moved into our new house, he decided to go out in the front and pee in the street. Nice first impression, huh? So we told him not to pee outside and the next day I found him standing in the house with the door open, peeing outside. Technically he was inside.

I could go on and on and that's one of the best things about being a mother...the memories. Soon, we will celebrate motherhood and my idea this week is a great Mother's Day Gift Idea for giving to someone else or giving it to yourself. It's simple and natural and fun to use.

Lime & Green Tea Sugar Scrub
This sugar scrub is great for relaxing in the tub as you exfoliate your body leaving your knees and elbows soft and supple (isn't that a gross word...I can't believe I typed it).

All you need is:
1 air tight container (I bought mine at the Dollar Tree...for a dollar)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs. epsom salt (found at Walmart in the pharmacy section)
10 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. honey
3 green tea bags
1 lime (or lemon) to zest

First, zest the lime. And set aside.

Then mix the sugar, epsom salt, and contents of the green tea bags.

Add olive oil and honey and stir till oil and honey are spread evenly. Then add the lime zest.

Place in airtight container. Then you can make your own labels, or tie a card to the outside or wrap your jar anyway you want. If you can find a small scoop, it would be great to put that in the jar. I made this for gifts and used the left over scrub in the bowl. My skin was soooo super soft. I love it. I think I'll be making myself a little mother's day gift this year.

Candy Lei or Toy Lei

Some of you asked for instructions on the Candy Lei or the Toy Lei. I used candy for this tutorial, but you'll see how you can easily substitute the candy for matchbox cars or lipgloss or other little toys.

First, cut strips of cellophane about 6 inches wide...wider if your toys are a little big.

You might need about 2 strips depending on the length of your cellophane roll. You will need about 6 inches more cellophane than the length you desire. So if you want a 36 inch lei, you'll need about 40-42 inches in strips.

You'll also need to cut curly ribbon about 8 inches long. Cut a bunch.

You can line up your candy or toys along the way or you can add it as you go. You need to at least lay down the first candy. Then you'll roll the cellophane around it.

Tie the first candy at the beginning of the cellophane and after the candy like this:

Then add some more candy in the "tube" you created and tie it off.

To join the two strips together, overlap them and tie them down.

When you are done, tie the two ends together with your curly ribbon and then curl all the ribbons.

You can add paper money to the lei like we did in the last post (click here if you didn't see that one)

Then you can give your graduate, your mother or your birthday boy a cute Candy Lei (or Toy Lei). Don't forget to give it with a kiss.

Happy Birthday Mika!!
Click here to see the tutorial on how to make candy/toy leis.
Click here to see the tutorial on how to make a SUPER EASY satin ribbon lei.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's My Potty and I'll Cry If I Want To

Potty's on my mind.

I'm currently checking my third trainee off the list. Only one more to go.

One would think with all this knowledge and application I could write a How To book. I'd call it "Potty Talk" or "Potty Words, and Other Things You're Allowed to Say While Training". But those who have trained more than one have acquired wisdom with all that potty knowledge and learned quickly that the munchkins don't all follow the same checklist of How To.

So today I'm only passing along one tip. The motivation of this tip takes us all the way back to my first born.

She was quick to learn. She was the one that we basically had "the talk" and she said, "okay", and wah-lah. Except for one flaw...public bathrooms.


When you have a potty training child, you usually have a child that is enamored with the toilet. It's their own little love affair. For two years, they have been shooed away from that giant water beast. And now, they have been given permission to touch. And touch they do. For that reason, my toilets are usually their cleanest during potty training season. And then we venture into public. I have no control over those toilets. And what usually seems like the greatest invention in the world, can become a parent's worst nightmare...the automatic flusher.

The first time we visited a public restroom with the automated system, the flushing butler decided it was time to clean up as we placed her tooshy on the seat. She jumped sky high and refused to sit back down. She was so terrified by the strength and noise of the flushing water that it took years to get her to go to the bathroom at the mall. It seemed she could hold back more liquid than the Hoover Dam. She was a wonder.

Enter: Post-It notes

I now keep a pad of sticky Post-It notes in my diaper bag and purse. Simply taking one off and putting it over the sensor solves our problem. No more worries about abrupt courtesy flushes. When we're done, I simply place it in the handy little "trash can" in the stall.

This can also be used for anyone who has ever had the pleasure of covering your toilet seat just right and then as you're inches from sitting down, the toilet flushes on you taking your dainty protection with it. You then have to quickly stand back up and start all over again, only to race against the flush again. Never happened to you? Me neither.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super Easy Magnet Boards

Hi. It's Noreen. I love the weekends! I love spending the time with my family and friends. I love getting things done...or not getting anything done. I love sleeping in (yeah, right) and falling asleep earlier than during the week. And I also love it because it's when we feature guest bloggers. This weekend I begged my friend Heather to blog about her super easy but very cute magnet boards.  She's a hottie mother of 5 and still found the time between music lessons, broken water pipes, and church service to blog this week. So here she is.....
Wow, what an honor to be a guest blogger!

I am a busy mom of 5 monsters.  It seems I love to create crafts in my head while driving kids to school, but rarely have the time or room to do them.  So when I saw this cute idea, I knew I could do it quick, and even found that my kids could help!!!  Imagine that!!!   I actually saw this creation at a scrapbook expo and decided to copy it.  I thought to myself  “I can make that”…and it looked dumby-proof.  I love an easy, quick craft that I can’t mess up! So, lets get on with it!

I have one of these in my daughter’s room for her to post her pictures and notes up on.  I also have a large one I use for all those endless papers that come home from school.  And a sweet friend of mine also gave me the idea to hang necklaces on it!  Wow, the endless possibilities.  

Supplies you will need are some type of magnet board  (I used 11x14), 2 12x12 coordinating scrapbook papers, coordinating ribbon, buttons, magnets, and a frame. Oh, and this is the best adhesive…

Most of these items I had in my home.  You can use old buttons (or I found wooden buttons in a pack of 3 at Michaels for $1.00), I had ribbon, scrapbook paper, and even used an old frame.  The only purchase I made was the magnets (Wal-Mart 24 for $3.99, and I purchased the magnet board from the scrapbook expo (it was $6.99 there).  I have seen them at Home Depot though, and I’m sure you can get some nice guy to cut it for you too!!!!  Otherwise, they cut with scissors.  

So just place those papers on the magnet board, trim them, and tape them in place. Next spread that ribbon around it.  You’re halfway done!!!  

Next take your frame, remove the glass from it, and place your magnet board inside it and tighten it in place.   

Next take those buttons, and glue them to your magnets with E6000.  

This is the project my kids loved.  I think we made 60 or 70 magnets.  It was fun and instantly rewarding, for them and for me! 

What a fun, inexpensive display for any room in your home! 
Until next time...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Come to my window

Once upon a time I bought a light filtering roller shade for my daughter's room. It was cheap. It was ugly. But it was functional. Her room gets full on afternoon sun and that doesn't bode well for nap time. Fast forward to today, Springtime. It's a beautiful, balmy 70 degrees out and it's time to open the windows and air out the house. However, the cheap and ugly roller shade does not want to roll up. It must have retired sometime during the winter. There's old, wintertime air hanging stagnant in her room and I need open windows!

I am anti-mini blind so my deep desire to remedy this problem is to go to the drapery store, look through fabric swatches and spend tons of money on a custom made roman shade. However, the money tree is not in bloom so that's out of the question. We live in a pretty old house and that means the windows are odd sizes so a shade off the rack at JC Penney's or Lowes is out of the question as well. So I did what you do when you need ideas and inspiration. . .I Googled! And I found this!! Oh how I love my fellow crafty bloggers! (And here is someone else that used her idea as well. Loving the fabric she used!) Who knew it could be so affordable and easy to make your own roman shade?!

I'm not going to give you a detailed tutorial because of the links I shared above but I will share some of the things I did.

I didn't want to spend the money on an expensive piece of fabric because I wasn't sure this would turn out as professional as I hoped so I found a nice, thick pink twill on sale. I estimated that I needed a yard so I got a yard and a half just to be safe.

Fabric - $4
Blinds - $10
Fabric Glue - $5

Did you do the math? Under $20!!

(My daughter was thrilled that I didn't need the wand so she was more than happy to make use of it. We all have welts on our legs now but she had a good time and that's what matters.)

I started with adjusting the blinds. My advice is to measure, measure, measure! My window is only 34 inches long and the blinds were 64 inches so I spread the blinds out and measured. I put the glue bottle down to mark where I would stop removing slats.


I am a pro at removing the extra slats because when we bought our house, every freakin' window had mini blinds on them with about 4 feet of extra blinds at the bottom because the people that sold us the house were too lazy to fix them! But I digress....
The toughest part was prying off those little plastic buttons on the bottom piece.

Once I removed the extra slats, I put the bottom piece back on and made sure it was even. I then decided where I would want the folds of my shade. I wanted to be sure I didn't remove the slats I wanted to keep so I cut chunks out of the ones that were going to be removed.

I used the scissors to carefully removed the slats between my "fold slats." CAREFULLY! You don't want to cut the pull cord!

The blinds are the hardest part! Now it's on to the easy part...the gluing of the fabric. I found that large paper clips helped me out with holding down the fold as I glued.

Once I had everything glued down I thought I'd add a little somethin' so I pulled out some ribbon I had for some project or another that has long been forgotten. I lined the bottom with it.

And now the unveiling.....

I love how it turned out! And I'm even more thrilled with the cost of it all!

It's not 100% done. I am going to cut the roller shade and mount that onto the back of the new roman shade for room darkening. I'm still deciding about the valance. I'm even considering bribing my husband to put some wider (and whiter!) trim around the window, but for now I'm just happy that I can pull up the shade and let some fresh air in!

Happy Friday!