Friday, October 29, 2010

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” - Dr. Seuss

My son’s book collection was getting a little out of control (thanks to those great Scholastic book orders that come home from school every month!) So I moved a little, Target brand bookcase into his room (and this isn't even all of the books!):

Turns out that my son would never make it working in a library. He cannot shelf a book to save his life! I was spending way too much time sweeping out books from under his bed because he just couldn't (and wouldn't) put them on the shelf. And I wasn't real thrilled with the fake wood bookcase that didn't match the rest of his room.

So I decided that I wanted these:

Yes...these are from Pottery Barn. Now
If you’re like me when you get the Pottery Barn Kids catalog you want everything on every page! If only I had an unlimited amount of money with a house with an unlimited amount of space! But lucky for me I have something better -- a husband with an unlimited amount of talent!

The love of my life tore the page from the catalog, hung it in his workshop and in a couple of months (give him a break...he works a lot!) I had these:

I could not be more thrilled! Aren't they great?! Unfortunately he did not take any pictures of the process or document their making in any way. BUT...I found a tutorial after he finished these on

P.S. The bookcase made it's way across the hall to my daughter's room. But it's home there is temporary because my uber talented husband is making THIS from this tutorial! Thank you Ana White and thank you Super Dad!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Raspberry Bread Pudding

Seriously! Trying to blog this week has basically taken a miracle. Well, you all know about the move, right...and I hate to use it as an excuse for another week...but it's killing me. Right now we have no internet in the house as we wait for AT&T to take their sweet time transferring service from one home to another. For some no internet in the house is no big deal, but not to this family. My husband is a computer guy and this mommy blogger is finding it a real inconvenience.

Long story short, I'm writing this late on Wednesday. I had a whole bunch of fun ideas in my head for Thanksgiving (sorry Halloween for moving on) but none of them came fully together. So next week should be better. But this week there has been only one thing on my mind, Raspberry Bread Pudding (ala Kneaders for those of you in Utah). Maybe because it's been kind of chilly here (high 60's...I know, my Southern Californian-ness is annoying sometimes) or maybe because I've been needing some comfort food, but the tangy taste of raspberries and the crunchy crustiness of the pudding kept calling my name. So last night I made some for my family for breakfast and for a treat for the office.

I got this recipe from my friend Becca (Shout-OUT) and it's a hit every time. Today in the office 15 people tried it and 12 people asked me for the recipe. I told them it would be on my blog....sometime today.

So here is the recipe:

Berry Bread pudding

1 loaf of French Bread (15 oz)
2 cups of frozen berries

4 large eggs
2 ¾ c milk
1 c sugar
¼ c butter melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Cube bread.
Place berries on top
Whisk together rest of ingredients and pour over berries and bread
Let soak for 20 min.
Bake covered in 350 oven for 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes.

2 c whipping cream (I use half and half to make it lighter)
1 c sugar
2 Tbsp flour
½ c butter
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt

1st mix sugar and flour together. Then add the rest of ingredients except vanilla. Bring to boil, boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Doesn't it look yummy. It's so good. I love nutmeg. Sometimes I add a little extra nutmeg just for myself. I love this recipe because the crusty french bread is crispy but is balanced by the pudding part. It's a fun explosion in my mouth.

So for those of you who were looking forward to one more Halloween thing, let me show you what the hubby did for scouts.

Aren't these great and the kids loved them, too.  He just got white chocolate chips (I told him the melty chips at the craft store are easier to work with because you can just microwave it and not worry about the double broiler) and dipped donut holes in it. Before it hardened he put a chocolate chip in the middle. After the "eyeball" hardens, take some food coloring and color the left over chocolate red and scoop it into a sandwich bag. Cut a tiny hole in the corner and squeeze the red chocolate on the eyeball creating the tired-look (they look like my eyeballs!!!).  And there you have it. Another quick Halloween treat!  Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Haunted Houses


It's that time of year...

The bags of Trick or Treating candy have been bought ahead of time. They've been sitting patiently. And then...

I'm blaming Him (the hubs). He opened the bag, not me. I was going to be good this year. I was going to save all that for them. But when a bag is open, I just can't resist the Snickers. They scream at me every year. I don't buy them throughout the year for this very reason. Willpower...or lack there of. So if you knock on my door on Sunday, don't be disappointed if you don't get a Snickers. I can guarantee Almond Joy though. (maybe I can entice my mom with a visit now. She's they only one I know who craves those).

My kiddos have been busy this week and it's been fun!

Remember these from the Spring. This week we made them Haunted.

It all started with these materials:

* paint and brushes
* battery lights/candles
* ghosts and skeletons
* wood lattice for our fence
* wood coffin
* wood houses

I bought everything at Michael's. I went there to buy the same houses that I used for the Fairy Houses. Those are thick cardboard for $1.99 each. I had visions of cutting windows and doors on angles to help make the Haunted effect. But then I saw these wooden houses. It was a little more, but I couldn't resist (plus let's be honest - it meant less work for me). So we went with orange paint for our houses.

Then the kids went to work.

We lined the outside of the flower pot with the broken lattice. I just broke it with my hands to give that dilapidated look. We put some branches in the back for trees. We put the coffin coming out of the ground with a skeleton inside. And we used some of our left over orange marbles for our porches.

They look awesome at night!

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween
from The Idea Attic!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Babies, Reunions and Ghosts! Oh my!

I've been a bad blogger! I didn't post last Friday. I'm sure the whole world was out there sitting in front of their computers hitting the refresh button every ten seconds. I'm sorry! But I promise I have some good excuses...

This happened....

And at the same time, this was happening...

And at home this was happening... sister's sweet baby Jane came into the world last Friday and that night was the kickoff of my 20th High School Reunion Weekend. AND my kids were at home destroying the playroom and making sure I would never run out of laundry to do!

Needless to say I was pretty busy! Do you forgive me?

I'm happy to report that life has finally slowed down a bit so I found some time for a little crafting therapy!

I decided I needed a few more Halloweeny items so I dug through my big tote of odds and ends and found this....

I added some paint, stamped on some letters, used cotton swabs to dob on a couple of ghosts and created this....

I even used the drill by myself and put holes in it for ribbon!
And my son made an attempt to impersonate a ghost...

And since I was a slacker last week I'm tacking on a bonus item...

I always buy candlesticks and jars when I see them at the thrift stores so I can make plenty of these!

And remember this great bowl
? Add a few little pumpkins & gourds and it looks so festive!

Now if only I could finish the dresser I am painting for my entry I'd have a bigger place to put all of this cute stuff! (future blog post for sure!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Curly Grosgrain Ribbon Decor

First, before I go any further I just want to say Happy 100th Post to The Idea Attic. I can't believe we're already to 100. Debbie messaged me yesterday and instantly I thought, "We should have a give-away or something" and then my kids started fighting and I started unpacking and I totally forgot about a special something for our readers. So, if you'll forgive me on this one I promise I'll drum up something good for the holidays. We really do appreciate your comments and words of encouragement and look forward to the next 100 posts.

And now, for our regularly scheduled program. Ribbon! I never thought I'd be that kind of girl. The one who likes ribbon. I grew up with two brothers and no sisters and led a bit of the tom-boy lifestyle...a boy crazy tom boy. My brothers used to tease me that I would have to beat up a boy to marry me. They weren't laughing when I beat up people who were picking on them (yes, even my older brother). But little did we all know that as I grew older I would love pink, glitter, bling and ribbon!

Lately I've seen these cute little curly grosgrain ribbon hair know the ones at Gymboree...and they're too expensive for my taste. I can make that, right? Right!

(Please excuse the low resolution pictures from my iphone. Nice camera is in a box somewhere and I haven't gotten to it yet. When I find it I will replace with nicer pictures....but you get the idea, right?)

This project is so super easy that I did amidst unpacking the kitchen, painting a new entertainment center, cooking dinner, and helping my son with his California Landforms project (not to mention playing a few of my friends in "Words with friends") all after work!

So you'll need some dowels. I chose the "yellow" tagged ones at Michael's. Cut them to fit your cookie sheet. Then wrap the ribbon around the dowel securing it with some clothes pins.

Then pre-heat your oven to 250. Place your dowels on a cookie sheet and spray them with water. Then put your slightly damp dowels in the oven fo 20 minutes.  Then remove them and let them cool...they are hot. After they cool,  release the ribbon and nudge it off the dowel.

For the green bow shown, I cut 6 sections from each dowel. (I'm going to be showing you both the black and the green...but the green turned out cuter because the ribbon was skinnier). Then seal the edges with a candle or some anti-fray stuff so the ribbon doesn't come apart.

Next, you just sew them up the middle like this and after it's sewn together, I glued them to the hair clips like Debbie did in this post.

I also used these cute ribbons (on the hair clip) to decorate my no-carve pumpkins from last week. I also cut a vinyl bat to decorate my larger pumpkin.

Do you see the cute "pumpkin" hair clip? Don't you think it looks like the little white pumpkin is wearing an orange pumpkin costume? I think it's cute. Of course, I've turned into a big softy.

Today I linky-ed up to the following:

Sew Much Ado
The Thrifty Home 
Someday Crafts 
Blue Cricket Design

Monday, October 18, 2010


On your mark.
Get set.
Decorate! (got to hurry because I've already seen Christmas decor in the stores)

This is a quick and easy decorating idea.

It's an easy one to involve the kids.

It all begins with these materials:

I bought the materials at Michaels. The frames were $1.99 each, but at the time they were buy one and get a second for a penny. I also got the marbles from the floral section. The ones I bought are the smaller ones. They also have a flat back. One small bag was plenty for this. I think I still have half the bag left.

To begin, I wrote the letter on the frame using a dry erase marker. I wrote the letter the way I wanted it on the front of the frame. I then turned the frame over to the back and traced it again. This allowed me to wipe off the front of the frame so you won't see the lines when I finished. (you can wipe of the back after it's completed).

Then I was ready for the glueing. I just put the glue on the back of the marble. The kids were then able to place the marbles onto the frame, following the lines.

It was really easy and really simple!

There are so many words you could choose like EEK (in green marbles) or SPOOKY (in black marbles).

The Girl CreativeMaking

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No-Carve Pumpkins

I'm so glad you all can't see my house right now. We're in the middle of packing because we're moving on Friday. Now before the ones that know me start Facebooking and calling and texting, we are just moving about 5 miles north of our current it should be easy, right? WRONG!!!

How much stuff can one family collect in 3.5 years? I mean, our house is tiny but we seemed to have filled every nook and cranny with STUFF!! When we moved here from another state, it was easy to say, let's just get rid of that or let's sell that, I'm not dragging that across 3 states. But when you're moving 5 miles away, it seems silly to get rid of things that I will "need."  It's funny to see me in the garage trying to get rid of my husbands "necessities" but it's not so funny fighting with him about my craft stuff.

Like I said, my house is tiny (yeah for the bigger new house...with a pool...and a guest room) so as we're pulling all this stuff out of cupboards and shelves, our home has been taken over by boxes. Give-away boxes, book boxes, file boxes, fragile boxes, boxes, boxes, boxes....ahhhhh.

Needless to say, I barely have any extra time. Enter Halloween. Halloween parties, costumes and the ever complicated carving of the pumpkins.

Uh...this year, it doesn't look like I have time to carve pumpkins. Don't get me wrong, I love to carve pumpkins. I usually spend a couple of hours after the kids go to bed carving and scraping. Here's a little sampling of my pumpkins from years past. I'm not amazing, but I love to do it.

Cute Frankenstein

Vampire Kitty 


So, see...I love to carve pumpkins. But this year, with the can do. Insert carve-less pumpkin ideas here :)

The first method is just cutting jack-o-lantern parts out of black vinyl or contact paper.

Here, I cut a face out on my vinyl cutter. But I also gave my kids black vinyl and they cut out their own eyes, nose and mouth...and other parts. They are still working on them at press time, so maybe pictures next time.

The other method is what I call the sexy-pumpkin. Using a fishnet stocking, you wrap your pumpkins to give them a stylish, yet festive look.

First you place the pumpkin in the leg. Then you tie the stocking at the stem and you cut off the stocking. Easy, huh?

I think it would look pretty cool with different fishnet type patterns on the pumpkins, but yours truly was too cheap to buy more stockings. I even bought the cheapest stockings in the walmart costume section. If you want to wrap more that one pumpkin, tie a knot in the stocking where you cut if off and wrap another pumpkin.

sorry about the blurry picture

I wrapped all four of these pumpkins in one leg of a stocking. I also tried to do different tension on the wraps to make the holes smaller or larger just to give variety (mainly because I didn't buy more patterned stockings). One thing I really like about this method is that I'll be able to cut the pumpkins open and eat them when Halloween is over. Hubby makes YUMMY Pumpkin squares.

Next week I'll show you how I further decorated these cute pumpkins. Until then, I have a house to move.

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