My new favorite blog...other than mine ;)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Check out this one:
How About Orange

They already have tons of "followers" so I'm sure some of you have seen this blog already...but if you haven't, here's why you should:

1) in "Want to make a bag? Here are 12 tutorials on cool bags."
2) Food links on the side...they help further my fantasy of becoming a fantastic family chef!! (Esp Smitten Kitchen...look on the can see all the recipes organized by ingredient!! YESSS!)
3) Repurposing galore

Ok, that should be enough--just go look at it!

Two Things Tuesday--Condensed Version

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My oldest was sick yesterday. So why the condensed version today? Simply because eventhough she's playing and eating and doing well today, yesterday everything stopped to take care of all the stuff that was supposed to get done yesterday is now happening today, PLUS all the stuff that is supposed to happen today...

Here we go...

THING ONE: BENTO!!! If you have never heard of this (as I had NEVER heard of this until literally 2 weeks ago) you are about to be blown away! It is awesome! Basically, a bento is a meal/snack that has lots of variety and set up in an artistic/aesthetically pleasing way and it's in a little box. That's the gist I got anyway. They originated in Japan, but the few sites that I have looked at have been from all over the world. Here is the one I came across while browsing liaspace ... Bentolicious. It is so wonderful and I am completely obsessed! Check out these pics, keep in mind, this is FOOD people!! You eat it!!

This one was for a bento contest. Contests for bento---I wanna go!!
So cute! What kid could resist??

The variety of fruits and veggies is what really appeals to me. My kids aren't even picky eaters, but I think it would be so fun to eat little flower shaped foods! I mean a bear?? Seriously, it's ridiculously cute! But if you do have a picky eater I think I would definitely try this.

Another bento blog I found is She makes food that would probably appeal to most Americans. Check out that white, car shaped item in the center of the box on the left...know what that is??
It's a hard boiled egg!!! Apparently, there is such a thing called and "egg mold" where you boil an egg, peel it, stick it in an egg mold and then refrigerate it--voila! Cool shaped egg! My kids LOVE hard boiled eggs (for some odd reason) and I thought this was just too adorable! I looked up egg molds too and they are only like $3...sweet!!

You can get lots of bento supplies off ebay...but I found a local place too that I'm gonna try first. Mainly so I can ask lots of questions and probably annoy the tar out of them.
Anyway, something super fun to try!

THING TWO: I can't shirr!! I tried and tried. I followed the tutorials from SEVERAL websites and it just won't work! Uber frustrating! There is just no bunching happening. I'm using elastic thread, I wound the bobbin myself, I tried both increasing the tension AND leaving it normal. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm hoping I break will help me figure it out. I REALLY want to shirr some stuff though! That is a sad "thing" to report on...but that's what I got. Ofcourse, after that fiasco, I had to get the bad juju out of my machine--so I sewed up a cute little skirt with ruffle pockets for my sick little girl, all made from one of my hubby's old shirts. It worked perfectly so hopefully the machine is now officially...cleansed!

Bow-ish Clippies!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I know...there is a previous post of mine where I say "we don't really like bows, we like clips in this house..." or something to that effect. I'm s-l-o-w-l-y coming around. Don't get me wrong though, if you call my kids 'bowheads', I'll be deeply offended. I found a website that made a tutorial from me COMPLETELY unnecessary--yippee! This lady can make some bows! Here ya go: When all you need for a project is a clip, ribbon and hot glue--who can resist??

So, I made these cute little ones by wrapping a regular clip. Easy and fun!

After I made those according to the website directions on how to wrap the ribbon, I went wrapping-clippy-crazy!! Here are some alligator clips that I wrapped. I tried a double bow-like thing for these. These aren't on the website, but once you get the got it!

Here's the side view so you can see that I only wrapped the top part...not the bottom or the part you pinch.
THEN--I went to Hob Lob and found these crazy things. Big flat top part, teeth to hold my little girl's super thick, curly hair! Faboo! I'm imagining all kinds of fun stuff to do with these...

...but then I wrapped it again. HA! Double loop bow anyone??

Side view of this beaut!

These next ones are also on that website...but I actually already knew how to do these. Score one tiny one for me!
I guess this could be considered Part 3 in the 'Clippy Crazy!' series. Although, they are quite bow-ish...but still clippy!!!! I won't give up the clippy!!!!
Ok, multi-tasking time is over--LOST finale is on and it's getting good!

Two Things Tuesday: Reasons why I like sewing

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

There are several reasons why I'm glad I learned to sew...these are two of them.

THING ONE: Being able to change your own home decor WITHOUT having to spend an absolute fortune is awesome! I greatly disliked the previous pillows that were in this chair. They were cream colored blah and filled with feathers which were always poking people and ended up all over the floor. Annoying. I've had these little $3 IKEA pillows forever...they are just fills. Covered them with fabric and...voila! Better in every way...and quite cheap!

A little topstitching on two ends...
I LOVE this fabric. I think it's from Hancock's. It's actually very thin and gauzy, so I lined it with a sturdy plain ol' white fabric too. It's so vintage-y looking...just couldn't pass it up!

THING TWO: Being able to whip up a little something for your kiddos. A very little something. Hmm...what is that, you say?

Oh, ofcourse---it's a pillow and blanket for a polly pocket princess!! Almost perfect...
Ahh yes, add in a watch box bottom and you've got the perfect tiny princess bed. That Prince should be along any minute now...
This 5 min effort caused such an exciting ruckus that I declared outloud that I LOVED BEING ABLE TO SEW!!! The sheer joy and mass amounts of squealing---it's wonderful to be able to make them so happy!
Granted, neither of these projects took great skill, but maybe that's the point. Simple is often better. And if you are talking about proportion of enjoyment to effort, then I'm WAY ahead!

Plant a garden, why don't ya?

Monday, May 17, 2010

So, 2 weekends ago one of our "family" long-term dreams was realized---we planted an organic vegetable garden!! My hubby and I have been literally pining for this for years...and we finally did it...with help from the in-laws! But really, it is super easy and I am now a firm believer that everyone should try it!
It's pretty simple--- Get some 2 x 4s and screw them together. We lined ours with plastic because we used reclaimed pressure treated wood...and although the really deadly stuff isn't used on wood anymore, I'm very particular about chemicals and so I figured better safe than poisoned...
Like so:

Literally, put them on the ground, stacked them and screwed them together. We did have to do a little digging to level it out so the entire bottom actually touched the ground.

20 bags of topsoil and 1 bag of humus (dig the hole, put in some humus, then the plant), 12 veggie plants later and your got yourself a garden!! We planted okra, cucumbers, banana peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon. I am in LOVE with this garden. It was sooo much easier than we thought it would be...I wished we would've done it much sooner!

We have some things still in pots ready to transplant soon. These are from seeds, planted about 3 weeks ago? We just need another raised bed to plant them in now.
Beans--look how tall they are??!! Amazing! I swear, they grow an inch or two a day! (They have cute little chalkboard paint labels...unfortunately it rained and they washed off. Fun idea, but not practical for an outdoor plant.)

Butternut Squash---also from seed.

And I'm telling you, I'm not known for being a green-thumb at all...but I really want to be! It's working out so far. I'll post pics as soon as there is something to harvest...hopefully there actually will be!!

Next garden-related project: composter! Hubby has found plans on Instructables. Love that website!
I also want an herb garden...I'm totally obsessed now, can you tell??

Two Things Tuesday

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Tuesday!! Here are Two Things I've actually accomplished this week!! Hooray!

THING ONE: I am such a scrounger! Nothing gets thrown away anymore. Even the hubby is in on the game now---everytime he's about to get rid of a worn out something he says, "Well, could you use this for something?" Yes...yes I can!!

Case in point--just another skirt, huh?
Ok, ok...the fabric is pretty cool...
Oh WAIT!! What's that?? The waistband is different,'s a PAJAMA SHORTS WAISTBAND which I scrounged from some pjs where the shirt was too tight/too short. Waste not, want not!!

PS-- That perfectly matching shirt is a tank top from Old Navy if you happen to need a match for that fabric too! (I've seen it around quite a bit)

THING TWO: So I've started experimenting with the Triple Thick. I made bottlecap magnets! I've been collecting bottlecaps lately for just such an occasion. I basically glued a circle of scrapbook paper and "embellished" with some stamping and stickers. Nothing too crazy since these were the trial run ones.

I krazy glued a super strong magnet to the back.

I ended up putting a few coats of the Triple Thick on each. It dries in about 5 min so it was no biggie. Yep, they're magnets alright! Again, a repurposing!!
In conclusion, I am apparently addicted to repurposing! And that's just fine---it's probably the absolute cheapest addiction possible!

Impromptu Fabric Basket

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned these two things before:
1) We live in an older house
2) I don't like clutter--particularly loose objects such as wires, little tiny animals, markers...

Let me paint you a picture. The dining room table ends up as the catch all for all sorts of projects. Lately, Sleeping Beauty Color Wonder artwork has been going on. (Why don't they sell a little case or baggie or something with these sets to keep it all in. It's probably something you have to buy seperately...and I'm not falling for that one!) Anyway, so there have been markers sitting on the table for like a week. Only they don't "sit." They roll. Why, you ask? One might say, our house is less than level. I say, we live in a constant state of "tilt."

So, the need for an impromptu marker basket arose. I answered the call--with fabric, ofcourse!!

Here's what you need:
-scrap fabric, I used a fat quarter
-fusible interfacing
-rubber bands or some other binding thing...ribbon, thread, whatever...

Here's how I did it:
1) I needed a rectangular basket so I folded the fat quarter and cut off some so I ended up with an 11"X 14" piece WHEN IT WAS FOLDED. Slip an equa-sized (Is that a word?? Well, it should be.) piece of fusible interfacing in the middle. Iron all of that together.
Side note: You can get fusible interfacing prepackaged...but then the price is RIDICULOUS. Buy it off the bolt!
2) Sew all the way around. You could fold in all the edges and make them "neat." I chose not too because it's not getting washed AND I'm kinda diggin' the rough look lately...
I used a cute stitch that actually has a scallop to it. I feel like the cute-y, complex stitches on my machine are way underused...that was really the only reason.
3)Do you have one of these? I bought this rubberband ball thinking, "What am I gonna use all these for? This is unnecessary..." But I loved the colors, so I got it! As it turns out, I have used it so many times I will probably end up buying several rubberband balls in my lifetime. Never thought I'd say that!

4)Pinch a corner, wrap a rubber band around it!

5) Keep going on the other three corners and you've got yourself a BASKET, baby!! I ironed the sides into a crease AFTER placing rubberbands...out of sheer OCD of needing that crease.

I am really in love with this basket. It's not breakable, it's colorful and fun, and most of all...simple!

Coordinating thread with rubberbands...feeling good about that one! I have that feeling where, after having made one of these, I am about to make a MILLION---in all different sizes and styles and materials...
Now, YOU go make some!!
Happy (Crazy, OCD) Mother's Day!!!

Two Things Tuesday

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hello there! I have discovered some WONDERFUL things for this week! Check it--

THING ONE: Paper craft continues to elude me. I'm not the most precise when it comes to cutting. Fabric is quite forgiving...paper is not. Which is what makes me LOVE paper crafts like these. I always hate spending money on things I think I could probably do myself. I know I can't do this, so I wouldn't feel bad at all...
These are from Crafterall on Etsy. Monocromatic greatness....agghhh (drooling).

Set of 4 cards for $16.00?? COOL!! Or I saw that you can get a customized one in the shape of a certain body of water, $30 for 8"X 10"---also very reasonable.
THING TWO: I realize I am potentially way late jumping on this bandwagon--TRIPLE THICK!!

This is one of those products where I really have no idea what exactly I'm going to do with it...but I'm excited about the possibilities!!! I experimented a bit last night. I think a coat of Mod Podge FIRST and then this over it may be best for working with paper, as I was ( I know...I just said paper craft eludes me, but I never give up!!). I actually went to Hob Lob with the intention of buying some Mod Podge "dimensional"...wasn't there---but THIS WAS!! Seems like it'll be a lot of fun!
Enjoy these Two Things! If you have some project suggestions for Triple Thick---bring them on!!