Thursday, April 28, 2016

Max's Red Room - Shelving

I'm putting on my woodworker hat... and making a shelving unit for all of Max's very important things. Like that piece of paper from... yeah, whatever. He has a ton of kid crap that he won't part with. You know how it goes.

He currently has three of these bad boys to hold his stuff, but at almost-six he is obviously too grown up for that plastic bin business. SO obviously I got him some more plastic bins... but they're much cooler.

I love the Ikea TROFAST series, but I have no Ikea near me. <sads> However - shipping on just the bins wasn't ridiculous, so I decided to hack the frame! I used Ana White's design as a starting point, and totally loved what her reader CassieD did:

Instead of spending a lot of time bonding with my router, I decided to use 1/2" quarter round to make the supports (since I couldn't find the sliders that CassieD used) and some nice clear pine boards. My plan is similar with a three columns and a shelf on top:

I decided to put a supporting horizontal shelf halfway up the columns for added stability since my columns are much taller than Ana or CassieD's. 

Oh - the bunny self on the cut list? Yeah, I need to build some sort of rolling platform for Sugar Cookie's cage to sit on. That project is still in the early planning stages.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Photo Booth Art

I'm gonna eat you up!
Who doesn't love a good photo booth collage? I adore this one of Max and I so much I had to turn it into art!

A piece of scrap wood. scrapbook paper, watered down white glue, and a printout from the computer, and I have a fun and pretty display piece! AND it cost me nothing since I had all of the materials on hand!

Do you have a series of photos that you love but don't know how to make them look like they came from a photo booth? I highly suggest using PicMonkey. (I have no affiliation with them, other than I just really love their editing program) Using the collage option, choose the Ducks in a Row option from the left toolbar, selecting up to five spaces. You can leave it horizontal, or use the rotate tool at the bottom to make it vertical. If you want to change the background to black, click on the artist palette icon on the left toolbar. Once you've entered your photos, you can open the collage in editor and play with filters and such, which is how I set mine to black and white and added the black fading at the edges.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Holding Love

I Love You project #2 - Holding Love
a ribbon loop stapled on back to hang it up

This project requires more adult participation than I Love You to Pieces - but don't be scared!

I started out with some scrap pieces of wood, though you could use canvas, poster board, or paper as a background. I covered the board with pretty paper and slightly watered down white glue a-la decoupage. Then it's a matter of layering on the photo, adding hearts or other embellishments, writing with marker, coloring, or whatever makes you happy.

The part that makes this the most-est special? Those hands/heart. Tiny hands! Like a heart! <squeal>

How did I do it? Two step process - first trace the child's hand on scrap paper and cut it out to make a hand stencil. Fold a piece of nice paper in half, nice side in. THEN trace the hand stencil onto the nice paper with the thumb and index at the crease, making sure that the tips of the index and thumb hang over the crease by just a smidge. That'll make the fingers connect. After you trace the hand, adjust the line between the thumb and index to make a smoother half-heart shape. Cut it all out, and you'll have adorable hands/heart!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Love You to Pieces

With Mother's Day coming up, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite I Love You projects.

First up is I Love You to Pieces! Simply cut out a large heart, and then fill it up with bits and pieces of pretty paper, magazines, stickers, washi tape, etc. Max LOVED this project!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Max's Red Room - All the Red

Red Room, Red Room... (The Shining, anyone?)


Max has decided that he wants a red bedroom. Immediately I cringed since I'm all about the whites and blues and greens... But he's almost-six, and it's his bedroom, his choice. Red it is!

Most people would probably go with a bright red and go with a red/black/white car theme, or brick red Americana - but knowing his personality, I just knew he would wantit to be very jewel toned with rich colors, and above all cozy. Very bohemian. I found this inspiration picture for him - and now he wants all the things. The light, the headboard, the bedding... ALL THE THINGS.

I will try to humor him as much as possible - without breaking the bank!

First things first - picking the right red. It had to be a ruby color, rich with cool undertones, not too bright or warm. A soothing red. After getting a dozen paint chips from the tool store, I narrowed it down to Benjamin Moore's Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I know what you're thinking - that's pink! Not red! Bear with me here - his room has one window and very little natural light. When it's on the walls all the sudden it looks.... RED! Check it out! (excuse the fuzzy photo, my phone was not behaving)

Tip - spend some extra and get the top line Aura series that has the built in primer. I did his room in ONE COAT with NO PRIMER. That's virtually unheard of with red paint! If it was in a high-light room, I'd probably do a second coat, but that's still amazing. I was having mild anxiety after listening to all of these 10-coat red paint horror stories, so I listened to the paint tech and it totally paid off in time and money since I didn't have to buy more than one gallon. WIN!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Eggshell Seed Starts

nice, clean shells, ready for dirt!
I'm a little bit late on starting my seeds - but better late than never!

While I was cracking eggs at the bakery this morning, I took a little extra care to crack just the very tops off (rather than down the center per the usual). I rinsed them thoroughly and let them dry in the sunshine. (we had sunshine!!!)

We get eggs by the box at work, so I trimmed the flats down to fit in a seed starter tray (you can trim regular paper egg cartons too).

After school, Max and his friend helped me label the outside of the eggs with sharpies, then we filled them up with moistened seed starter soil, and planted our seeds!

We planted Hungarian Heart tomatoes (labeled with a big T), little currant tomatoes (labeled with a little t), peas, cucumbers, yellow beans, green beans, and pumpkins.

I popped the lid on the tray, wrapped some rope lights in a towel, and set the tray on top. Now we wait!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring Baking!

Oh, how I love spring baking. Fresh, light, tangy flavors to cleanse your palette from the winter's comfort foods. This photo is from the behind the scenes of our photo shoot day... I love eat all the things photo shoot day!

In blue is my lemon cake with a robin's egg frosting, the fluffy business in the middle right is coconut lime cake, and up front is lemon meringue.

BTW - if you're in Vermont, you should check us out!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pin the Nose on the Snowman & Snowball Toss

Two games for the price of one on this project - Pin the Nose on the Snowman & Snowball Toss!
Peek a boo!

I picked up two presentation boards (like these). I sketched out a rough snowman, and two circles for the snowball toss. I cut out the two circles from one board, and carefully traced it onto the second one and cut them out. Then I lined up the boards back to back and glued the center panels together for added stability (and the possibility of using the other side for a different design!). To make the holes a little smoother I lined them with masking tape.
with some paint

And, of course, I painted the snowman. Happy little guy, isn't he?

For the carrot noses I just used orange construction paper with a bit of rolled up tape on the back. For the snowballs, I used white felted dryer balls (which I make good use of in the dryer!).

The kids at the holiday party had a blast!

holes & glue


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Holy Macaroni, It's Been A Rollercoaster

teal hair!
Um, guys? I'm back.



So, life has... calmed down? Not really? It's certainly changed! I've still been crafting and gardening and stuff, don't you worry. I'm a baker now! Like, as my job! How freaking cool is that? I'm also about to move back in with my parents (!!!) and I will keep you posted as we turn their 4 bedroom single family house into a 5 bedroom two-apartment house.

OH - and I dyed my hair! CHECK IT OUT

How about that for a welcome back DIY?

Always follow the directions when using hair products!

Step 1: Condition the heck out of your hair for a few weeks
Step 2: Bleach your hair - I used a 40 developer (ask an associate at a beauty supply store to help you choose the best one for your hair)
Step 3: Use toner to take down the orangey-ness
Step 4: Apply color! I used One n' Only Argon Oil Perfect Intensity color in Electric Teal, Pastel Aqua, and Emerald. I totally stole one of Max's paint brushes to apply the color. I brushed Electric Teal on the roots, Pastel Aqua on the remainder of the shaft, and Emerald for highlights/streaks. It all blended together so it looked... natural? How about it gave my hair better depth. ;)
Step 5: Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. Every time you wash your hair, the color will fade. I try not to wash my hair more than once every three days, and I can usually make it a week before washing (my scalp is adjusting and not producing as much oil). Dry shampoo is your friend! When I do wash my hair, I use cool water, and instead of shampoo I use a toning conditioner (it's dark blue!) and mix in just a little shampoo. The mixture cleans, but doesn't really lather, and doesn't strip my hair of color. I know, I know - you're thinking you HAVE to wash your hair! Give it a shot, you might be surprised how much cleaner it feels with a good rinsing.

The best part about this? My hair looks amazing. Obv. The second best part? It didn't break the bank! The bleach, toner, and conditioner came to less than $20, and I got the hair color buy 2 get 1 free - so for less than $35 and some time and patience, I saved myself well over $100 if I had gone to the salon.