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Clumsy Crafter: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Facing Giants

I'm not a confrontational person. I'd rather classify myself as a walking, talking doormat.

Actually if you asked me to stand in front of your car so you could run over me a few times, I'd probably say ok, just because I wouldn't want to tell you no. That's me in all my glory. I hate to let people down and I hate to disappoint people. Somewhere along the way I convinced myself that if I can't be 100% superwoman for every person that asks me to be anything, than I'm disappointing them. It's something I'm working on and I'm pretty good at asserting myself with Damion. Just ask, he'll tell you. I'm super good at telling my kids no but that's a whole nother' story.

Lately I've been watching a little girl every other week for the entire week. She is the sweetest thing ever except for her fascinating with coloring on everything except paper (she's just barely 2). The best thing is that she doesn't say "yes", she says "yesh". I ask her about 100 questions a day just so I can her her say "yesh", in this little tiny mouse voice. love it.

The problem is that it was really hard on me. I couldn't leave the house and if did then I had four kids out with me aged 1,2,4, and 5. I know there are moms that do this on a daily basis and you are my hero. However, it's not something that I had time to morph into and get used to like you do with a baby... It was hard. I have barely left the house the last three weeks because of this and then the in between week is when I hurt myself with the dryer episode. So this week I was starting to go a little nutso.

Ok I was more than a little nutso. We have a great rhythm to our family that includes a family dinner every night with time spent together and then a quiet bed time routine. When I'm watching this little girl that doesn't happen because I have to run like a crazy person to do errands when she's picked up close to 5.. then I have to make dinner... clean the kitchen... bathe the kids.. and get them in bed and then go pick up the house again and feed the dogs and now there's a turtle to feed. I usually have dinner made and the house picked up when he gets home. There has been no down time, no family time.. and Damion has been having to do homework every night which takes away my time with him and some help. (I am extremely proud of him for pursuing more school though)  If you're still reading with me.. way to go.. I'm just venting.

All this novel just to say that I was exhausted. I'm still hurting from the stupid ridiculous dryer stunt. and then today I had to tell her grandmother that I just can't watch her anymore. Hello! I'm the one that avoids confrontation. I would have rather had a lobotomy even though they wouldn't have found anything up there to remove.

But I did it. I told her and I felt better instantly. I may still watch her for a few days while she finds someone else but I feel like I can get back to normal, back to what I love about our family, back to hurting myself with the dryer.

So if you're still reading with me than you get a reward for enduring this torture...

A picture of a little pot belly beauty following her turtle. She's still trying to figure that thing out....

I'm looking forward to a peaceful weekend. Are you?

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The only Hurricane I love

This is an old tutorial that has been around blogland for awhile. I would really like to credit someone for giving me this idea but I don't remember where I saw it and when I googled "dollar store hurricane", I got a little more than 50 different blogs to choose from.  So why would I post it here then if it's already everywhere else?

Because I love it. Because my husband didn't believe me that I made these. Because I write this blog and hold all the power.

So what do you need? 2 Cheap crystal candle holders, which they have at the dollar store, and two cheap tall vases, also from the dollar tree. Add that up and you have a whopping $4 for two hurricane vases. You will also need some Gorilla Glue which you shouldn't add to the final cost because your new found love for Gorilla Glue will be priceless. Just wait.. you'll see... priceless.

Start with the candle holder.

Then take the vase and make sure you peel all the stickers off the bottom. Or don't..

Dampen the top of the candle holder and apply a few drops of Gorilla Glue. You only need a tiny amount of glue. You will think that you need more but it expands and you do not need more than a few extremely small drops!

Now place the vase on top of the candle holder, making sure it is balanced, and then leave it alone!

Let it dry and you have this....

and this...

Beautiful huh? I'm looking for fall decorations to put in them right now. Please forgive the rocks. I was on a hunt for filler in my garage.

I also wanted one of them to be higher than the other so I found a glass lid and glued that in between the candle holder and vase. You can't really see it but it did help one be a little taller than the other.

Go out... raid the dollar tree... and create!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Art with Kids

The other day I found a warming tray at Goodwill. It's old as dirt but was cheap and great for fall art projects.

We worked on melted crayon drawings today and the girls loved it.  It's very simple. Place a piece of paper on the warming tray, set to low, and color on it with crayons. How much simpler can it get? I gave my girls a glove to wear on their other hand to help hold the paper, (it gets pretty hot) but they ditched the glove quickly and just figured out how to do it without touching the tray.

Because the tray gets so warm, I don't recommend this project for anyone under 4 and you need to supervise them at all times.

I drew a leaf shape for them and then let them color it in.
the longer the paper is on the tray, the faster the crayons will melt.

using the side of the crayon covers a lot of area and really helps to blend.
This girl really liked experimenting with different colors. When the crayons melt, the colors really come to life.

Then after we did a few leaves, we started on pumpkins

For some reason, this is the only picture of a finished pumpkin I took. It was a girly pumpkin with eyelashes and lip gloss. The other pumpkins were so cute .
This is a great craft for kids to help them learn about change (the melting crayon), effects of heat, and help them think outside the box.

You can also find warming trays at Walmart or Target in case your local Goodwill is fresh out.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Step Away from the Dryer

I have a story to tell. It's one that you'll probably never hear again because stuff like this only happens to me. This is a proven fact. I would also like to put a disclaimer on this post tonight about anything that I might possibly say or do. I am loopy.. under the influence of pain medicine that the Dr. promised would not make me loopy or tired. That is a lie.

We have an old dryer that is rigged to perfection. Every year we just rig it again in some new way to keep the baby working. Occasionally it stops drying for a day and I have to lay hands on it but it always starts again. The thing about this dryer is that it doesn't stop turning when you open the door at all.  It just keeps turning. So you would think that some people would know better than to stick their arm in the dryer while it was still turning, right?

However some of us were raised in East Texas and have a yankee father (sorry dad) and a Georgia peach mother (sorry mom) and when you mix all those factors together you basically get the big bang theory in reverse. Therefore it was me that reached my hand in the dryer while it was still running. My hand got caught one of those shark fin looking things on the side and went for a little carousel ride around the entire drum at high speeds. It hurt pretty bad but nothing to make me think that it would give me two full weeks of misery.

This is the part that no one except Damion knows so sorry family to let you know this way but I didn't want to freak you out.  Two days after this whole "dummy put her hand in the running dryer" escapade... I started getting bad chest pains. Really bad. My whole entire chest was on fire and I was out of breath, all the time. Walking up the stairs about crippled me. So I got to visit the cardiologist who said that I was way to young to be there. I agreed. I am only 25 you know.. and will be for the next 30 years. I was the belle of the waiting room ball. I was the youngest and hottest thing in there and we all know that it's the only time that will ever happen.. or has happened to me period.

I did a stress test, echo cardiogram and had to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours that left me stinky (no showering) and with a big red whelps from a reaction to the tape that was used. Fun stuff. It's what keeps my husband coming back for more. I didn't tell my family. I canceled a trip to Dallas I was supposed to take and told them I thought I was having some bad indigestion. Really I was googling heart failure and pretty scared. But the overall pain started to subside and just leave areas that hurt. I also got my energy back and figured out that if something was wrong with my heart and as much pain as I was in, I would be much worse off than what I am. Plus I haven't heard back from the cardiologist and it's been a long time. I think if I were dying, he might have had the courtesy to call and tell me. I hope so at least or he's not invited to the funeral. (I'm not dying!)

So today I headed back to the Dr. because it's become obvious that nothing is wrong with my heart but I'm still in pain and now my right arm and shoulder have joined in the pain party. I had mentioned to my Dr. that I had a dryer "incident" the first time I saw her but I didn't explain it in detail and they were more worried about the chest pain than figuring out what the dummy did with her dryer. So today I had to explain it in detail to the nurse... who laughed so hard that she also choked. The good news is that I didn't have to tell the Dr. because the nurse did that for me and confessed that they had shared a good laugh at my expense.

So after a complete examination of my arm and a quick call to the cardiologist by my Dr., it was confirmed that I just had a major case of stupidity.... oh that and some muscular skeletal trauma.. something like that. Who knows? I'm loopy.. remember? Basically I hurt my body (duh) and it hurts bad tonight but the nice little white pill is helping. I can't take them while my kids are awake though because everyone might somehow start sporting a mullet.. or a Mohawk. Not sure.

I do not normally take medicine.  One benedryl will knock me out harder and faster than my narcoleptic wanna be of a husband. So these pills are really making me like a sleepy circus performer but not the bearded lady. Don't worry about that.

So if you are family or just really love me.. don't worry. I'm fine. I should be up and going full speed again soon. My trip to Dallas has been rescheduled for a week from now and the girls are too excited about the turtle still to notice that I'm slower than normal. How much slower can a person get though? I'm not exactly speed racer on my good days.

Loopiness is going into overdrive so I will end with the simple quote... "Step away from the dryer"....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fluffy turtle

Princess Goofy found a turtle today. She tore into the house screaming and bouncing with joy, begging Damion to come see what she had found. Then I heard them call me to come look because she had found a turtle. I didn't believe it. The first thing that crossed my mind is that they had decorated a rock to look like turtle or something like that. Never did I think I would walk out and see them with a turtle.

Growing up in East Texas I remember finding box turtles a lot. They were always crossing across our yard or in the woods by our house.  Finding box turtles growing up is one of my best childhood memories and I never thought my girls would get that chance. I have never seen a box turtle here in Houston. I have seen a few snapping turtles by the Bayous but I have never seen a lovely little box turtle.

They were so excited and probably didn't believe their cute little ears when I told them they could bring it in the house. Let's just say that I got major mom cool points with that decision. The turtle crawled around the living room while they chased it and we furiously googled  "caring for turtles."

I'm not sure what we're going to do with this turtle. We have it in a makeshift cage tonight. I personally think it was a pet that escaped because it is not shy at all. It actually wouldn't even go into it's shell until we put it in the grass. The shell is in horrible shape and it probably needs to see a vet.

The biggest surprise today is that Damion wants to keep it more than I do. I'm on the fence about it but he really wants to give it a try.

He is going to offer it to a coworker / friend tomorrow who loves reptiles. Honestly they could probably take care of it and get the shell to heal better than we could.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with this turtle in the long run but the good news is that he has a friend...

and he has a name... "Turtle, turtle, fluffy turtle."

According to Princess Goofy he can also talk on the phone. She really wanted the turtle to talk to PawPaw on the phone tonight. The limeade really wanted to come out my nose when I heard her offer the phone to the turtle. That girl is something else.

If anyone has any care tips for healing his shell, let me know. Or maybe we'll get "turtle, turtle, fluffy turtle" a cell phone since he enjoys phone conversations and you can call him. I hope he doesn't rack up a big texting bill.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Ruffle Wreath - Tutorial


I know ruffles are starting to go out of style and burlap is all the rage. But.. I had this idea for a wreath and I love it. I don't know care if it's in or out... it's currently on my front door.

I thought I would share a little tutorial with you just in case you wanted to be sooo last season as well. Vintage is cool.

To begin... I had two colors of fabric in my garage that I got on clearance this past spring. It was a very bright yellow and orange fabric with dragonflies on it. It was too bright for fall and dragonfly's don't scream fall. So I simply tea dyed the fabric to downplay the colors a little and I knew the ruffles would hide the dragonflies. It's very easy to tea dye fabric. Simply boil a few tea bags in a pot and then add the fabric for five minutes or so until it's the color you want. Dry the fabric to heat set the dye and you're ready.

(the strip of fabric in the middle is the dyed fabric)

After I had the colors I wanted, I simply tore the fabric into strips to give the edge a more ragged look and ruffled the strips on my sewing machine. Doing ruffles on a sewing machine is extremely easy. First set your tension pretty high, 5 or 6, and set your stitch width as far as it will go. Then just feed your fabric through your machine and it will ruffle. I ruffled 8 strips of each color. You may need to do a bit more depending on the width of your strips. My strips were about 1.5" wide and 36" long. I used a little more than a 1/2 yard of fabric per color.

First I covered a Styrofoam wreath form with an old brown fabric that I had stored away. It's just simply hot glued on in random ways. It's not pretty but it's going to be hidden. Of course I forgot to take a picture of that part but here's the wreath form sans brown fabric. Helpful huh?...

Then I just started glue on the ruffles using a hot glue gun. Easy. I alternated the colors as I went.

See the brown fabric now? You really need it because there will be gaps between the ruffles. If you don't cover the wreath form than you will see the white Styrofoam.

Keep going until your entire wreath is covered. Of course I didn't calculate the rows of colors vs. actual wreath size so I would up with two yellow rows right next to each other. No biggie for me because I plan to cover it up with two acorns that I made out of scrapbook paper and a window valance.

 Beautiful. Love it.

Now let's make it better...

First I cut two acorn templates out of foam board and grabbed some textured scrapbook paper.
Then I found my ugliest gold window valance which was a hand me down from my dad. Don't judge.. this is what happens when you're young and broke.

 Now we're older and not as broke so I don't know what my excuse for still having it is. I'll work on that and get back to you.

I used the valance material for the base of the acorn and the scrapbook paper for the top.
cute huh?

To finish the wreath, I simply glued the acorns onto the wreath and then hung it using braided hemp cord since I can't find my wreath hanger.

And when it's finished.. this is what it should look like..

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Etsy finds

I love handmade things. When it's time to choose between handmade and store bought.. I'm handmade all the way.

I searched the other day and found a few great items to share with you  to help celebrate the fall.

First.. Pumpkin Pie Soap. Yum. I bet this smells amazing.
I love this sellers soaps. I haven't used them (yet) but if you look at her shop she has so many cute soaps that sound wonderful. Rosemary Mint? Yes please.

Isn't this a cute table runner? It's only about 33$. Please! That is a steal. Love the colors, love the shapes. love, love, love it.  Find it here... Table Runner

Third. Pumpkin Smocked Dress

I love smocked dresses. They are so timeless. Wouldn't this one be precious on Princess Newbie this fall?
She has plenty of smocked items in her shop. Visit it here... smocked dresses

Fourth: Denim Blue Scarf
I love the colors and the deconstructed look. This would be a great compliment to an outfit and so nice and warm.  Sew Scarf

Finally...Plaid Fall ribbon and felt Wreath
I love the colors but those felt flowers are unbelievably gorgeous. I love them! If I had not of made a fall wreath today, this might have been hanging on my door later this week.  Find this wreath and other beautiful ones here.

I hope you enjoyed our tour of fall, Etsy style.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Two years ago we went to Lafayette to celebrate Christmas with Damion's family. Except that it was no longer December, now it was February. (we're slackers). Damion's aunt and uncle, two of my all time favorite people, let us stay with them for the long weekend.

At that time it was just me, Damion, Princess girly girl and Princess goofy. Just a simple family of four that could easily sleep in one small room. Two kids on the floor camping style, which you know they loved, and two tired parents sharing a full sized bed, which we glad to have for free ( no hotel fee).

We laid the girls down super late that night since they were having sooo much fun playing with cousins and terrorizing the cat. Which means that if they went to bed late, we went even later. In case you didn't know, Damion sleeps slightly harder than a rock and falls asleep faster than a narcoleptic. So he was asleep probably before he even shut his eyes and I of course toss and turned for a few minutes.

Finally as my eyes were just beginning to close....I heard it..... The deepest sounding burp ever... Followed by throw up. It was a moment of sheer terror for me. I quickly found the sick kid amongst the pile of blankets on the floor, cleaned her up, pulled out the yucky sheets, and had her back asleep in no time.

Or so I thought. Ten minutes later it happened again. And again. And again. And then I started to panic because we're in a strange house where I don't know where any extra blankets are and I had stolen every possible blanket from the two people who are still dead asleep in the same room as myself and the queen of puke. There was a huge pile of dirty sheets off to one side of the small room. One more throw up and she no longer had a blanket to lay on so I grabbed my remaining blanket and off we went to watch tv in the living room, in the middle of the night.

I saw the sun rise, not something that I look forward to. Then we both dozed in the recliner for a few minutes until Uncle Danny got up. I think he was shocked to see me up before anyone else. It's definitely not what I'm known for within our family. Finally when the other princess woke up, I went and woke up the comatose damion and told him that he was a single parent for the next few hours and not to wake me unless Ed Macman showed up with balloons and a large envelope.

Princess puke was ok. She slept through the Christmas celebration but was totally fine after she got some sleep. The best part of this whole story is that when I finally stumbled back into the living room hours later, I could see Damion's aunt Nancy in the laundry room, washing all the puke sheets. She wouldn't let me help at all. She washed my kid's pukey sheets. Now you see why she's one of my favorite people.

All this to tell you that Princess Newbie threw up on me tonight. Twice. But Aunt Nancy isn't here. So I'm doing my own laundry.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Real life

Here's a little glimpse into our world, thanks to my iPhone. No editing, no cleaning... Just real life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

How do you like them apples?

Finish Fall Wreath, check.
Make a new kitchen window valance, check.
redo a skirt into a dress for Princess Girly Girl, check.
Redo a skirt to fit Princess Goofy, check.
make dinner, check
pick up the house, check.
bathe kids, check, check, check.
blog, check.

Today was a full day. I completed so many things and I'm working on others.

In my spare time I of course had time to make caramel apples for the girls.
homemade apples... oh crap.... forgot something

there... now... homemade caramel apples.

The older girls took a few bites and then left them on the table while they played.

The next thing I knew, Princess Newbie had confiscated them both. She was so proud of herself.

Two apples for a little tiny thing. So cute but so covered in caramel.