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Clumsy Crafter: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet

Honestly, I don't like Halloween. I'm not a lover of ghouls, ghosts, devils, etc.  I celebrate it with our kids because Damion wants to. If it was just up to me, we would not have done anything this year, which turns out would have been missing a great day.
Today was wonderful. I sewed all the costumes for the girls, a princess, a Tinkerbell, and a M&M.  This afternoon while Princess Newbie was napping, we did hair, make up, and our nails. It was fun, the kind of fun that I didn't think would happen until school dances come into play. (if Damion will put down his shotgun long enough to let them go)

Then we went to a carnival at a local church. It was the best one we've ever been too and we ran into our friend who married us while we were there! We're celebrating seven years next week so it was good timing for a little walk down memory lane. The carnival was a blast and the girls had so much fun. The older two played game after game and Princess Newbie just raided their candy buckets when they weren't looking. I think she had a better time than anyone else.

After a quick dinner, we went Trick or Treating in Damion's co worker's neighborhood. We walked around for a long time and Princess Newbie kept up with us! She would not let go of her candy bucket no matter what! We tried to get her to drop it but she wouldn't. Finally when came home and hit up the neighbor's house for one last candy grab. Princess Newbie finally admitted to herself that she couldn't keep up with the Halloween cheer and curled up on their lawn to take a little nap.

Today was great. The kids are knocked out since the sugar high finally came crashing down.. and now it's just two parents.. with three candy buckets. Hmmm.. I love trick or treating now.

My favorite verse of the bible is Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  It's really easy to say that halloween is evil and I've said it many times. But I think today was all those things, because we made it all those things and surrounded ourselves with love and joy.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Girls and their Pumpkins

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a wife but couldn't keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.


I think if Damion tried to put me in a pumpkin shell, these girls would save me.


Friday, October 29, 2010

I am a female Hitch...

I know you're going to laugh when you see these pictures. It's OK, I've talked myself up to myself about how wonderful I am, how fabulous I am, and how a little wonky eye won't make me any less amazing.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that these photos have not been altered in anyway! HA! I wish they had been.

But the truth is that this is how I have looked this week:

 Day 1- I woke up and couldn't figure out why I couldn't see very well. Then I went to the mirror and about freaked out.  Then to make matters worse, Princess Goofy literally stared at me the entire morning! And occasionally I would catch her staring at me with only one eye open....

 Day 2- I sent this picture to Damion at work. His reply was, "what did you do to Princess Newbie?"  Yes, she has a temper but this is just too crazy for even that.  This is a great picture. Piercing blue eyes, lips that make Angelina Jolie jealous and then this wonky mass of swollen eye glory?

It was pretty bad so I went to the doctor.  I was bracing for the worse and all he said was, "girl... what did you get into?".  Apparently I got something on my hands that I was highly allergic too and into my eye.

I am the female version of Hitch. Give me some benedryl and a straw, I got this.

Day 3- after benedryl and some other allergy medicines, it's going down. This is good because I've never seen myself as Hitch. I am more like Albert Brennamen and we all know it.

Day 4 - just a little swell left. Nothing bad and I can wear eye make up again while doing the lawn mower.

Now I just need to figure out what I'm highly allergic to so that this doesn't happen again. I've made a list of possible items (because you know I love lists)

1. laundry
2. cleaning
3. cooking
4. changing diapers
5. perfection

Now I'll just have to refrain from all these above items so that I can look normal and stop scaring small children. 

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Head Bangin'

Today was one of those bang your head on the wall type days.

First Princess Girly Girl decided to see how much her momma would fall for during home school lessons.

Here was her math problem:

0 + 9 = ?

There's little blocks for her to color and count since she's just now learning addition. It's pretty easy, right?

So first I say, "what's 0 + 9"? She colored all her little squares, nine of them, counts them and then says, "four?".  Really? Really? She just counted all the blocks to nine and she guesses four?  Then she just started guessing random numbers, "um...5, 10, 12, 2?". 

She had just counted to nine! So finally I help her out with the answer since she really knows it and I'm tired of that game. So then she starts a new game called, "I don't know how to write a 9".   OK.. so just look at the problem and figure it out. Once again I ask her what the problem is and she says, "0 + 9 = ?". So now that you've been reminded what a nine looks like, write the nine. And she wrote 12.

*Bangs head on wall*

Repeat above discussion with reading lessons and the word "mat".  She told me she can't read "mat" because she doesn't know how to read yet, right after she had read it for me.

*developing concussion*

Then I had to call our old insurance company which has an computer answering system. A really sweet womanly voice answers and starts asking questions. It never fails that I forget it's a computer until I give too much detail to the question and then it says, " I'm sorry.. did you say that the date of your birth is August 4th, 1902?".  Yes. yes. I am older than dirt, thanks for reminding me.

It's around this time that I always start screaming into the phone, "I WANT TO TALK TO A HUMAN!!".

To which the lovely computer generated voice replies, "I'm sorry, did you say that you are moving to Madrid?" um no. try this again.

*about to pass out from banging head on the ground*

"I want to talk to someone with skin and hair".  "I'm sorry, did you say.. I like to flip and stare?"

OK. that's not what she really said but it is much more annoying than that.

Finally after about five requests to talk to a human, I finally get connected to a living breathing human being. The good news is that there are actually warm blooded individuals working for insurance companies, in case you didn't know. (sorry if you work for one, I'm just frustrated).

Goodness Gracious! it's days like these that I want to move to Alaska alone, living naked in a tee pee, free of all tables and walls.

And this picture? ahh.. just because it's fun and because I love this boy. If we ever had a boy, this is what he would probably look like. Better get a good look though because it's not likely to happen. (No, I'm not pregnant... don't have my sister slyly ask so you can get the inside scoop on it)

Sorry sweetie, I had to do it. Remember the smiley face boxer photo you sent out to all our friends in family? That was much worse.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why I Shouldn't be a Food Blogger

There are somethings in life that you just need to step up to the plate and admit are not your calling. I have admitted to myself that I am not called to be a food blogger.

Why you ask? I made a list. (I love lists)

1. I was raised by a Georgia peach. I know how to make fried chicken, fried okra, and fried grease.
2. I'm not a one trick pony though. I can also make pierogi and cake. lots of cake.
3. I'm a four trick pony. Ponies are not a good mix with food blogs.
4. have you seen the size of my rear?
5. the size of my right thigh?
6. left thigh?
7. I've never had gouda cheese.. or any of those other fancy cheeses. If it doesn't come in a bag marked Kraft, I've never tasted it. I'm refined like that.
8. Mushrooms are fungus. Why do you eat fungus?
9. Eating cows that are still moo'ing is inhumane. I only eat them if they are burned to a crisp and can be used as a frisbee.
10. You can see my butt from Google Earth
11. I think sushi should be fried.
12. For some reason there's nothing ever left to photograph.

It's just not my calling in life. But if there are any local food bloggers who need a taste tester... I'm definately called to that!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Super Sister.

The other day I told you about my beautiful sister, Jewels, who has not started planning her wedding yet.

Being the fabulous sister that I am, I offered up three gorgeous bridesmaid dresses for her to think about but they were blue. Turns out that she is thinking about a green and tan color story.

So it's super sister to the rescue. I'm the youngest girl of four girls. I have to be an overachiever to compensate for being the bratty baby sister at one point in my life.

So now... (drum roll please) ... I present the green and tan wedding of my your dreams!

Moss Covered Wedding Door Initials by Spotted Leopard
After Six Bridesmaid Dress
Kiwi Boutonnieres
Herb Wedding Favors
Paper covered Hurricane Table Decorations

Fabulous. Could it get any better? Yes. but let's not go there because I have a complex already.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Playing in the dark

Did you have a good weekend? Did you get to make shadow puppets?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Broke Down

Apparently my dishwasher read my post yesterday and was bitter.

Because today I woke up to find everything in there covered in this grimy red film that you have to scrub off. It requires more than just some elbow grease. Curse words and thrown objects are also required. Just kidding about the curse words, the baddest word I say rhymes with Frap, Trap, and Crat. I like to live life on the edge.

This is how my kitchen looked today. Everything had to be taken out of the dishwasher so that we could clean it out and try to fix it. Not only that but before we discovered the dishwasher wasn't work, Damion cleaned out the freezer which was an amazing gift. But then we had more dishes to add to our mammoth pile of dishes.

See those ice cube trays? That held the six months worth of organic homemade baby food and I made for Princess Newbie. Remember that? the food that she would never eat?

Our dogs enjoyed the love that I put into the baby food tonight.

So dishwasher, if you read this... please forgive me. You are the glue that holds this household together. The one that makes my keep my hair intact and my joy is found when I hear your loud banging.

Please forgive me. And wash those dishes tomorrow!

Please ignore the fact that I'm talking to my dishwasher. I didn't sleep last night. I'm loopy.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I enjoy this girl.

She is at an age that I love, becoming her own little feisty person.

When our first child, Princess Girly Girl, was this age I had a two month old colicky and sick baby, Princess Goofy. Sadly I don't remember this time with her that well. I think I was dealing in strictly survival mode, not live and enjoy it mode.

Then when Princess Goofy reached this age, I was dealing with an older sister in the throws of terrible two's and ohhh what a throw it was. It was around this time in Princess Goofy's life that we discovered our oldest daughter cannot have red food dye or you would think her head was going to fall off. It was a difficult time.

Even though I love my oldest two just the same, I was barely making it when they were in their beginning toddler stages. Not only that but Damion and I were still learning how to be married and how to be parents. Things did not flow all that smoothly on a day to day basis.

But now.. with seven years and two other kids under our belts we work like a machine. Most days. We still have the machine like our dishwasher days.. which is sputtering and barely making it another day. But now there are more good days than bad. I have a husband that helps more than he ever has with the kids and especially with the baby years. Actually Princess Newbie's favorite person is her Dadda. That's also her favorite word which she calls everything, even the dogs sometimes. I call Dadda a dog sometimes too but that's on the not so well oiled machine days. Just kidding sweetie.

I am glad that we have a few years between the oldest two and this girl. It's not what we had planned or hoped for and there was a question if it was even possible for awhile. But it all goes to prove that God knows what He's doing and He knows the right timing.

Now I have the time to sit and enjoy her, to walk with her holding her hand without running after another toddler.  I have the time to swing her outside on the swing set while the other two are swinging themselves. (yes, princess Goofy is really close to mastering this feat!) Now I cherish the time with the oldest two giggling in the backseat and Princess Newbie shrieking with joy in the middle seats.

It's a great time of our lives and I'm loving it all. most days.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faux Mercury Glass Pumpkins

The other day on Twitter someone was wishing they could afford the mercury glass pumpkins from Pottery Barn. The truth of the matter is that they are 1) sold out and 2) cost a little bit more than my grandpa's dentures.

So for the broke and loving it... here's a little faux mercury glass pumpkin magic.

First take a faux pumpkin. I had no patience when I came up with this idea to go buy a fake pumpkin so I just stole one of the mini real pumpkins off my mantle. Now I love the result that I got but will have to throw it away in a few weeks or it will be mercury glass via the old and moldy route next year when I pull it out of storage. So please start with a faux pumpkin if you want to keep it. They have faux pumpkins at the dollar store just in case you really want to break the bank.

Beside the faux pumpkin you will need gray paint, white paint, silver paint and a little black paint and magic glaze or diamond glaze.

I started with a foam brush just dabbing different shades of light silver and gray (from mixing it with the white) and dabbling it all over the surface. Use a lot of silver on this layer. The look we are going for is wild and crazy, right up my alley. Add lots of silver splotches all over this is what's going to give it dimensions in the end.

Next we're going to add some darker elements. Mix several different of dark gray shades using the gray and black and do several different random splotches, add a little bit of silver to all these colors as well. Then I used a skewer to do really dark gray specks. Don't totally cover the light gray and silver layer... just add a little to the top.

 Really you want to make sure at this point that you have a good mix of light and dark and it to have a little sheen over all. The pattern to making the faux mercury glass work will be a light silver layer, then darker layer and finally a lighter matte layer.

So now we need to add the lighter matte layer. Up to this point everything has been pretty shiny so leave the silver out of the picture this time. Mix up some gray and white paint and dab over the top using something with some hard edges.
 I used a Ziploc baggie scrunched up but I think something like aluminum foil would be better. I was out because my children like to unroll it to make spaceships.

Now as the final step, coat the top and sides with Diamond Glaze.  For those of you who don't know what Diamond Glaze is, it's a type of clear adhesive that will dry hard and give you incredible glass like shine. You could use other clear shiny adhesives if you can't find Diamond Glaze. I found it at Hobby Lobby.  You just need some type of thick hard drying glaze.

Don't coat the bottom or you will never be able to get it off your table. I actually set it on top of the diamond glaze jar to dry.

24 hours later and you have this:


If I do it again I will do two things differently.

1) use a faux pumpkin
2) use something with sharper edges for the light matte layer
3) try to get more dark details in there.
4) do more than one!

I have to get to bed now so I can rest up. Tomorrow I have a big day of teaching reading and counting to young minds.  Aren't my kids lucky?

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And.. action!

Today has been long.

Two sick kids, one jacked up computer and one minor unknown heartbreak from a friend.

It's life and it happens. But I have a hunk of burning' love that is amazing and another great friend who let me celebrate her birthday with her today.

Also I discovered two things about my oldest child, Princess Girly Girl.

1. She's a hypochondriac.
2. She steals my phone and takes random video when I'm not paying attention.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Greedy Goose

Sunday we went to the Houston Galleria. In case you've never been let me just tell you that this place is dripping in money. The parking garage alone housed a few Maserati's, LLamborghini's, a PPorsche and two Bentley's. That was all before we even went in the actual mall.

Walking in we immediately saw Chanel, Burberry, Emporio Armani, Versace and Valentino. These are heavy duty shops, not the outlet versions that you might possibly see at your local outlet mall. The main way that you can tell that you could only shop there if you took out a second mortgage on your house is that there is about two racks of clothes with one sample of each outfit and at least five sales people that look bored with life.

It is very easy to tell the tourists from the actual shoppers. The tourists look more like myself, mom jeans, bad haircut, cheap shirt and homemade purse. The actual shoppers have designer purses and shoes that you've only seen in magazines. Their haircut cost more than the birth of my last child and they are fancy.

Damion suggest that I take the girls into Sephora for a little "girl time".  I was so excited that maybe I could buy some new make up but everywhere I looked there was vulgar makeup names. It was so vulgar, I'm not going to post it on here. Why does every fancy makeup designer feel the need to name some of their collections with body parts and sexual things? It made me feel a little ill. No I would not like my eyeshadow name to be more embarrassing than my yearly OB exam.

Finally we made our way to Nordstrom because I wanted to try on Tom's shoes. Truth be told, Damion and I both have feet sightly wider than a VW bug so of course, they didn't fit. Damion did however get a kick out of all the fancy clothes, furs, and shoes.  On the way out I actually touched a pair of Louboutins (shoes for you guys that don't know) and they were only $800.... for one pair of shoes.

It made me sad. Really. I know why. The night before our trip I had spent time of my brother-in-laws blog about his mission to bring a sustainable food source into third world countries. There are pictures of babies asleep on concrete floors, shacks that are literally falling down, and hungry orphans. Then I walked into a mall where luxury is at every turn and in way, it's not even luxury, it's gluttony and greed. I know that's harsh to say so please don't think I'm judging you if you don't share my same feelings. I'm not, I'm just trying to write down my feelings.

How can I desire or long for any of those things when the people in Haiti only long for food that day? How greedy am I to wish for riches when I am a millionaire in the eyes of those people? I am so greedy Lord. Forgive me.

How greedy is America that when give money to companies that are vulgar and use the riches for their own gain instead of helping others?  What if everyone in that mall took $2- and gave it to one of the families in Haiti or Kenya? What difference would that make? What if someone didn't buy the $800 shoes and gave that money to one family in a third world country? Would that provide a safe home and the chance to educate all their children? yes and more so!

Now an even longer rabbit trail that doesn't make sense because I have never in my life made sense. This is the Clumsy Crafter, not the well put together and thought out crafter.

Yesterday at one point I was ready to give up being SuperWife and give back the cape. I was mad about something and tired of taking care of everyone. I was so tired and still had more to do before bed. As I was standing there ironing Damion's shirts for him, I thought to myself "God I better get a big crown of jewels for this".

With the sweetest love available, God smacked me in the face and said, "You already have a huge crown of jewels."  He wasn't talking about my reward in Heaven, He was talking about my life here in America.

I gripe about wanting a bigger house but compared to those in Haiti, I have a mansion. I gripe about needing new fall clothes while some people have one set of clothes. I can barely close my dresser drawer. I get blessed with a dishwasher and meat that I don't have to shoot and prepare that day just to eat it but I gripe about cooking a quick 20 minute dinner.

So those people that I was judging in the Galleria? I am no different. I may have less in my bank account but I am extremely wealthy and extremely greedy.  I live in the lap of luxury and need to be more thankful for it. Sometimes it's easy to forget the blessings that we have at every turn here in this country. But we are no different from the extremely greedy if we take our blessings for granted.

If you stayed here through my entire rant, you are a saint and I love you.  I love you even if you didn't, but you wouldn't know that, would you?

Just in case you want to support my Brother in law and super prego sister go here The Tilapia Project

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

String Pumpkins: tutorial

When I was a little girl my mom used to make easter eggs using string and starch. This week I decided to try making some string pumpkins since you might think I was a little crazy posting Easter Eggs right now.
It worked great so I decided to share them with you. Do you want to make some of these?

Let's get started...

You will need balloons (one per pumpkin), white glue, water, foam craft brush or paintbrush, and crochet yarn. That's all.

I could only find a yellowish orange crochet yarn but I didn't let that stop me. I also found a fuzzy thread on clearance that I used on one pumpkin.

First mix glue and water in a 3:1 ratio. It should be like a thick soup.  Use the glue to coat the entire balloon surface.

Slowly wrap the string around the balloon.

 Keep wrapping, occasionally patting the entire surface of the balloon and string with more glue. You need to pat so you don't pull the strings off the balloon.

Keep going... until your balloon looks something like this:

Then hang it up to dry by tying a string around the balloon knot.

Now repeat to make more and learn how fun it is to take pictures of floating orange orbs.

If you want to make a fuzzy pumpkin than you need to complete all the above steps including hanging it up to dry. While it's hanging up, give it one last coat of the glue/ water mixture. If you look at the fuzzy string closely, there is one side that is actually fuzzy and one side that is just a braid. Wrap the braid side around the pumpkin several times but do not reapply any more glue because then you will glue down the fuzzys. Just do a couple of passes, don't go too crazy or it won't have enough glue to hold it. Let it dry.

Let all the balloons dry overnight and then using scissors, snip the top of the balloon by the knot. As the air leaves the balloon, it will pull away from the yarn leaving you a perfect sphere. Pretend you see a photo here.

Pull the balloon out of the top and you're almost done!

Now to make the pumpkin shape, just lightly push the top and bottom inside the sphere until you have a pumpkin shape. It should hold on it's own.

Trim off any loose strings, add a stem and a leaf.. and here you go...

You could also add a felt pumpkin face for halloween using tape and then gently remove it for thanksgiving. I love the double duty crafts.

Go make pumpkins! No dirt, watering, or waiting for months required.

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