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Clumsy Crafter: December 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last of the Year (in pictures)

The last of 2010 in Pictures.. and some commentary because you all know that I don't know when to be quiet.

Woke up:

Got dressed to discover that someone ate my lipstick but I'm not mentioning names... see the pigtails?

IWelcome to Texas. I bet he has a gun, in his truck and on his hip.
 Goodwill lovin'.

 I thought about buying these for Princess Newbie but then Damion wouldn't go in public with us anymore. Wait,... why didn't I buy them?
 Met up with some beautiful girls for lunch at my favorite place, Cafe Adobe.

Saw this guy wearing this shirt and no.. it was not a joke. Almost lost my delicious lunch.

 Braved the craziest grocery store ever with a teething, sleepy toddler and a red balloon.
 Watched Free Willy 4... I didn't even know there was a Free Willy 2 or 3.

 Sat outside to watch all the neighbors do fireworks, someone stood on the doorstep and cried when it was time to come inside.
 Ending this year cuddling with my hunk of burnin' love, and our technology devices because we love them too.

Goodbye 2010. You were a good year but I believe that 2011 will be even better..... as long as coffee and chocolate remain legal.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mashed Cake

Last night when I was in the shower, some cute adorable baby came toddling through the shower door and into the water, fully dressed. This is a normal occurrence around here lately so I wasn't too shocked. What I was shocked about was that about a minute later, the lights went off. I started hollering to Damion to stop playing a joke and turn them back on when I saw the flashlight beam and heard him say that it was not a joke, the power was out. I was left standing in the dark shower, not dressed, with a dressed, soaking wet, and freaking out toddler.

The good news is that it was almost the girls bedtime when it went out and it was very easy to just put them to bed. Then Damion and I layed in bed and watched episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" on his Ipad until the power came back on around 11.

The bad news is that I had a lot of stuff to do online and of course, I could not connect with my laptop.

So here is one last old post from this past year. It's one of my favorites and would be very cute to serve your family for New Years if you're not a traditional black eye pea and cabbage type person, which I am not.

Mashed Potato Cake

Here's a few pictures of my newest cake April Fool's Day joke.

Looks like a cake but tastes like meatloaf with mashed potato frosting.

I even fooled His Royal Highness. He really thought that I was serving him cake for dinner. We only have cake for dinner in my dreams.

It was really easy to make. I just baked two meatloaves in cake pans with ketchup in the middle of the layers. Finally I used whipped mashed potatoes as frosting and decorated it with mashed potatoes and ketchup mix to make the peach colors.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recycled Gift Bag Revisited

Here is another old project that was posted about this time last year. It's a gift bag made from recycled Capri Sun pouches. I'm still working on my project so I hope you're enjoying these older crafts that you might have missed.

Recycled Gift Bag:
Sometimes I hate seeing how much trash we have as a family of five. There are often days that we use an entire trash bag in one day. Lately I'm trying to throw less away. I'm saving anything glass and trying to at least let my girls play and destroy with anything cardboard. Now if I could just figure out what to do with those pesky CapriSun packages.......

I also hate buying gift bags because they cost so much now and they just get throw away! So I decided to make a gift bag out of CapriSun packages. I've made purses out of the packages before but never a gift bag. Plus after you give the gift, they can use it as a tote or purse.

I made this one for a little girl that was receiving a tea set and needed a medium sized bag for the gift. It required about 27 packages to sew. No matter how hard I tried to keep all the juice packages after the princesses drank them, a lot of them went into the trash on accident and a few of them were actually left in the backyard because the princesses thought the dogs would like some juice. At the last minute I discovered that I was a few short and had to tear apart the house looking for stray packages.

I simply overlapped the edges and used a zigzag stitch to piece them together. It was an easy project but required a lot of sewing machine needles because they dulled or broke easily. Plus my sewing machine being a direct descendant of Satan didn't help the matter.

I used large pink rick rack to make a girly handle and it was done! Quick and easy! Green and good for you since CapriSuns are preservative free.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bread Basket Revisited

Today we are traveling home from spending Christmas with family. Here is one of my favorite tutorials, posted last august that I thought you might enjoy if you have never seen it. To those of you that have seen it, you are the tried and true followers and I thank you for sticking around that long!

I hope you all had a great Christmas. There's a big announcement coming later this week, so get ready and enjoy this tutorial!

I like my buns hot. Yes, I did just say that. Yes, I am sleep deprived from being up every night with a newborn.

His Royal Highness's mom has a bread basket with a cloth liner that keeps the bread warm. Every one drools over this basket. So as a thank you gift to his aunt this year, I recreated the basket.

It is very simple to do. You will need a medium sized basket, two dishtowels, rice, muslin or other scrap fabric, and a sewing machine.

To start, measure the size of the bottom of your basket. Or if your princesses been using your measuring tape as a leash for their stuffed puppy, you can just turn the basket upside down and do a basic size assessment. Cut two pieces of muslin the same size as the bottom of your basket. Sew the pieces together but leave a small opening where you can fill it with rice. You are basically making a pillow of rice. Turn the muslin inside out first to hide the stitched edges before you fill it with rice. After you have filled it with rice, stitch the opening closed. You know have a rice pillow that should fit easily inside the basket.
Take one dishtowel and lay it out flat. Lay the rice pillow in the middle of the towel and trace around it using a fabric pen or a crayon. Take a wild guess at which one I actually had on hand. Cut the other dishtowel to the size of the rice bag plus another inch or so for the hem.
Now you're going to make a pocket for the rice bag to go into. Fold all the edges of the dishtowel squares under to make pretty edges. Sew these edges down. Then lay it in the middle of the large dishtowel and make sure all the edges from your tracing are covered. Does that make sense? I'm sleep deprived, email me if it doesn't. Now sew down three sides, leaving one open to slip the rice bag into. You can add a way to close up the pocket if you want to get all fancy.
Heat the rice bag in the microwave with a small cup of water for 2 minutes. Then slip it into the pocket on the back of the dishtowel. Lay the dishtowel into the basket, rice bag down in the bottom of the basket. Add your bread and cover it with the edges of the towel. This should help keep your buns nice and toasty.
If this is too much work, just come sit in my van. I'll turn on the seat warmers and your buns will be nice and toasty without any sewing. haha. really sleep deprived.
I am willing to make these for anyone wanting to buy one. This would be an awesome housewarming gift when filled with a small loaf of homemade bread and your own favorite recipe.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told

Luke 2:1-20 (New International Version, ©2010)

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Reason For the Season

Honestly I have not enjoyed this season as much as I should have.

Today we drove north to the Dallas area to spend the next few days with family. I'm not feeling that well and because of that, I'm not going to be able to stop and see my grandparents because you can't be around my grandfather if you are or have recently been sick. As I realized that fact and fought back tears, I started thinking while driving about why this season hasn't been as great as it should have been.

Simply it's because I was so busy that I put off the anticipation of it.

Two weeks ago our family went through a walk through Nativity and the entire time as we were going through it, all the actors and actresses kept saying, "did you hear that there was a baby born tonight in a manger?", "Did you hear that the Messiah who will save us has been born?".  They were excited and couldn't contain themselves.

That is how I should have been but I was busy. Busy, busy, busy... Now I wish I would have taken more time so that I could be well and healthy, not run down and feeling bad again. Most of all I wish that I would have taken time to pass that excitement to my kids. We did do a lot of fun things together and enjoy it but not as much as I should have. A season that should have been celebrating the birth of our Savior was turned into a busy rush to get shopping and errands done all while gripping non stop about traffic and how busy stores were.

I have two days left to enjoy it. So I am going to do just that. The next two days I hope I can build the anticipation up in my kids and in my heart that should have been there all along. Two days filled with family, Christmas lights, the Christmas story, and just time together.. in constant anticipation.

So I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.

And did you hear? That our Savior has been born!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to make snowmen in Texas

Remember yesterday when I told you that our neighbors might possible hate us because of the ratio of leaves to trees in our and now their yards? Here's the proof:

Their yards:
Our Yard:
Finally it started to bug me enough that I wanted to rake it up. Damion wasn't home and there was no way I was getting all this done by myself so I convinced two princesses, dressed in their Sunday best (seriously), to help me. Of course I didn't just say, "let's go break our backs for three hours to rake this up and bag it."  I'm clever and the product of a work horse father, so I know how to get kids to comply with work.

I asked them if they wanted to make snowmen.... Texas snowmen....

And since snow does not happen in Houston, they were excited and probably a little baffled.

So we raked... and bagged... and then raked some more.. and bagged some more...
Then we woke this adorable, formerly blue, thing up from her nap and let her wreck our piles
And finally we had enough to make our snowmen..

Texas Snowmen...

Made with white trash bags, black jersey coal faces, leaf noses and extra love... all thanks to some Gorilla Glue.

It's so pretty that Mama Snow(woman) cried.

and Daddy Snowman had a blow out.

We won't judge though because we know.. that's just what Daddy's do.

And I think our neighbors like us more now. At least their kids like jumping in the piles of leaves that I wasn't able to bag before it got dark.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I am so tired tonight that I can barely think straight. The past few days we have been working full force at the finishing touches for Christmas and then today I raked and bagged leaves for three hours straight. Plus I have two huge piles left to bag in the morning. We have an enormous tree in our front yard that drops leaves all over our yard and our neighbors yards, at least a foot deep and I am not joking. Then we put off raking it as long as possible until they have blown all over the other neighbor's yards.

Truth be told, I'm not totally sure why the neighbors still like me.

Wait... could this be why?

The loaf of Santa bread that they all received tonight?

Or this?
The box of sugar cookies and edible coal?

Surely I can't buy them off that easily... or can I?

Some of Damion's coworkers also got similar treats this year:

a box of edible coal with hand painted sugar cookies. These are the cookies that I was making when Princess Newbie turned blue.

I love how everything turned out but honestly my favorite thing this year was the Santa Bread.  Who doesn't love a good carb filled Santa?

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Blue Christmas

There are so many possible titles for this post, I don't even know where to begin. I was thinking about calling it, "smurfette", "When baby turns blue", or "why Momma Shouldn't Turn Their Back on Babies When Food Coloring Is On The Table."  I know there's a ton of grammatical errors right there, we all have to deal with mistakes in life... I'm just giving you some practice.

Today I was concentrating really hard on decorating sugar cookies for gifts. I was making a thousand tiny dots around the edge of each cookie and I was concentrating so hard that I never heard anyone right behind me pull my huge tub of gel food colors off the kitchen table. I also never heard her opening them and playing in them. I finished with all the dots and stood back to admire my work. My heart burst with pride over my beautiful dots and I was giddy... for about two seconds. Then I happened to glance behind me and this is what I saw:

Ok, well it wasn't quite what I saw. I added the shirt with a photo editor because that is reserved for her husband when she's 35 and she wasn't crying at that time. She was really really enjoying herself. She started crying because I made her put the food colors down. I didn't fuss at her, she's crying simply because I ruined her game. She ruined a few of my dish towels so I think we're even.

Do you notice that her teeth are blue? and her tongue? and her hands? and her legs? and there was a blue butt cheek too. How huge of a mom fail is this that I had no idea she was doing this three feet behind me? Thank goodness that she was on the wood floors downstairs and not on carpet.

I rushed her to the sink and scrubbed as best as I could, making a huge mess along the way. Then her blue food coloring was wearing off on my hands and it was just getting messier and messier. Finally I just decided that she was going to be a little blue for awhile. Damion called to see if I wanted to go out to dinner but I told him that I don't know of a restaurant that accepts smurfs, so no. He didn't understand why we couldn't go and told me that we couldn't just keep her hidden until the blue wears all the way off. (oh.. it stained her skin). But then he came home and saw it in person... and was glad that we stayed home.

I scrubbed her again tonight in the tub and a little more did come off but I am starting to wonder if she might be a little blue for Christmas. I'm pretty sure her cuticles will be blue for some time...
And this picture? It's going in that "special" book I'm making. It's the book that I will be bringing out to show any teenage boys that show up at my house looking for her in a few years. I gotta protect my babies.

She's cute even when she's blue. I'll have to get her an agent. I'm sure someone from the Blue Man Group will be calling soon.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fluffy Pig

I do have one more Christmas craft. Really, I do. But who can think about that when you have something new, warm and fuzzy?

The girls have been begging for a pet for awhile but we decided to get them bikes for Christmas instead. Princess Newbie's tricycle with parent push handle has been ordered but remember how I was sick this past week? Well, I wasn't able to get to the store to buy the other two bikes until late last night. Then I wound up getting the wrong sized ones (blame the cough medicine) and now they are all sold out.

This morning we spend a long time having a few whispered stressed conversations about our back up plan, the non existent back up plan. Then Damion had the brainstorm to say, "what about a guinea pig?".  So tonight after one more hopeful lap around the toy store, we went to the pet store. Seconds after peering into the cages we saw this fluffy cowlick covered brown guinea pig and both said, "that's our pig". We held him, played with him, fitted him for a tiny child safe guinea pig helmet (just kidding), and then told them to pack him up.. he had a home.

I'm so excited that I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I can't wait until the girls get up in the morning and we introduce them to their early Christmas present. Then we'll have to take the two extremely excited wound up little girls to church. I'll rehearse the conversation with their Sunday school teachers now, "no.. we do not have a rat infested house. We got them a guinea pig for Christmas and they call it at rat. " "Trust me, if we had a rat the size of a Volkswagen in our house, I think I might have noticed."

So sorry, but Christmas crafts had to wait. I had a fluffy lovable guinea pig to hold and adore tonight.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Did You Miss Me?

I do not get sick often. Occasionally I'll get some allergy issues and be under the weather for a day or two but never sick.

This week, the worst week possible, I got extremely sick. I had a few large projects to work on this week, not to mention Christmas shopping and the fact that I really really needed to buy a new vacuum this week. Our old vacuum died a month ago and we were waiting Damion got his Christmas bonus to buy one. So our floors look like they have confetti all over them and I just got back from Christmas shopping a few minutes ago at midnight.

Tuesday Damion and I had an awesome date together to see a Dance show named, "Burn the Floor". It had Mark Ballas from Dancing with The Stars and a ton of So You Think You Can Dance dancers. It was amazing but a little too sexual for my taste. I could seriously never do half of the things that they did without requiring utilization of a walker and full back brace for the rest of my life. As we got in our van after the show, I felt my head slowly expanding and knew that my sinus' were rebelling against the cold front that was evading Houston.

Wednesday morning I woke up to the world's moodiest five year old who straight out told me that she was not going to do anything I told her to do for the entire day. Delightful. My head felt like the size of the world's largest ball of yarn and now my five year old is screaming and yelling. I quickly got everyone into the van just to get out of the house and try to get a few of the thousands of errands I needed to do this week done. I stopped at Goodwill to drop off somethings but just could not part with this box of baby clothes that I had put back there to donate. I put the box on the donation cart but then took it off before they wheeled it away. I drove off kicking myself non stop for being so stupid and not just donating the clothes. They are just clothes, even if they are baby clothes. Someone else needs them more and how selfish I am was just running through my brain non stop.

Then I heard the sound. The worst sound in the entire world. Vomit, of the projectile kind, was all over Princess Newbie and the look on her face easily gave me the countdown to her totally loosing it. 5...4...3...2...1... Yup. She was mad/ hysterical. There's no words to describe what I was at that moment.  I pulled over to clean it up but quickly realized that my van was clean.. spotless.. I had no used napkins on the floor to clean anything up with. Of course I didn't have clean ones to rely on because usually the floor is littered in junk which I can use to wipe anything up with. This is why having a clean van just doesn't pay off.... but then I remembered the box of baby clothes in the back. They were my life saver. Not only that but I didn't have an extra pair of clothes and if we didn't make it to the store to get diapers, then the day could literally be nothing but crap.  God must love me because that box of clothes cleaned up all the throw up and I found one random 3T outfit in the box that somehow fit my 16 month old perfectly.

Needless to say, by the time we raced through the store to get diapers and then back home to wash all the clothes and really clean out the van with actual cleaning products, I was wasted and getting more sickly by the minute. By mid afternoon I couldn't take it anymore and called Damion to ask him to come home early.

I guess since I never get sick, he thought I would be good to go on Thursday. But the only place I was good to go to was bed. I was extremely sick on Thursday. I sat on the couch to watch Martha Stewart at 9am and didn't move again until the super old reruns of Martha Stewart Living started at noon. I made the kids lunch and then took everyone upstairs where I layed on our bed looking at the ceiling while they held down the fort. Damion came home even earlier on Thursday. He took the oldest two out for dinner and left me with Princess Newbie. The only problem with that scenario is that whenever you lay down now, she likes to sit on your head. I'm not joking. So I spent about two hours laying on the couch with her sitting on my head, jumping up and down. It's OK.. I was so hopped up on Tylenol and whatever cold medicine cocktail I had going on that I didn't even feel it.

Today was better. The menopausal hot flashes with chills (at the same time) thing that I had going on is finally gone. I can breathe out of my right nostril and my head feels two pounds lighter.

So now I have a week's worth of projects, shopping, and cleaning to do. Ugh. Why is it that when moms get sick, you can never catch a break with it? You always always have so much to do the second you are back to the living.

The good news is that since Toys R' Us was open until 1am tonight, I got almost all my Christmas shopping done. But now the bad news... This is what my sink looked like today. I got this taken care of but can you imagine what the laundry looks like which I have not taken care of yet?

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not Saying Goodbye

This is Robyn and I jacked this picture from her blog, Being in This World But Not of It. That's my full disclosure but her husband, Pastor Lee, was taking secret pictures of me today at Chikfila, so I think we're even now.

Nine years ago when Damion and I were first dating I always heard about the pastors of the church where he was attending, Life Church Katy. Awhile later I was finally able to visit his church and meet all these people that I kept hearing about, including Lee and Robyn. They only had two kids then that were both in the preschool group that Damion volunteered in. Now they have three kids and the oldest two are preteens. Oh my. Trust me, it makes me feel old.  The biggest change isn't the age of their kids but the fact that they are moving to Belize to serve as missionaries. I'm so happy for them but today we said goodbye and it sucked. Seven years ago when Damion and I were married, Robyn became not only a friend but a role model in my life. I am six hours away from my family and Robyn stepped into that role for me in so many ways. I remember that no one from my family was able to make it to the church for Princess Goofy's baby dedication and she told me, "It's ok, we are your family." That made the day alright. She has held all three of my babies as they were dedicated and prayed over Princess Girly Girl in a moment of extreme panic for me when I couldn't even pray myself.

Today I wanted to pray for her so bad but I would have lost it in Chikfila and that's just not pretty. I think they try to keep snot off the floor of eating establishments.

But snot on my keyboard is totally acceptable and not too unusual.. so here's my prayer.

God.. I thank you so much for Robyn. I thank You for her truth and her commitment to You.
I thank you that she never shielded me from the pain that can happen in marriage but led me in submitting to my husband in a godly way.
I thank you that her home and heart was always open to us, and always will be.
I pray that you will speak to her broken heart as she says goodbye.
That you will lift her up so she can see the vision that you have layed out for her.
Raise her daughters up to be as faithful as she is.
Thank you for letting us into her family.
Quickly bring them people to support them and love them in Belize.
Don't let her feel alone for a second, as You are her constant and it's obvious in her life.
Thank you for the modest and loving woman that she has shown me to be.
Thank you for helping my grow up with her in my life.

I praise You God for Robyn, protect her and love her more now than ever before.
Most of all, bring her joy in this journey. Let the time of grieving be over quickly and let her dance again in the joy and happiness of their life in Belize.

Now I have a headache from crying but at least my kids won't be asking me tomorrow while I'm crying during a commercial because I'm tapped out.

You can follow Robyn's journey with her family to Belize through her blog or through their Ministry website, Life Belize. If you feel led to support them financially, you can also do that through their website but that was not the purpose of this post.  It was just to love them and to pray for her since I didn't want to be banned from Chikfila.

Monday, December 13, 2010

She's a Big Girl Now.

The time has finally come for us that Princess Newbie is done with her baby highchair. She kept climbing out of it (and in it). So it was no longer safe to have around, as it was. We asked our parents to get her a booster chair for Christmas but they all kinda balked at it. You could tell they had toys in mind for her gifts, not a booster seat.

This is the chair before:

This is the chair I picked out when I was pregnant with Princess Girly Girl, six years ago. I knew I wanted a wood chair so it would last through all my kids and hopefully be saved forever. That's the sentimental pregnant woman brain, thinking about things for kids lasting forever. HA! Now I know better. Things for kids do not last. While this chair has lasted for years, the varnish was wearing off and it was getting harder and harder to get food off the wood and the tray was now launching springs across the kitchen whenever you took it off the highchair. I could have never sold this thing, I would have had to put it on the curb, squashing the memories and love.

So I decided to redo it and I did.... while Damion was at work.. without telling him. I think he's growing to love my surprises. I'm growing to love the jigsaw he got me for valentine's day.

I cut off all four legs with the jigsaw to make it short enough to fit under the lip of the table but still high enough to give her a little boost. Then I painted it green but ran out of paint before I finished it. When I got to the store to pick up more paint, they had a color called London Gray on sale for only $2 per can of spray paint. So I changed the color and picked up the gray. I painted it and then Mod Podged scrapbook paper onto it to break up the color some. Don't we all love Mod Podge? I want to build a house out of Mod Podge. Finally I distressed the edges so a little of the green still comes through and gave it a good coat of varnish.

Now this little chair is around to stay for awhile. 

It makes me happy but it makes Princess Newbie even happier. I'll do anything to keep the biter of the family happy.

handmade projects

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