Monday, October 31, 2011

Beaded Necklace and Announcement

Day 31/31:

First off, we have reached day 31/31. Whew! 31 days of projects is a lot and I'm beat but in a really good way! I got SO MUCH done around my house and off my project list and I'm extra happy about it. I will have to do this again. Anyway, not only is this a completion of 31 Days but tomorrow will also be my 300th post so I think that calls for my very first giveaway! Sound good? Come back tommorow for the details. Ok, on to your regularly scheduled post:

I have a black tie dinner coming up (so excited!) and I needed a little bling to go with my dress. Something pretty and also a little dainty. I made a necklace similar to this once and loved it while it lasted but I made the original with cheap sewing thread and one of the kids broke it with a single pull. This time I used beading thread and doubled the line to give it extra strength.

I used white beads with a bright blue to set it off a bit. The style is REALLY simple to make. It's something I came up with while screwing around a couple years back and it's a good project to keep your hands busy while helping with homework or watching TV. I'll post some detailed pics tomorrow (you can find the tutorial here!) of how it's strung with a couple extra little tips that help while making this. All total I think this took me about 2.5 hours to make.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Costumes: Alice in Wonderland

Day 30/31:

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind and I'm a little late in posting. A friend's daughter is doing a costume theme with her friends of Alice in Wonderland and she is Alice. I just finished up the costume this morning.

She has a tiered skirt, a blouse with puffy sleeves, and a white apron.

I just dropped it off about an hour ago and made sure it was going to fit and I'm excited to say that it does. What do you think?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Be a Fruit Loop

Day 29/31:

A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook and it inspired me to turn this picture frame (bought at a thrift store):

Into this:

Also shared at:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Costumes: Zombie

Day 28/31:

This costume takes about 10 minutes and about $2.50. I went to the thrift store and bought a pair of jeans that were large enough to fit over another pair of pants and I bought a army-ish jacket. They each cost me $1.25. The condition of the clothes as far as tears really doesn't matter when you buy them, and being a little worn out is actually good. I used a pair of scissors to liberally shred the clothes, enough so there were lots of holes but not enough it would fall off as the kids ran around playing.

Then I rubbed black and brown crayons all over the shirt and pants to give them a dirty look. We added a little blood with Halloween makeup to the front but that part is really optional. For his hair I filled it with hairspray and ratted it up a bunch. His eyes have just a little black Halloween makeup crayon and that's it. And in 10 minutes and for next to no money it's now a child's zombie costume.

This was the picture the kids took right as they were headed off to school. A zombie, a kitty, and a viking .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baking Fail

Day 27/31:

I swear, sometimes the only way I get through the day is because of this corner of the kitchen. Sometimes I think my dear coffee will get me through anything.

Tomorrow the kids have their Halloween parties so today we were making sure costumes are ready and cookies and cupcakes are done. Well, they are now done but it's also 1am. I thought I would make cupcakes in ice cream cones for Erin's classroom as it's a classic dessert that's a little fun. But as I took the last batch of the boys' cookies from the oven I apparently turned the oven OFF without noticing. So the tops of the cupcakes cooked but not the middle. I noticed this and turned the oven on hoping that it would still be okay. But the middle of the cupcakes collapsed like a souffle and settled into a chewy mess at the bottom. When I tried to frost the cupcakes (thinking that maybe I could salvage them somehow?) the tops collapsed into the vacant hole and it all just looks like crap.

Think they look vaguely okay from the distance? Well how about a close up. Yeah, not so appetizing. On the other hand, a bunch of 2nd graders are usually not picky about sugar so for a brief moment I considered giving it to them anyway. So I decided to try one and see if they tasted edible, given that they already had a big strike against them in the looks department. WOW, that was gross. Chewy, nasty, nasty. Aaaand... Garbage. So at about 10:30 I headed to the store and got some more cones. I almost gave up here and bought the cupcakes pre-made from the store but I had already sold Erin on the idea of ice cream cone cupcakes and I didn't want to disappoint her.

This time (REALLY important tip here) I made sure that the oven was ON. I know, who would have thought? Anyway, this worked out much better than last time. The kids might even eat these.

Now with some fake dirt (Oreos) and some worms they are disgusting in a good Halloween-ish way instead of a OMFSM-what-is-this-disgusting-thing-get-it-out-of-my-mouth-before-I-puke-ish way. So yeah, the kids will be thrilled and I am finally going to bed. Yay!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pantry Can Rack

Day 26/31:

I'm blessed to have a large pantry as it allows me to store up on things when they're on sale BUT it also means my pantry can be a disorganized nightmare in which I can't find anything (the more frequent occurrence). One of the biggest problems was that I usually had no idea what canned items I have and which I need to buy so I was constantly either out or overstocked. But now I have a new storage item which ALSO used up part of the scrap pile in my garage so that's even better!

Before (yes I still have a girl scout cookie stock. I try to make them last!):

I made a new rack for the cans out of some scrap MDF, a piece of 1x3, and a couple of 2x2 scraps. I set it up to sit at a 45 degree angle so that it would be easy to see and easy to figure out the angles to cut.

After I built it I did a quick test fit to make sure it would work because, to be honest, I didn't measure the height available on the shelf ahead of time and wanted to make sure it would work before I painted it. Yup, very fly by the seat of my pants and I made this on a whim. So if you had any illusions that I have it all together, um, I don't. I just get lucky a lot, hehe.

And the final painted rack in its new home:

And because I'm feeling particularly brave I will even show you the entire pantry (since I organized it first) but please don't judge the volume of processed food because while I will organize my pantry for you I won't pretend to shop in a way I don't. Please be okay with that, k?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fish Tank: Painted

Day 25/31:

We inherited a HUGE fish tank and the kids are really excited about it.

But it was about 25 or 30 years old and needed a little bit of love to get it ready.

So last week I got it all sanded down and primed. Friday night I got it painted chocolate brown (I have used this paint on so many projects and I STILL have a half gallon left) but the fun came in last night.

I had an idea to paint fish silhouettes on one of the doors but Husband said it would be so much better if I added a shark to chase them. He was kidding but I decided he was on to something. I played around with ideas in Paint to figure out just how I wanted it to go, using clipart images I googled.

Then I sketched on some paper my shark and a couple of fish. I cut them out to use as templates and traced them with pencil onto the doors.

I used a little black and white craft paint to fill in the lines and done! The fish tank will now fit in with the rest of our somewhat eclectic home just right. I still need to clean the tank out (yuck) but then I can install the whole thing in our entry way. The kids are already arguing about what kind of fish we should get. Since I've never owned fish before I think we're going fresh water as it's easier but I'm open to suggestions. Do you have any big tank wisdom to share? Or an opinion on pretty fish? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Face Full of Bugs

Day 24/31:

This is our entryway as of this morning. I wanted a light that made a bit more of a statement and I found the perfect one at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $25. Even better, it was actually brand new!

I bought a recessed light conversion kit so I didn't have to do any major rewiring. You just take out the bulb and the trim there and there is a new piece that goes up that you can wire a light fixture to. One of the steps is "remove the trim from the recessed fixture". It didn't say to duck the mass quantities of bugs that were hanging out in there since this was on a porch light. What you can see in this picture isn't even 1/10th of what awaited me.

Gross! And of course this is about how much hit me in the face (mouth closed, thankfully!) when I pulled it away from the ceiling.

But doesn't this new cover look nice? Ok, kind of boring but you can see that now I have a place to wire the new fixture in after less than 10 minutes of work.

Here's our pretty new light:

And voila! Nice and light and something pretty when you approach the front door. There is more to do out here but this is a pretty good start to it!