Saturday, April 30, 2011

Soda can crafts?

Does anyone have any ideas for something to make from soda cans?  I end up with a bunch of them, and while I do recyycle them, I would love to make something from them.

Reminder for our next meeting

Don't forget, we have scheduled our next meeting for this Tuesday at 1:00 at Kim's house in North Augusta.  Please let us know if you need directions.  I'm bringing my little ones and the craft supplies, if you guys want to bring snacks or anything, go for it!

Also, I would love it if someone could take some digital photos of the process while we're together to post a tutorial on the blog.

Do any of you have pics you would like to post?  Let me know!

Can't wait to see y'all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hey you guys! Lookie what I made!

I need your cereal boxes.  No, really.  I am working on a few bookbinding projects, and I've found that cereal boxes (chipboard) make good hardback covers.  I also need brown paper bags, if you do that sort of thing.  I tend to use my fabric bags, and it always seems like such an inconvenience to the grocery store employees to ask for paper (but I'm going to do it anyway for a while).

I just completed two Coptic bound books, taking pictures all the way on the second one, but the pictures of the actual stitching process came out all blurry.  Here's a picture of the first one:
 I love the look of the exposed stitching on the spine.

Sorry for the not so perfect pictures, but they were the ones that came out the best.

Would you guys be interested in seeing this, or should I just not worry about it?

The stitching process isn't actually hard, but I think pictures would help explain what I'm talking about.

One thing is, though.  Bookbinding is a little on the slow side.  I like this process because there's less down time waiting for glue to dry.  Doing a hardcover book with a spine, lots of waiting.  I'm an instant gratification kind of girl.

Also, here's a (not-so-good) picture I made for my mother for her birthday.

This is all paper in a shadowbox frame.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  There are spacers between the layers, so you get an awesome shadow effect.  She really liked it.

And...  This isn't finished yet, but here's a picture of the cover:

For those of you that don't recognize it on sight, it's supposed to be a replica of River Song's Diary from Doctor Who.  My version, anyway...  I think I still might tweak the dimensions of it, but it's a good first try!

Yes, that cover is embossed.  Not a simple thing to do.  Even more time waiting for glue to dry, but the end result is amazing. 

Anyway...  Tell me what you think?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paper quilling meeting?

It has been a busy weekend around here!  I hope everyone is well and good!

When do you guys want to have our next meeting?  This week?  Next week?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Getting bogged down in details

I've been working on really and truly cleaning my house.  The crafter in me is screaming to be let loose again, but I keep telling myself that I'll enjoy crafting more if I have a tidy space to do it in.  I've gotten a lot done, but I've had to catch myself on numerous occasions from getting sidetracked, or in my case derailed.

Here's how it starts.  I'm cleaning the kitchen, and I need to put away the waffle iron.  I notice the shelf it goes on is a little dirty, so I think "this'll only take a minute..."  Before I know it, I've got stuff strewn all over the kitchen that was almost clean a short while ago, scrubbing parts of my kitchen that nobody ever sees and certainly wasn't hurting anyone for it to be a little dirty.  Then, the littles need something and I have to stop what I'm doing.  Next thing I know its time to cook dinner and there's stuff all over the kitchen that will have to be put away before I can cook.  Not too long after that, the girls are standing at the baby gate screaming at me because they're hungry.  All because the shelf was a little dirty.

This is only one little scenario, of course.  It's like that for my whole house.  Yesterday I was putting away the girls clean laundry and launched into an all-day affair of cleaning out their closets and dressers.  It needed to be done anyway, and I'm not mad at myself for doing it.  The weather is getting nice and there is no need for winter coats.  I would much rather hang clothes in the closet than fold them and put them in the dresser.  Dressers at my house end up a trashed mess full of wrinkled clothes within a week.  But I only have so many kid's clothes hangers, so stuff had to come out of the closet in order to hang...  blah blah blah.  (See?  It's happening here too.  Sidetrack city!)

This also only happens when I'm in full-blown cleaning mode.  Most of the time, I would have just tossed the waffle iron up there and gone about my business.  But lately, I really want my house clean.  And organized.  I think that if I just can manage to get it cleaned up and organized things will be easier to keep clean.  The living room is a million times easier to tidy since we rearranged it and cut down on the number of toys that "live" in the living room.

The funny thing is, I tease my mother about doing the same thing.  I tell her, "Just clean the public spaces, mama!"  Here I am, doing the same thing...  *sigh*

So, here's a few things that I think will help with my cleaning ADD. 
1.)  Set up lists, complete with priority. 
2.)  If I'm working in one room and find something that needs to go to another room, start piles or baskets sorted by destination and take them after I'm done with the room I'm working on.
3.)  A place for everything, and everything in it's place.  I'm working on this part.  I have more things than I have space at the moment, so I'm trying to find a good permanent home for everything, and get rid of as much as I can.  If I don't think I need it right away but can't bear to part with it, I'm putting it in storage.  That's the plan, anyway.
4.)  Do a little at a time.  Maybe clean out two kitchen cabinets at a time, instead of all of them at one time. 
5.)  Teach the girls to clean up their toys.  Wish me luck.

I'm not saying that I'll be completely faithful to these, but I'm at least going to try.  Of course, when it comes time to do my craft room, all the rules are out the window.  But I'm at least saving that for a day or weekend when I have someone around to help with the littles.

So, does any of this happen to you?

I can't wait to get crafting again.  I'm taking a break from my overhaul today to rest, maybe I'll get to make at least a little something.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Next meeting: Quilling

I meant to post this much much earlier, my apologies.  My littles are still not quite used to our "new" living room (which still isn't 100 % complete) and they have not wanted mommy sitting at the computer, among other things.

I need to know who would like to have a meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday (the 19 or 20th).  Kim was nice enough to volunteer her home again for us, thanks Kim!

I'll bring all of the craft stuff we'll need for the session, so you guys just need to show up! 

Also, maybe one of you can take some pictures for us to post on the blog, for those who can't make it to the meeting.  I know I'm sorely lacking in that department, but I can't seem to take clear pictures of objects.

Let us know!

Happy crafting!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Changed it again.

Yeah, I changed the layout again for the website.  I like this header better, I spent more time on it.  D'ya think it's too busy, or hard to read?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A wrench in the works.

Hubby's new computer came in yesterday, and it looks really cool.  However, it's such a big honking monster of a computer tower and won't fit in the space of his computer desk.  *sigh*  Now we're trying to come up with some kind of idea to make it all work.  The computer looks really cool, and I wouldn't mind seeing the front of it, but I don't want it out in the middle of everything, and most definitely can't have it accessible to little hands.  Modifying his current computer desk (which I modified enough by attaching a piece of beadboard paneling to the back to hide cords since it's not against a wall) isn't going to work all that well.  The only thing I can think of is to look for another computer desk that will accommodate the tower, or build one.


Well, I did say this was all going to need a little tweaking, didn't I?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a quick update

We did manage to rearrange our living room over the weekend!  Only one small piece of furniture didn't fit the way we wanted to, but we switched it out for something else we had.  We streamlined several things, and were pleasantly surprised with several little things here and there.  Just a few more tweaks here and there (mostly kid-proofing related), and a little more decorating and we'll be finished!

I had to crawl through the attic to move the cable, and I must say that my body is not used to contorting like that anymore!  I was sore for three days afterward, but I'm much better now. 

Since we moved two desks out of my craft room/laundry room, now that room needs rearranging, which I'm psyched about!

I am working on something for artwork for the living room (possibly), but I don't have anything ready to show yet. I still don't know if we're going to go through with it, but I'm trying to make a mockup for hubby to look at and see if he likes it.

The girls have been extra clingy this week, and I'm not sure if it's because they were gone to grandma's house for 4 days in a row (coming home at night, of course), or if they haven't gotten used to the new living room arrangement yet.  Either way, it's been hard to get ANYTHING done.

More to come soon!  I have a few things bumping around in my head that are asking permission to get out.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A link I like.

I just came across this in my Google Reader from CRAFT magazine. 

Eat Well Spend Less.  Check it out.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tips for buying small children's toys

(I know I said I wasn't going to be posting much this week, but here goes anyway.)

After spending an hour and a half sorting the girls' toys, I put together in my head a few things to keep in mind when buying other people's kids a toy.  If you want to continue to be friends with the parent, follow the following rules.

1.  Ask the parent.  They will know if there is something specific to buy or NOT to buy.  If they are overflowing with teddy bears, they'll tell you.  If they love books and want more, they'll tell you. 

2.  Get what the kid NEEDS.  If mom tells you kiddo needs clothes, get clothes.  If dad tells you they have plenty of toys, then don't get toys.  Respect the wishes of the parent.  Want to give them the best toy ever?  Go find a big, sturdy box.  Decorate it with non-toxic markers.  It is now the best toy ever. AND you can store toys in it.  AND it can get recycled/thrown out when it's worn out.  (They don't recycle corrugated cardboard where I live.)

3.  Small pieces/parts.  How many parts are there?  (Meaning, how many pieces are there for mommy and/or daddy to pick up?)  Will it work if some of the pieces go missing?  Are any of the pieces a choking hazard?  How much will this hurt a barefoot mommy or daddy when they step on it at 3 in the morning?  Our girls love to "cook" with their play food and play dishes.  However, that's about a hundred little pieces and parts that end up strewn about the house. 

4.  Storage for small parts.  Does this set come with a sturdy storage container?  Mega Bloks are great, and they come in a very handy, sturdy vinyl zipper bag.  When we're done building, we're trying to encourage the girls to pick up all the blocks and put them back in the bag.  Wish us luck on that one.

5.  Storage for big stuff.  If you want to buy them a really big toy, such as a toy car, is there space in the home to store it?  You don't want the parents to resent the toy for taking up too much space.

6.  Batteries. Are they replaceable?  Does it come with them?  Read the packaging, find out how many and what size batteries you will need and include a pack.  Rechargeables are even better.

7.  Noises.  Stand in the toy aisle and press that button over and over for about 5 minutes.  Are your brains leaking out of your ears or nose? Do you have a twitch?  If so, put the toy back.  If not, it's still better to ask permission first.  A well-meaning grandma bought the girls a little microphone that flashes lights and plays a verse of "Bippity Boppity Boo".  After five minutes of hearing that over and over, I was wishing that toy lost.  We're happy to hear that the batteries are dying.  That toy is gonna get lost soon.  Toys like this are often called "Hate Toys", because parents hate them.

8.  Smaller sibling consideration.  Much as I hate it, there are some toys that Kaylee (2 1/2) can't have because they're too dangerous for Aby (14 months).  I already have to watch out like a hawk with crayons (Aby puts everything in her mouth), so there are some things that Kaylee is old enough for that we just haven't gotten to yet.  I don't think she's suffering too much, though.  I have a few of Kaylee's toys (such as the Memory game) that end up shelved pretty much indefinitely, and you don't want that to happen to your gift, do you?

9.  Books are usually a good bet.  Board books for little ones under 18 months or so.  Until you know kiddo is good with not tearing up books, lift flap books are out (at least at my house).  They will be demolished in no time.  Then the paper gets (nearly) eaten.  So, to the top shelf they go, for the time being.  My favorite kind of books are bubble books.  They're vinyl, soft, and are washable.  I think they're safe in the bath, too!

10.  Is this gonna make a mess/wreck the house?  If you're going to buy crayons, get WASHABLE crayons (they wipe off easily).  Stickers?  I know I wrecked a chest of drawers with stickers when I was a kid, so I watch my kids closely with them. 

So, that's all I've got for right now.  I'm sure something else will come up later on, of course!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's going to be a crazy week

Yesterday, hubby and I finally finally came up with a plan for how to re-arrange our living room.  The old way worked until recently, but with Aby learning how to climb up on the couch and bother daddy's computer setup, that just wasn't going to work any more. 

We have a big living room, but it's not an easy room to arrange.  It's 13 feet by almost 24 feet, but there's a sliding glass door (that has been painted shut for as long as I can remember) that is 12 feet wide (our greatest fear is that it gets broken some how) and four doors and a closet to work around.  That, and we're trying to make the room be both a living room and kid-proof office space.  Oi.

So, instead of just moving stuff around, I made up a two dimensional graph paper scale model of the living room, cutouts of all the furniture, and we slid things around until we both liked it.  Here's hoping it all works out the way we planned.

A huge bonus for the way we planned it all out, is that I'll have work space in the living room and out of the laundry room, so I can be in there to watch the girls more easily and still get to work on things!

We're planning on moving everything on Saturday, leaving Sunday to tweak anything necessary while the girls are at grandma's house and not underfoot.  In order to get everything moved in that short time, I'm going to spend as much of my free time this week boxing up books, dvds, and anything else that's small and not nailed down to get it out of the way and empty up the bookcases.  We're hoping to get it all settled down before hubby's new computer comes in, so it can be installed in it's permanent home.  Plus, "grandma" is on spring break this week and can help out a bit with the girls, which is a godsend.

With all of that said, I probably won't be able to post much "interesting crafty stuff" this week.  As soon as the dust settles is eradicated, I'll get back on track and start working earnestly on passing along goodies for all of you!

While I'm doing this, you guys tell me what you're up to!  I love hearing from you!  I will have plenty of time to read comments and the like, so holler at me already!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Trip to the Zoo!

Okay, even though this is a craft blog, I'm still going to show off my younglings.

Today, we went to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC.  The girls had a great time, and now we're all exhausted.

We did get some pretty darn good pictures, and this is a good a time as any to learn how to put pictures into a post, since I haven't done that yet.  ;-)

Aby still likes the meerkat exhibit.  She liked it in November when we went last time.  I'm sure it's because the meerkats are cute, but I think the plexiglass wall helps, since little shorties like her can actually see through it clearly.

Ooh!  Aby found her shadow and had to dance with it for a minute.

Kaylee actually fed the giraffe herself.  She didn't freak out.  I was so proud.

Kaylee insisted on checking the map after each exhibit, and she and daddy planned out where we were going next.  

Kaylee with her grandma, Vicki

After we finished up at the zoo, we went to Fuddrucker's for lunch.  Yum. 

I managed to drive us all home without falling asleep at the wheel or getting a speeding ticket.

It was a good day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What a day! Musings of Sleepy Mommy.

I had a yard sale today.  I am exhausted.  After a night of little girls not wanting to sleep, I got up at 5:30 or so and started setting up.  I got rid of a good bit of stuff.  Still have a lot of baby clothes, though.  A good bit of it is cool-weather stuff, so I'm thinking of having another yard sale in September, because I'm sure I'll have more things to add to the pile by then.

That explains why I haven't posted anything good lately, right?  Okay, good.  I'm glad you understand.

The reason I'm not currently passed out is because I've got the theme song from Abbie's Flying Fairy School (from Sesame Street) stuck in my head, with brief appearances from Elmo's World.  Yes, it is enough to make you want to take a power drill to your temple.  I'm sure I'll get over it eventually...  I hope.

So, instead of lying in bed in agony, I will do my best to come up with a good post for you guys.  Once I get things cleaned up in my craft room I hope to start posting little tutorials.  Anything you guys want to see?