Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Emmalynn’s Tree

Today my mom and dad came over to help Lan paint Em’s room. I busied myself putting away Christmas decorations since I knew I should be around all of the fumes. I suppose having other people paint your house and not having to help is a perk to being pregnant :) It is amazing how much a simple coat of paint can do for a room. It looked so much brighter and happier with it’s light blue walls.

I have played around with a lot of different ideas for how to decorate her room, and one reoccurring theme was kind of nature themed, but girly. So I decided that I wanted to paint a white tree where her crib was going to go. I knew that I didn’t want to hang anything over her crib (living in earth quake country taught me that), but I wanted something cute. I found an idea on pinterest, and Lan helped me execute my plan.

A normal person could use a regular overhead and a transparency… but not us. Lan had conveniently hacked a overhead projector and a computer recently to make an digital projector. What is on top of the overhead is actually the screen from a computer. We hooked his laptop up to the whole contraption so that it could project whatever we wanted.

Photo Dec 27, 6 30 57 PM

After we got the size and spot that we wanted, I began to trace the outline of the tree with a pencil. I traced just inside the tree so that when I painted, I would cover the pencil marks.

Photo Dec 27, 6 34 35 PM

Then I got painting. I started at the top and worked my way down so that I wouldn’t smear.

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It only took about one cup of paint and about two hours to paint the whole tree. I love how it turned out. I can’t wait for the trim to get painted (our last painting step) so we can move everything in and get it all set up.

Photo Dec 27, 10 42 57 PM

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Gifts in Mass

While thinking of the gifts I wanted my kids to make for their parents, I started searching for ideas online.  I wanted something cheap, easy, and I needed it fast.  I have been a tad last minute lately.  Didn’t want to waste my time on something that was cheesy, but something that they would pull out every year.  I decided to have the kids make their parents Christmas coasters.

I have 17 kids and I decided to have each kid make 3.  It was affordable and they turned out super cute. 


tiles (I picked mine up at Home Depot)

modge podge or Elmer's all purpose if you are cheap like me

acrylic spray

paper (either photos, pretty paper, or paper to draw on)

I first cut out paper, slightly smaller than my tile and had the kids draw pictures on them.  If you are doing this from one adult to another, you would just cut out your pictures or pretty paper to the correct size.  Then you paint your glue on the blank tile.

Photo Dec 13, 7 22 31 PMPhoto Dec 14, 12 56 35 PM

Place the picture in the center of your tile, and coat again with glue.  Do a fairly thick layer and be sure that you get the edges really well.  You can see from the picture below how white it will look.  It dries clear, so don’t worry.

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Just let them dry, then spray with clear acrylic spray to seal them and make them waterproof.

Photo Dec 20, 10 08 28 AM

They really looked impressive, and if I hadn’t already started making other presents for friends, I would have made adult versions of these for them. 

Bam!  Impressive keepsakes. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Christmas Cheer

It is hard to believe that we have owned our home for a year now.  We got our keys last December 10.  Of course, I still decorated for Christmas last year… but this year feels like the first real Christmas in our house.  Unfortunately…. I still don’t have the energy to do a ton… but this time for a completely different reason.  One thing I did do, was string some ribbon across the shutters that divide our living room and den, and then hang ornaments from it.  It really helped festive up our house. 

Photo Nov 30, 9 49 24 PM

We had wanted to put lights up on the outside of our house this year, but time got away from us, so we went the cheater way and scotch taped some lights to our front window :)

The tree is finally decorated, the nativity set is on the table, random decorations are littered though the house, and it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… which is good considering it is only a week away.


Photo Dec 16, 9 15 41 PM

I’m currently listening to music in front of the fire, looking at my tree, and happily digesting the cold pizza I just ate.  Ok, that last thing has nothing to do with Christmas, and everything to do with being pregnant :)  I can ‘t believe this is my last Christmas without kids!  Crazy!

Sheet Music Star

Photo Dec 16, 9 37 41 PM

At my most recent craft night with some co-workers, one of my friends taught us all to make paper stars from sheet music. They are super easy, and look very impressive.


6 pieces of sheet music (or any other paper you would want to use)

large and small glue dots


First you need to cut your sheet music into squares. Take all 6 of your squares and fold them diagonally. Then you are going to cut starting at the folded edge until you almost get to the middle. Do three cuts on one side, following a diagonal line, and then a mirror of those cuts on the other side. (see picture) There should be about an inch going down the middle that doesn’t get cut.

Photo Dec 09, 8 56 57 PM

After you have made your cuts, open the pages up. You will work with them one at a time at this point. Take one of your papers and find a center corner. You are going to roll it up and put a small glue dot on the back. Roll the mirrored side up and attach them together.

Photo Dec 09, 8 39 10 PMPhoto Dec 09, 8 36 42 PM

Flip it over and do it with the next set. Keep flipping back and forth until you are done.

Photo Dec 09, 8 37 24 PM

After you have made all six, you will be attaching three of them together. First lay them out so they are all “facing” the same direction. If you look close you can see one side is more “open” than the other. (see picture) Attach the bases with a large glue dot. Then attach the sides of the three pieces with small glue dots.

Photo Dec 09, 8 51 28 PM with instructions

Do the same thing with the second set of pieces. Then you are going to attach the two halves together. Use a large glue dot to put the two bases together, and then attach the sides using small glue dots.

Photo Dec 09, 8 55 18 PM

Then your star should be all put together! Put in a pretty place and enjoy :) Just to warn you, making them is slightly addicting.

Photo Dec 09, 8 55 34 PM

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

Tonight our fellowship group came over for a pumpkin carving party.  While many went for the traditional Jack-o-Lanterns, I wanted to so something cute.  A friend reminded me of a Pintrest  idea (oh Pintrest… how I love thee) of using a cookie cutter to punch designs into a pumpkin.

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I used a mallet to hammer in the cookie cutter, and the pushed out the center.  I made five cut outs in the pumpkin. 

Photo Oct 29, 9 42 53 PM

So Cute :)  And then my husband carved this:

Photo Oct 29, 9 50 45 PM

And there is the difference between girls and boys.

We are now happily eating roasted pumpkin seats…. toasted by none other than Jessica from Just About A Girl.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kale Chips

I have been hearing a lot about kale chips lately, so while I was at the store, I decided to pick up some kale and try it. 

First I washed the kale and made sure it was super dry.  I ripped it up, and placed the pieces on a cookie sheet.  I would suggest only using the curly part of the kale, and toss the fibrous steams. 

Photo Oct 22, 6 03 03 PM

I then drizzled the pieces with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Photo Oct 22, 6 17 59 PM

They come out very light and crisp.  They were pretty yummy, but I don’t know if I was completely sold.  Hey, they are a healthy alternative to potato chips, but I think I still prefer my kale in my mashed potatoes.  Smile

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A little maternity closet cleaning

Photo Oct 16, 6 04 49 PM

Today I decided to clean out my drawers and closet to make room for my maternity cloths.  I gathered to gather all of the cloths that didn’t fit or were tight before I got pregnant that I recently grew out of, so that I could put them into storage.  I decided to keep the cloths that still fit now, as they will be the first things I will be able to fit into after the baby is born.  Man I had to pack up a lot of cloths.  I purchased one 20 gal tub, thinking it would be large enough….. WRONG!  Oh well… at least half of the cloths are now packed up.  Bye cloths… see you in probably about a year when I fit in you again… or hopefully less. :)  Now the cloths I currently fit in, and the ones that I am growing into are all snug in my drawers and closet instead of sitting on top of my drawers or on my dining room table. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

I've got a big project in the works!


So…. I have been working on this big project the last few months…..






Photo Sep 14, 8 37 38 AM

I’m pregnant and due March 19! (so I am currently 15 weeks)  At first, I felt sick… and now I'm just tired.  That, mixed with working full time, taking on more responsibilities at work, and finishing my masters has left me with zero time… and when I do have time… zero energy.  That hasn’t stopped me from dreaming though.  I recently discovered pintrest, and it is a new love.  I have pinned tons of crafts that I will one day have time for.

So, this is me now…. didn’t stop eating breakfast for the picture, and there is a stain on my belly.  Just keeping it real.  I think the horizontal stripes makes me look like I have more of a bump than I do… but hey… better than just looking fat.

Photo Sep 23, 6 53 05 AM

The other day I couldn’t take it any more, shirked off my responsibilities, and made myself a nursing cover with some fabric that I fell in love with a while back.

Photo Sep 25, 10 46 50 PM

When I was making this one, I decided to look back at my old tutorial for the dimensions, (hey, no use reinventing the wheel when you don’t have to) I realized that I left out a bunch of steps.  Oops.  Well considering most of my friends are also pregnant, I will be making a lot more of these in the near future and will make a more complete tutorial.  I tend to be slow at sewing, and this only took me like 30-45 min.  If you are quick, you could probably do it in 20, once you got the hang of it. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hooter Hider (nursing cover)

One of my friends is having a baby shower this weekend, so I finally got my butt into gear and started making her some presents. I decided that I would try my hand in making a Hooter Hider (nursing cover).  She isn’t super girly, so I chose a fabric that reminded me of her… and bonus… it was on sale.  This project was easy and fun, I will definitely be making more for other soon to be mommies that I know.

1 yard fabric

3/4 or 1in D-rings

12in boning


Photo Aug 23, 9 19 26 AMPhoto Aug 23, 9 30 27 AM

I pre-washed my fabric and it shrunk by about an inch… so always remember to re-wash.  I left the 35 inches to be the top/bottom of my cover and then cut the fabric to 30 inches in length.  The left over fabric, I cut out a four inch strip along the long side.

Photo Aug 23, 9 36 28 AMPhoto Aug 23, 9 41 36 AM

I took the 4in strip and folded it length wise pretty sides together.  I did a straight stitch and then a zig zag stitch so that it wouldn’t fray.  at one of the ends, I then made a diagonal stitch so that the strap will have a point for threading through the D-rings.  I forgot to, but I would recommend cutting off the extra fabric so that you will get a crisper point.

Photo Aug 23, 9 48 33 AMPhoto Aug 23, 9 58 21 AM

I cut the strip so that the end that had the point was 27 in and the other end was 8 in.  I turned both pieces right side out and then did a straight stitch along the sides. 

Photo Aug 23, 10 04 35 AMPhoto Aug 23, 10 09 15 AM

I folded over about 1/4 in and stitched, threaded the D-rings and then folded the end over again and sewed it closed.  I took the main piece of fabric and sewed the sides and bottoms with a nice seam, but left the top undone.

Photo Aug 23, 11 52 27 AMPhoto Aug 23, 11 56 49 AM

The next part was a little bit more tricky, but not too bad.  I laid the boning in the middle of the top of the cover and then put the straps at the very end of the boning.  I fold everything over once, and then I fold it all over again.  I sewed a line near the top and bottom of the hem, being sure to get close to the hard part of the boning and getting the fabric part.  This will endure that it doesn’t move around.  Also be sure to sew where the strap and the boning meet so that it keeps the boning in place.  Putting the straps a little bit over the boning adds more fabric so that the hard parts are less likely to poke out.

Photo Aug 23, 12 18 43 PMPhoto Aug 23, 12 23 56 PM

Here I am modeling it and then with it just hung up.  The boning helps it stick out so that if you are nursing, you have a view of the baby, but no one else has a view of YOU. 

I hope she likes it :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

another etched wedding gift

We have had a lot of friends getting married lately, so here is another wedding gift that we just gave. I got this cookie jar at target and etched their last initial and year they got married. We then filled it with cookie mixes, cookie cutters, and added a rolling pin to the gift. Cute, fun, and personal. Not to mention, it was inexpensive. She loves to bake so I thought it would be cute :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

busy busy busy

I never would have guessed that my summer would end up more busy than the school year... but it is.

Right after school got out (literally the next day), Lan and I set off to Italy. We spent two weeks sightseeing, eating, drinking, and relaxing our way through Rome, Montechino, and Venice. It was amazing. I am haping to do a post on each city once we get around to sorting through our pictures.

Just about the day after returning, I started my summer job. I nanny for two girls, C who is 5 and R who is 2. They are a huge handful... especially the five year old believe it or not. And I am completely comfortable with five year olds considering I taught kindergarten.

Literally the only craft I have done so far this summer is a gift for a dear friend's wedding shower. I took a glass vase and etched a customized design onto it for a personal gift. Lan designed it with their monogram and wedding date. I loved how it turned out... and you can see how it is done here. Below isn't the best photo... but you get the idea.

I have made some time for some summer pampering for me though.... I got my hair cut. This was my first hair cut since before Christmas... so I was in desperate need. I love how it turned out.

Mixed in with Nannying, vacations, and getting my hair cut, there have been wedding showers, trips to disneyland, and celebrating friends birthdays, I have been busy. the rest of my summer is looking equally busy with two weekend vacations, starting my thesis, two weddings, and several more birthdays...oh and more work. I do have two weddings and a baby shower to use as motivation to get some crafting done... so ill keep you posted on what I make. I cleaned my craft space in anticipation :)