December 29, 2011

I Love Animals T-Shirt

Happy Birthday to my youngest brother, turned 18 yesterday.  He's loves to eat meat, so this is very appropriate for him.

Oh, and here is my other brother with his Christmas present (and his wife's too).

December 27, 2011

The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters

The Mummy Case (Amelia Peabody, #3)The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book a lot, listened to it on my iPod.  Loved the story of how Van der Gelt and his wife meet.  Took me a while to figure out the mystery in this one, which is always good.  Starting to get into the relationship between Nefret and Ramses, which is my favorite part.

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December 26, 2011

BSU Frosted Mugs

I will eventually figure out how to take good shots of frosted glass, sorry.  Made a few of these to give to the men in my life for Christmas.  At least the ones who are BSU fans.  Go Broncos!  Used the same technique as my monogrammed bowls.  So easy and take about 10 minutes from start to finish.

December 25, 2011

Purses for Christmas

That's right, I made these adorable purses for Christmas.  Or I guess, technically they are "totes", but you know what I mean.  Used the free pattern HERE at I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar.  Great blog and really great step by step instructions.

This one went to my sister in law.

Inside shot with a double pocket.

Made two of this style: one to my mom, the other to my mother in law.

Detail.  I gots to get me some more of this fabric.  And thanks to my lovely gift certificate that I received for Christmas this year....I think I will do just that.

Inside detail with one large pocket.  Need some more of this yellow too.  Love it.

This one to a dear friend.

And I made one more for my son's autism preschool teacher.  It was purple and gray, with this same yellow fabric on the inside...and I forgot to take a picture!  I guess I'll just have to make another one so I can show you.  These were really fun to make.  I think I may be slightly addicted.  Oh, and if you invite me to a party or shower in the near future...this will probably be your present, just warning you.
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  A couple more small projects from Christmas to show you, coming up.

December 23, 2011

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

Princess of Glass (Princess #2)Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute story and sequel.  Would have liked it a lot more as a preteen or young teenager, as that is the intended audience.  A twist on the classic Cinderella story.  Best to read the first book before this one, "Princess of the Midnight Ball".

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December 22, 2011

Christmas Cookies

I signed up to make cookies for my 7 year old's 2nd grade Christmas party.  I tried to make each one a little different and some turned out better than others, but they were all fun to make.

December 21, 2011

Christmas Baking 2011

Christmas baking is in full swing.

I love this glitter tissue paper I picked up last year.  I think I have enough for Christmas 2012 as well.

There are about 20 teachers and tutors between my three kids that we wanted to give a Christmas goodie to this year.  Then there were the neighbors...and friends...and local family...

These tags from Target work great as the ribbon to tie the gift together and add our Christmas greeting.

The taste testers.  They approved.

December 17, 2011

Oregon Trail T-shirt

Did you play the "Oregon Trail" in elementary school during your computer lab time?  Well, where I grew up, we did.  It was on the ancient computers that were a black screen with the green text...can't remember what they were called.  I'm starting to feel old now.  Anyway, I was able to recreate the famous "game over" line for my brother on a shirt for Christmas.

Oh... the memories. 

My brother and sister in law are going on a trip for Christmas and thus opened their gifts before they left. Another gift I am able to share without giving it away too early, yeah!

My sister in law's gift will have to wait though...she received a similar gift as my mother and mother in law.  Can't wait to share...8 more days!

December 15, 2011

Baseball Bracelet

 I figured I could post about the gift we are giving the boys' babysitter.  I am assuming a 13 year old boy isn't going to be checking my blog in the next couple of weeks.

Saw this on Pinterest from I Can Find the Time.  I followed her instructions up until the last couple of steps.  She has some great pictures and explains how to make them on her blog as well.

Start off with a leather baseball.  Cut with an Xacto knife, following the stitching of the ball, cutting just outside on both sides.  I had to double cut to get through the leather.

Peel away the leather and you are left with this.  You can discard the excess leather and string ball thing or give them to your kids to play with...or your cat.

Cut your stitched bracelets into two equal parts.  Each ball makes two bracelets.  Trim up your white leather if needed, just be careful not to cut the red stitching.

Unravel the ends a bit so you have some string to work with and trim the excess leather.

Tie a knot on both ends.

Here's the part that I did differently: I rope braided the excess string, tying off with a knot on each end.

And there you have it.
My 7 year old received the other bracelet and hasn't taken it off in three days.  Loves it.

Tips:  Balls that have a little grime on them are preferred, they look better as opposed to bright, crisp, white leather.
The leather will be stiff at first and want to curl.  Work it with your hands and it will start to lay flat.

December 14, 2011

Sneak Peek

Someone is getting a handmade gift using these fabrics...I know, now I'm just being mean.

Merry Christmas!

December 13, 2011

Flower Baby Onesie

Amongst all of the holiday crafting and baking, I was able to attend a baby shower last weekend.  I bought the rest of the gift, but couldn't resist adding a little homemade touch.

I have been busy making Christmas gifts for family, friends, and autism tutors the last couple of weeks...but I'm afraid to put them on my blog in fear of someone spotting their gift early! I will be posting lots of new things starting on December 26th.  I may be able to get some of the teacher and tutor stuff on during Christmas break, since they will receive their gifts early.

December 1, 2011

Gathered Tree Skirt

This is the first year our tree has a tree skirt.  It's about time too, poor thing.  Saw this great idea and tutorial HERE from Teal and Lime, via Pinterest.  Followed her directions exactly and it took me (ironing time included) about 30 minutes.  I wish I would have made the opening for the pole of the tree a little smaller, you can see some of the tree stand because I cut the circle too big.  I may add something around the middle to cover it up a bit, but for now, I'll just pile some presents on it and no one will be the wiser.

The best part?  This entire project was free.  We used to have a round table, and thus, round tablecloths.  I don't know why, but I saved this tablecloth for how many years after we upgraded to a larger, rectangular table, thinking "someday, I will repurpose this for something!" And today, that day arrived.  Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas to everyone, and now that my month of autism meetings for my son has passed (yearly IEPs, clinical studies, survey after bubble sheet after questionnaire....), I might actually have some time for some projects to post on here!  Blog World, I'm back!

November 23, 2011

Book Review: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The HistorianThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would give this 3.5 stars.  I really loved the writing and descriptions.  If you enjoy vivid descriptions of mouth-watering food and exotic European locations, then this is the book for you.  It also has a lot of interesting Eastern European history that I didn't know much about, fascinating actually.  It has piqued my interest to read more about Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Romania, etc.  Although it is a book about Dracula and vampires, it is not gory or horror filled in any way.  Some ancient torture practices are briefly discussed, but not dwelt upon.  The book does has an eerie quality to it at times, which I found kind of cool, maybe not for everyone though.  I liked the characters and story line.  When I was reading the book, I was interested and engaged, but found I could also easily put it down.  The most frustrating part about this book is the length.  I am a very fast reader and would set down after reading for an hour or two and feel like I hadn't made any progress with my bookmark.  I didn't feel like I was reading slow and it's not difficult to read....perhaps I have lost my super reading ability (I am going to blame my kids), or perhaps this is just a really long book and it took me a while. 

View all my reviews

October 18, 2011

Homemade French Bread

My friend is a fabulous cook and recently showed me how to make her yummy homemade french bread.  Now, I don't do bread.  Yeast and I have a tumultuous relationship at best.  I watched my friend make her bread from start to finish and went home and tried it myself the next day.  The bread rose and looked alright, maybe a little flat.  It tasted good, but the it was a lot more dense than my friend's version.  I should have take a picture to post, to keep things real on this blog, but alas I didn't.  The next flop, cooking or crafting, I will post on here, promise.

Anyway, last night, I decided to try again.  I bought new yeast and was careful not to overwork the dough when rolling it out.  Much better the second time around.  Relief and triumph, rolled into a delicious slice of yumminess.

We ate it with lasagna and spinach salad.  No, I did not make the lasagna.  That is what Costco is for...I'm not crazy.  I'll just make two loaves of french bread that I could pick up at the grocery store for $1.50 each instead.

I caught my husband eating a couple of leftover slices for breakfast this morning.  That's when you know it's good. 

If you are interested in the recipe, let me know and I can post it...or if you live nearby, give you a demonstration.  I'm a visual gal and need to see it being made for it all to make sense for me.  From start to finish, this bread takes about 2.5 hours.  That's including rising and baking time.  Not too bad for french bread.  AND if I can do definitely can.  I don't know anyone who can mess up yeast recipes like yours truly, so this will be a walk in the park for the rest of you.

October 17, 2011

Spider Web Sugar Cookies

Fall carnival at school was last weekend.  I volunteered to make treats for the cake walk instead of working a booth.  
Best.  Decision.  Ever.

Wrapped them up individually so they would be easy to pass out to the kids.

Love the way these turn out and they are really fun to make.  I have an old post HERE with step by step instructions.

October 13, 2011

Halloween Decor 2011

Bats leading into the house.  Yes, I am working on the outside paint color selection.  It was like this when we moved in, I swear!

Bats everywhere!

Candy corn wreath from last year.

Scary silhouettes from a couple of years ago.

 Bat idea and template shamelessly copied from MADE.  Love her site.

The big white patches have since been sanded and painted over, thanks to my handy husband.  We moved and changed some lighting around and you can't tell where the old holes used to be.

Fireplace and mantle with our lounging skeleton that we have had forever, probably the boys' favorite decoration, as he is bendy and poseable.

My pumpkin family.

Ikea lanterns and little pumpkin candle holder from college days.  The artwork is from South Africa, shaved wood on fabric.  My brother bought it for my while serving a mission over there.
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