Saturday, January 5, 2013

the little things

So I decided that I dislike resolutions many years ago, but I do still set goals for myself. As a matter of fact, I set them quite frequently. And you know what I always seem to focus on? The big stuff. The huge projects that truly should be about 5 or 6 things on the list instead of just one. And nothing ever seems to get completely finished and I feel that I have failed to meet my goals. 

We often say, or hear others say, that it is the little things that make the biggest difference. So my current goal is to focus on all those little things that I have pushed behind the all-important big items on my lists.  For example: today I finally cleaned the old toaster oven and put it in storage in the basement.  It has been sitting for 6 months on my kitchen counter, unplugged and unused. I cannot begin to tell you the sense of accomplishment I feel when I walk in my kitchen and there is clear counter space! This was one of the many things that previously was lumped into "finish the kitchen" on my list.

"What's next," you ask? Well, I don't know... maybe I'll dare to find a storage space for my baking sheets.

Friday, January 4, 2013

One Little Word

Have you heard of Ali Edwards' One Little Word?  Even if you do not scrapbook, it is a fantastic way to focus yourself for the year without making any silly resolutions that you will forget about by next week.  All you have to do is choose one little word that you will incorporate into your life.

I have chosen the word BALANCE. Balance is an encompassing word: you need time, strength, patience, calm, perseverance, and much more to achieve balance. And sometimes you need to remember to lean on others to gain your own balance. It is a wonderful word that I intend to embrace fully this year! Ans think about all the things we talk about doing that involve balance: balance the budget, eat a balanced diet, work-home life balance, etc.

Now, I don't know if I will be creating an album and following all the scrapbooking prompts that Ali provides (after all, I am trying to find balance in my life). But I will definitely be focused on this main goal of mine for 2013.

If you are interested in what One Little Word is all about, take a look at Ali Edwards' blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

It has been a mad house around here!  There are too many wonderful things happening, and absolutely no time to blog about them.  This year the boys and I are doing an "Advent: Preparing for Christmas" project.  1 envelope every day that has us do one activity to get ready for Christmas.  So far we have made paper snowflakes to hang on the windows, danced to Christmas songs, decorated the Christmas tree, and set up the Nativity (just to name a few).  We are also opening one new book each night to read together.  I admit, not all the books are Christmas themed (it was harder than I thought to find 25 children's Christmas books considering that we already own a bunch).

So with all this family Christmas stuff, I needed to do something for me.  I decided to participate in Scrapbook Challenges 12 Days of Christmas Progressive Challenges.  Each day a new step in the progressive layout is posted.  Tomorrow is the last day, but here is what I have so far:
I encourage you to swing by the site and try it for yourself!

Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fabric Evergreen

It has been a while since I've posted a tutorial, and what better time than now? We are all getting crafty for the holidays! This is one of my favorite homemade craft decorations that stays up long after Christmas has passed; I consider it a Winter decoration, not a holiday decoration.

The Fabric Evergreen

and the best part is that it requires absolutely NO SEWING!

1. choose your fabric (amount depends on the end size, but a fat quarter should be more than enough)
2. choose your styrofoam cone (any size you like)
3. grab a box of dress pins (also called straight pins; the small silver ones with a flat top)
4. cut a strip of fabric, to wrap around the base of the cone, about 2 inches wide
5. pin the fabric strip into place from the bottom of the cone (leave the sides un-pinned for now)
6. cut the rest of your material into 2x2 inch squares & pin one over the tip of the cone
7. next, fold a square of material in half and then in half again, so you are left with a 1x1 inch square (or diamond)
8. turn your cone upside-down and place the tip of the folded diamond corner over the fabric strip, just touching the bottom edge of the cone
9. pin the right corner of the diamond to the cone (pin should also hold the strip to the side of the cone)
10. repeat with the next square of material, overlapping the folded diamond side corners
11. once the row is complete, start the next row by off-setting the diamond point
12. continue until you reach the top of the cone

I hope these instruction made sense... I forgot to take photos as I worked.  I will be making more of these Fabric Evergreens in various sizes, so I will add additional photos later.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Robot Birthday Party

I've posted before with various snippets of info regarding the now infamous bRobot birthday party... and here is my final installment (I probably could do more since I haven't even touched on the invites we made, but I think this should wrap things up nicely).

1. We started the party off with a Robot Dance contest.  I am thankful for all the kid-friendly robot songs on YouTube (no time to download and create my own playlist). 
2. We re-booted with robot fuel (bottled water with mailing labels stuck on over the store label), then munched on Computer Chips (dried apple chips) and Nuts & Bolts (snack mix).  I filled two old coffee cans with the munchies to give them a more "robot" look.
3. Next we all got to assemble our own robots.  I cut robot layers using my Cricut cartridge in a variety of colors.  The mini-bots chose their color, glued the pieces, attached the googly eyes, and then drew in other details.  These robots were attached to the outside of the brown paper bags we used for goodies.
4. Lastly, each friend was given a robot sugar cookie to eat while the birthday boy opened presents.  I opted for cookies since they do not need to be sliced and do not require plates or forks to eat them (and the crumbs vacuum up better than mushy cake crumbs).

The party was a big hit! and I was exhausted...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Little Pumpkins

Here is another wonderful activity that I did (instead of blogging):  the pumpkin patch fieldtrip with my two youngest.  We had a great time choosing our pumpkins right off the vine!  It was a little muddy, and I forgot the rain boots, but it was a gorgeous day to wander through the gords.

Next year, I promised to take my oldest along... he misses picking out his own pumpkin every October.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Face Lift

Let's be honest, the newest house we bought was (and still is) in need of major curb appeal.  But I have to say that we made huge improvements this summer!

The work was completed too late for us to do any fall planting, but I'll post an update once Spring arrives.