Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuffs for Christmas

Well, Thanksgiving is technically over in our house. My parents are coming down in a week, so it isn't officially over yet, but close enough. That means I need to really start working on making the Winter/ Christmas decorations. I am excited to get started on them, but overwhelmed at the same time. The other problems are that I really like the Fall decorations that are up right now and I am not exactly ready to get rid of them, and I am not the biggest fan of Christmas decorations. The compromise we came up with in our house is to slightly more decorate for winter.

Decorating Ideas:

I want to get a set of these from Ikea to use in our kitchenette. I have cranberry ones in there now for fall and it looks really nice. I got to see the blue ones in person the other day at the store and they are perfect color-wise.

I want new curtains for the living room. I don't want anything to permanently replace the ones that I have now because I really love them (and they work so well to block out heat and light in the living room). I just want something that says holiday a little more than the ones do now. Any suggestions?

Block Decorations:
 I really want a set of these. AJ is going to cut me some that I can paint. I don't think I am going to do "Happy Halloween" on the other side though.

This year we actually have a real sized tree that we got on Black Friday. I have had a train set that I have wanted to put around the tree for years. This year, we are going to try to make that happen. The only thing I am worried about is AJ playing with it all the time.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crazy Day - In Progress

I found this on a friend's facebook page. I love it!

I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up earlier than I normally would, I couldn't just lay in bed this morning. I got up and made my list of things I want to try to get done today, and to my surprise it was really long. I am going to try to keep a running list of my projects (at least for today).

  1. Take pantry apart. - DONE
  2. Paint pantry shelves. - DONE
  3. Paint pantry brackets. - DONE
  4. Patch holes in wall from removing towel rod that was inserted INTO the drywall. - DONE
  5. Fold laundry that is done. - DONE
  6. Empty, load, run, empty, load and run dishwasher.
  7. Wash laundry.
  8. Go to Wal-Mart & Lowes. - DONE
  9. Spray paint patio chairs. - Did 1 and DIDN'T like!
  10. Put last of mulch out front. - DONE
  11. Re-pot some plants. - DONE
  12. Pick up living room.
  13. Change sheets.
  14. Vacuum downstairs. - DONE
  15. Clean laundry room.
  16. Put pantry back together. - DONE
  17. Cook dinner. - DONE
  18. *Added NAP - DONE
  19. *Added Mop Floors. - DONE
Yikes. That is a lot. Let's see how much I can get to. Well, back to work.

***Well, I got most of my list done. Not bad for adding a nap into the mix. The nap was really nice. I also got to help AJ attack his cable project. We had some problems with it last night. We were trying to find out what was causing a problem and stuck the tape measure down the hole in the wall. Well, it got stuck at the 6 foot mark. We couldn't get the tape measure out of the wall at all. So, today we drilled a hole into the bedroom wall. We found the tape measure and managed to get it unstuck. We also got the cable and network cables ran through the house and got to take down the temporary cable that was hanging down the stairway. YAY!!! I don't like cables being visible. Though, now we do have a whole in the wall in the bedroom, but I am going to take the piece of drywall to Sherwin Williams and see if they could match the color. I have had a really hard time getting Lowe's to match the paint. Everything I have bought so far hasn't matched real well at all, but I have been making it work because I didn't have much sample to take them to work with.

So, all in all, a good and very productive day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CRAFT DAY!!! Project 4

Goal 5 - Start Working on Papermache critters

I found these neat little birds on this site and I really loved them. I have no expectation of making anything that looks as good as this lady's. Her's are so darn cute! But, I haven't done papermache in ages, so I wanted to give it a whirl.

I started the day with this craft, because I never really do things in the order they are on my list. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my hands to work right. I lost my fine motor control for a while, so I gave up right after they looked like they do in the last picture.

Paper ball lumps. Covered in masking tape.

It sort of looks like a bird, right?

This one looks much more pathetic. I still need to put some wings on him, and I think I am going to try to put a tail on both birds. The second bird is a LOT bigger than the first one, about double the size. I don't know if I am going to make more of one size or the other, but I would like to make a pair of red birds. The craft store had some that I like the other day, but they were expensive and covered in glitter paint (I DON'T LIKE GLITTER!!!!), so I took pictures to try to make them.

CRAFT DAY!!! Project 3

Goal 4 - Cut Out Fabric for Christmas Place Mats

I wanted to get a head start on the fabric for my place mats. They are going to be slightly different than the ones I made for Fall. I didn't think I was going to have enough fabric the way that I wanted to make these, so I was trying to figure that out. I was right, I only had enough for 4 and not the 6 I wanted. I also want to make a table runner that will go on the buffet. So, I am going to have to pick up more before the next #craftday.

I love my rotary cutter and mat. I want a bigger mat because I have to keep folding the fabric to cut large pieces. Not really that big of a deal as long as I keep the edges even. The place mats are 13" x 19", so not huge, but big enough that they don't fit onto my mat.

I had bought white fabric to make these the exact same way that I made the Fall ones. I decided I didn't want to make them that way though. So, I had to come up with a way to do the edges. I made my own bias tape. Yes, it would have been easier and probably cheaper to buy it, but I already had the same fabric in white, so I did it that way.

Pinning the bias tape to the place mat.

Finally done pinning. I am going to have enough white fabric to make the edging. Hmmm... now that I have it pinned, I really should sew it to make sure that the thread I bought will work...

The snowflake actually on the place mat. I only did one of them on this one. I am probably going to do two on each place mat, in opposite corners.

A look at the almost finished project. I might do the other snowflake today, or I might save it until later... though it would be nice to have at least one done to show AJ tonight.

Random thought: Do stores have any idea how much I would buy from them if they would make Christmas decorations in blue, white, and silver? Yes, I realize that these are traditional Hanukkah colors, but I don't care. Living in Florida I need cold colors at Christmas to make it feel like winter!!!

CRAFT DAY!!! - Project 2

Craft Day Goal 3 - Making the snowflake template for my Christmas decorations.

Did you know that it is almost impossible to find a snowflake stencil? I almost bought a spatula that had a snowflake in it to just get a stencil, but it wasn't the right size and honestly I didn't like the snowflake. So, I decided it couldn't be that hard to make my own.

It wasn't hard, just time consuming. The whole thing took about 30 minutes.

I had to find a snowflake I liked that could be turned into an easy to sew snowflake and one that still looked like a snowflake.

Then printed it out and taped it down to my glass mat. Then taped the plastic sheet on top and traced the picture onto the plastic.

Then I had to look for the nice nifty new exacto knife I bought. Apparently, it has already run away. So, I used my trusty standby razor knife. All those pink pieces are what I cut out. Pink sharpie works great for being able to see what you are cutting.

The finished template. I really really like way it came out. The colored spots still on the template were where I was telling myself not to cut. Had I cut those the stencil would have been loose and not had the detail. I don't know if I am going to use the diamonds in the middle of the final projects or not. I like them, but not sure how they would look sewn into the placemats.

CRAFT DAY!!! - Project 1

Goal 2 - Spray Paint Candle Holders

was to get these little metal trays that I picked up from Ikea (they were 4 for $1) spray painted. I have some fun paint that makes things look like hammered metal.

Ugly silver color (normally, I really like silver, but this time it just won't work).

Ruining the bottom of a plastic container, oh wait, this is the one that the corner is busted out of, so spray paint won't hurt at all.

Final outcome. A pretty candle holder that works with the fall colors and theme. It doesn't look anything like the little bowl it started as.

I love spray paint. I have changed the way so many things look with spray paint. I am not afraid to fail with it and then try something new. I guess it was telling how much I love using spray paint when we were cleaning the garage. I have a whole shelf of spray paint... all kinds of colors and textures.


I have been looking forward to this since The Natural Mommy posted it on Twitter. I am getting a late start in the game, but I have gotten started.

My goals today:
  1. Get dinner started - black eyed peas cooking.
  2. Spray paint candle holders
  3. Make stencil for snowflakes
  4. Cut fabric for Christmas place mats
  5. Start papermache projects
  6. Take pictures of Fall decorations
I am not sure how much I am going to get to, or get done, or even if the list is going to change as I go along, but I am going to give it a whirl.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Craft Room

I said I would finally get around to posting pictures of the house. Well, since I have been spending a lot of time in my playroom I decided to start there. This room looks nothing like it did when we bought the house. Here is what it looked like when we bought it:

Did you notice all that "lovely" hot pink coloring? Trust me, it was hideously obnoxious. It was bright enough that when someone walked into the room they looked like they had an instant sunburn. I did love the fact that it has an awesome little window seat. So, even though it was the craziest shades of pink, I took this room for my playroom.

I spent about three days painting the room. It took two coats of white primer to cover the pink. Then I put up the yellow. The initial plan was to paint the whole thing this really soft buttery yellow. Well, the best ideas aren't always the best plan. Once I got the top painted I decided that it was probably going to be to much if I did the whole thing yellow, so I left the bottom white. I really like the way it turned out.

We found this neat little table at Salvation Army one day for $35. It was more than we probably should have spent, but it is exactly what I needed. It has double drop downs. So, I can choose how much table space I need. Normally, I keep the half that is down in the picture up. But I do love the flexibility of the table. I also really like having my desk in the corner.

I love the board hanging from the rosette. Beth gave it to me as a wedding present. It is cool because it is actually a magnetic board with a "clothesline" attached to it. It is really easy to change the pictures and words without much thought or effort.

I found these pictures in a calendar at a thrift store. I fell in love with them. I think little piggies are so cute. These gave me the idea to try to decorate with black and white on the yellow. I think they turned out really well. The fun thing is that when I get tired of these four pigs I can change them out with the other ones in the calendar.

I promise the bookcases are actually way more organized than they look. I like having a shelf for my cricuit, sewing machine and serger, and fabrics. Having my supplies visible makes me want to actually use them. Hence , the reason that there are no doors on my closet any longer. I am so happy that AJ built me these awesome shelves. They hold a lot of stuff. Actually, the shelves aren't organized as well as I want, but I have so much space in there that it isn't a problem right now.

The other cool thing I got was a paper rack. A craft store was going out of business last year around Christmas, so we picked up the rack for me and about four more for my mom as a Christmas present. I still need to take the price tags off the rack, but at the moment I am considering it character.

The window seat. I want to find some black and white fabric to make curtains, but I have yet to find what I want. Apparently, it is really comfy because AJ is currently curled up on it.

I made a mini nightstand type area to hold stuff so I could sit on the window seat and have a place to put my glass or keep a pen and a notebook. Also, note the cute cast iron pig I found.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Meal Planning 11/15-11/21/09

I am trying to get back in the habit of meal planning. I don't know if I honestly do better cooking with a meal plan or not, but one of my doctors has me on a specific high protein diet to try to control the pain a little better. Long complicated story, and at some point I might address it, but let me just say it isn't always pleasant (eating the stuff he wants me to or the pain). I am very limited in my fruit choices, but also in the amount that I am allowed to eat - one serving a day and NO fruit juice. EEK!

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Grapes
Lunch: PB & Honey & carrots
Snack: Sunflower seeds
Dinner: Shrimp scampi, corn pancakes, & collard greens

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Shrimp scampi, corn pancakes, & collard greens
Snack: Almonds
Dinner: Black eyed peas, rice, corn bread, & collards

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Grapes
Lunch: Black eyed peas, rice, corn bread, & collards
Snack: Walnuts
Dinner: Chicken & broccoli stir fry & rice

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Apple
Lunch: Chicken & broccoli stir fry & rice
Snack: Sunflower seeds
Dinner: Shrimp & scallops w/ wine & veggies, egg noodles

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Grapes
Lunch: Black eyed peas, rice, corn bread, & collards
Snack: Pistachios
Dinner: Taco salad, avocado, corn

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Berries
Lunch: PB& Honey sandwich, carrots
Snack: Cashews
Dinner: Salmon patties, sour cream dill sauce, rice, green beans

Breakfast: Protein shake
Snack: Berries
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, carrots
Snack: Pecans
Dinner: Potato crusted salmon fillets, rice, green beans,

Attack of the Killer Garage

Today we worked on the garage for seven hours. I will admit that includes about an hour break - to eat lunch and allow AJ to deal with some issues that came up at work today. Somehow I really thought it would get done a lot earlier than it did today.

We had a minor wreck in there, oh ok, a major wreck. We have been trying to come up with a game plan on how we want the garage. We have to have it function as both storage and workshop for AJ. Note, that no where is it really a big deal on getting a car in there. Well, at least to me. AJ wants to be able to park my car in the garage, but I have never pulled a car into a garage. We also need to get a garage door opener. AJ's parents are giving us their old one, so we have access to one, but we need the garage clean before we can tackle that.

We also wanted to re-arrange where AJ's workspace was in the garage. So, besides just unpacking boxes, moving shelves, putting stuff into containers (which we found on a great clearance at Target for $2.50 each, normally $6 for the size we got), we had to move all the heavy duty tools and machines.

Well, seven hours later we got it almost all done. There are still a couple of boxes that we need to go through later. Most of them are AJ's that have paperwork and memory stuff. I have one that is a giant mess of stuff that I have no clue what to do with (this is excluding the fact that I have 3 boxes in my craft room that are more like AJ's - they just aren't in the garage). There are a few things that we found that need to come inside, and some pillows that we just ran out of steam to tackle. We could pull my car into the garage. That is just amazing. We now have a pile of boxes that is almost as tall as me, sweet!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cell test 2

Well it almost worked last time. It just wont post more than 2 sentances.
I wanted to try out the mobile blogging feature. My phone has bad luck with these types of things. Facebook wont let me update my statu

*Edit - well it sort of worked... there was another sentance to that. So, I am going to try again.

Long Update

I really want to start trying to keep my blog more up to date. I stink at working on it though. I would much rather get into hands on projects than to write about them. But, I want this to evolve into something I enjoy, and something a little more current.

I was looking at the house pictures I posted. Wow!!! They are so out of date it isn't even funny. I didn't think that we had done so much since May, but WOW! I spent yesterday afternoon taking down a lot of the things I had put up since May. Had I known that I hadn't taken pictures of things I would have. Well, now I have my incentive for making sure I take pictures of all the Fall decorations. I really like the way things look right now (except for the guest room - AJ has it torn up to try to work on getting the cable run through the wall into the livingroom... for some reason the cable jacks in the living room and master bedroom never worked. He has all the basics put in now to run the coax cable and the networking cables, so now we just need to get that done.) Hopefully, this weekend we will get the garage fixed so that it is really a useable space. AJ has been working really hard on floorplans for it.

It is interesting, nothing was really wrong with our house when we bought it. Mainly, it had some quirky issues... one of the biggest being that the baseboards are not all nailed down (the former owners took them down to put tile in the downstairs). But, we have spent a lot of time working on things that make the house more liveable to us. We have taken out almost all the wire shelving in the house (I HATE WIRE SHELVES!!!), the only places it is left is our bathroom, the guest bathroom closet, and the guest bedroom. I am so happy with the real shelves that AJ has put up everywhere for me (note to self - take pictures of shelving). We have spent a lot of time decorating the house (and more time trying to find bargins to decorate the house).

We have also spent a lot of time having people at our house. That has been a lot of fun. We like being social, and it is so nice not to be in our horrible apartment (I am not kidding about how bad that place was) in Orlando. I like being able to have local friends over to have dinner and play games, and also have people come into town for the weekends. We have had about 10 different groups of people stay with us. What a blast!

I am also amazed at all the fun stuff I have been able to do in my playroom. I have taken up sewing (sort of), which means that I keep playing with things until I understand them and then move onto the next project. I have had the space to make more t-shirts. I have also had the space to work on pictures. I am not used to that anymore. I really haven't had a craft space since I moved out of my parents place. It is really nice to be able to make a mess and then walk away from it. I don't have to try to clean up in the middle of something, which is really nice when I am working on somethig and it frustrates me... I can go away until I figure out how to fix it. AJ also hooked my desktop back up for me, so I have a computer hooked to a printer that is all mine (for everything from my music to my crafts and pictures).

I want to be better at posting pictures from our world. I have so many things I have done that just got lost in the void of life. I want to take pictures of the things I make - food, crafts, and memories. The bad part about that right now is that my camera DIED!!! AJ tried to fix it, but to no avail. So, it means that for now I am using the still function on the video camera... well, at least it normally takes good pictures.