Sunday, October 11, 2009

Any tips, please?

So I need your help. I went to a garage sale yesterday and picked up 4 wooden counter stools like the one above. I was soooooo excited. I have been looking for stools for our counter forever, and these were only 4 for $20. Amazing!

They are in great shape, scuffed and worn, but nice and sturdy. I had these lovely plans for some black paint and chair pads. I imagined us sitting at the counter with our coffee and Sunday paper on our delightfully re-done stools while the Doodle ran around the house finding rug pads to chew on.

Until, I cleaned them up, put them at the counter and realized:

They are too short, by about 5 or 6 inches. Yep, this is what happens when you are not even 5 feet tall and you try to estimate heights. Clearly, I need bar stool height.

So my question is, what do I do? Do I try to jack them up with some lifts? (Safety is my issue) And a thick chair pad? Or do I put them on Craig's List and get rid of them and start my search over again? Please help, I have no clue what to do...

Also, my 6 Tasks in 6 Days are not going so well. We attempted to hang my garage sale shelves, but all we ended up with was a fight and some holes in the wall. The hubs is ordinarily one of the single most kind, mild mannered, generous, sweet men on the face of the planet. Until.We.Hang.Stuff.On.The.Wall. Honestly, trying to hang a sign, picture frame, shelves, curtain rods, you name it, it brings out The Hulk in the hubs. And it's not like it is after a long, grueling attempt either. We're talking from Handsome and Sweet to Hulk in about 23 seconds. Don't ask me what it is, because I couldn't tell you, but I think 52% of the worst fights we have had were as a result of trying to hang something. We're having a hard time sliding the bracket onto the screw, and both our patience levels were shot, so we called it quits yesterday. I gave the hubs football tickets for his birthday, and drove he and my brother-in-law to the game so they could drink as much as they wanted. He will be nursing a hangover today, so no shelves up today for sure. We'll try again, but I am not confident it will happen in the next few days. Sigh. (and for those wondering why I don't just do it myself, it's because I am so darn short! we need a taller ladder)

Don't forget about my stools, please help me decide what to do. Any tips would certainly be appreciated!

Have a fabulous day!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Elmo is my Homeboy

We went to Sesame Street Live today and it was AWESOME! You would think I was talking about a Tom Petty concert, and not Sesame Street, but seeing the Doodle's excitement made it AWESOME! You can't see the excitement here, but that's because he is inhaling some string cheese (forbidden, bottom of my bag "smuggled" cheese). They actually had a cute line in there for the parents. Elmo says to one of the other characters "What you talkin' bout Telly?" I thought it was hilarious. And no, I was not drinking. Just that dorky.

Sorry the photos are blurry but at some point some of the kiddo's juice (the smuggled, forbidden juice) spilled on the camera lens (?) and I didn't realize until I got home. We had a really good time, and I highly recommend it.

I made him that shirt right before the show, long story, and I wasn't super crazy about it, but I wanted him to have an Elmo shirt darn it.

Here was my fun process of making iron-on shirts. I mean, really, these are so freaking easy, I have made them dozens of times, but I felt like a second grader trying to make these. It was humbling. And there were curse words. A lot. Have I mentioned that I have a college degree. Embarrassing that this was so difficult for me.

This is what happens when you don't carefully read the directions before buying the t-shirt transfers. The transfers were made for cotton/polyester blend, not 100% cotton like this onesie. I don't know the science behind it or any of that nonsense, I just know it looked like crappola.

So I got these dark t-shirt transfers instead and they worked great, but I was impatient and just cut out a whole circle instead of carefully cutting around the words. I tried peeling the design off after the show, but only half came off, so it becomes a painting shirt now.

These are the rest done properly.

Only one thing crossed off my list, but at least it' s crossed off. Just 5 more to go! I am hoping I'll be more productive this weekend. How are your projects coming?

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10 Tasks in 10 Days-Sorta

I am a bit late in linking up to The Shabby Chic Cottage for her 10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge, but I am linking up. I am gonna do 6 Tasks in 6 Days since I just caught on to this. Haha, the irony that I am half-doing this challenge, it is so fitting.

So the idea is to finally finish those half-done projects you got distracted from. I had a million and one excuses why these aren't done, but mostly it comes down to laziness or being distracted by some other shiny, new project.

Without further ado, here is my list:

1. Hang my garage sale shelves, finally. I bought three fab shelves at a garage sale for $4 total. They were painted primary colors for a kid's room, so I spraypainted them black and then promptly left them to hang out in the garage for 2 months. Yeesh. Those babies are going up!

2. Make my Doodle an Elmo shirt and flag for his big Sesame Street Live show. I am so pumped!

3. Finish decorating my craft pumpkins. I have some monogramming and blinging to do.

4. Finish at least 2 more burlap diaper boxes.

5. Paint the rest of my little letters to go with our Big C, and hang them up.

6. Finish making the blackout shades for our bedroom. I made 2 and haven't finished the rest. Silly, silly lady.

Yep, laziness and distraction, these are my decorating/crafting ADD weaknesses for sure. Wish me luck, I am gonna need it.

How many projects do you have half done?


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Burlap Covered Boxes

I hate having teensy weensy toys all over the house. I hate having to store them in clear plastic containers or laundry baskets (which is what I have been doing). Instead I have a buttload of diaper boxes (pun intended!), and I knew I could put them to good use.

My father-in-law built us a pair of sturdy, beautiful bookcases. The Huggies boxes fit perfectly on the shelves, they are just very ugly.

So, I grabbed a couple yards of plain burlap and a pretty muted green burlap at Joanne's and covered them. I still need to get some trim for the edges, but you get the idea. I wanted to personalize them, and I loooove the numbers craze, so I added some special dates to our boxes.

I know you can see the Huggies logo in the background, but I swear, it is only because of the flash! With normal light, you have to get reaaallly close and squint to see them. Nonetheless, I would do 2 layers of burlap on the side that will face out on future boxes.

Here is how to do the letters. Find a font you like, and set the page layout to landscape. I used a 180 point font size for it to be big enough. Print it out, and make a stencil by cutting the letters out. I used cardstock for a sturdier stencil and put cardboard under my cardstock while I was razor cutting.

This is what the stencil looks like:

Just tape it to the box, and fill in with a Sharpie.
Take the stencil off and fill in any gaps, and voila!, you have some custom made burlap covered boxes. For less than a dollar each.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show it to you with no flash. I can't wait to add my trim, I am thinking braided jute, just got to get to the craft store first :)

For another cutie patootie covered diaper box project, go visit Beth at The Stories of A to Z.

I am linking up to Kimba's A Soft Place to Land for DIY Day. Have fun checking the projects out, I love looking at all the ideas! There are so many talented and creative people out there!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disney's Give A Day, Get A Disney Day

This is particularly fabulous for us because we are less than an hour away from Disney World, but a terrific idea in general.

I keep saying I want to volunteer, and it's sad that this will be extra incentive to just finally do it, but it actually will light a fire under my butt. I don't know what the limitations are on it yet, but I certainly hope there are tons of people who get to take advantage of it.

Sign up now :)


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

They are going to BAN me!

So last week was a bad week. For everyone I know. It started off with me forgetting my wallet at home, and not realizing until I was in the grocery checkout with my cranky kid. It ended with me bringing our car in for repairs and spending the day at a nearby mall changing the Doodle's outfit 3 times (don't ask) and walking around with a soaked shirt and bra and a kid who learned how to climb (don't ask). Uggh. Only to find out they couldn't fix the car and I have to bring it in again this week. There was a WHOLE lot of little things in between too. Yeesh, bad. So that week is over, and this one is new. And it is a fabulous week already!

If you have checked my blog out at all previously, you have probably picked up on the fact that I am a wee bit frugal. Not where it really matters, I am very particular about the brand toilet paper we buy, and I do have weaknesses, like my nice make-up. However, most of the time I am looking for a way to maintain our lifestyle on as little money as I can. Sometimes I do a bang up job, and sometimes I make a mistake and inadvertently fall off the wagon.

This has been a good week so far. I picked up 2 grocery carts of food from Publix for $150, including diapers and diaper cream. I saved $100 at the grocery store using coupons and shopping sales! My freezer is full, my pantry is full, I have fresh vegetables, and plenty of meals. I was a super happy lady walking out of that store. It's embarrassing to admit, but I actually called my husband at work to tell him. Yep, embarrassing.

So then today I got this from The Picture People,

I am gonna make you read a little longer before I tell you how much I paid for it. It is a 12 by 24 double matted picture frame with the prints included. The middle is an 8 by 10, flanked by two 5 by 7's. I am not crazy about the white frame, but they were out of black. They said I can exchange it for black when they get more in, which I probably will. That's why the packaging is still on.

If you're still reading this, I paid exactly $0 for it. Not a single penny. Nada. SERIOUSLY. I will post a photo of the receipt if you don't believe. Dare me, I am almost itching to do it! I looooooove this place because of the promotions they run and the fact that they take nice photos of squirmy kids. What I don't love is how expensive they are. All prints are $18 each. Ouch. And that darling frame with matte and photos will run you about $100 if you buy it there. Ouch, ouch, ouch! There is no way in the ever foreseeable future that we could afford that. I mean, that's almost 2 grocery carts of food! And I likee my food, so do the boys.

So how did you get that thing free? I told you about their Free Photo Package earlier this month, and they did it a few months ago too. I took advantage of it and then they did something called a Passport to Savings. Basically, you get a sticker for each session you have there. Once you get 2 stickers, you can cash them in for a free Trilogy frame. Crazy! So I worked the system and grabbed my Passport and a sticker for the free photos I just had taken. Only one more session to go until Free Frame with Photos! Then they sent me a coupon for Buy 1 Sheet, Get 2 Free. I figured it was worth it for the frame, and I was able to get some special birthday photos on his actual birthday. I bought my one, I got 2 free, and then ended up with that beautiful frame. Yippee :)

So for $18 total I received:
One 10 by 13
Two 8 by 10's
Six 5 by 7's
Six 4 by 6's
Eight wallets
A Trilogy Frame, matted with and 8 by 10 and Two 5 by 7's

Not too shabby. I just hope they don't BAN me!!! I loooooooove them :)

The World's Easiest No Sew Toddler Blankie, Seriously!

The World's Easiest No Sew Toddler Blankie (seriously!)

Here's my Doodle cuddling with his new blankie during his afternoon Sesame Street fix.

We were in Joanne's today to pick up some burlap (yep, I'm hopping on that bandwagon) for a project, and we passed the fleece aisle. The Doodlebug is obsessed with ducks, so much in fact, that he said "duck" and "quack" before "mama," it breaks your heart doesn't it? Anywho, we passed a fleece bolt with ducks on it, and he starts freaking out, shouting "duck, duck, duck! quack, quack, quack"! I figured at $4.99 a yard, it was worth it to buy some to see what I could do with it.

Then a miracle happened. Well, maybe not so much as a miracle, as my laziness serving a purpose. As she was cutting me half a yard (I am cheap, cheap, cheap, folks) I realized that's all that needed to be done to it. I handed it to my Doodle and lo and behold, for $2.50 he had a duck blankie! Yep, it is that easy to please a toddler. And apparently a tired mom that doesn't sew. Now I know, it's crooked. Had I realized this was all I was gonna do with it, I would have had her cut straighter, but honestly does it matter when it is being dragged along the floor in a cute toddler fist? Nope!

To make things even better, I got it home and realized that I could cut the "blankie" in two, and have a back-up. Brilliant! Yay! Now we have one for the house, and one for outings where it will inevitably be left behind or destroyed beyond all recognition. That means each "blankie" is only $1.25.

As you can see in the second photo, it is still a pretty decent size. Quite frankly, even if each one only lasted a week each, it would be worth the $2.50. This is only one half, the other half is being cuddled upstairs for naptime.

And I know the corner of our dining room vomitted up a ton of toys, but I am looking for a storage bench or toy box on the cheap. Once I do, I will corral that mess. Don't judge (too much). Oh, and while you aren't judging, most of those toys (85%) are from very generous grandparents, family, and friends. He is a much loved kid!

I am linking this up to Kimba's DIY Day, and it is probably the single laziest craft on that site today. And you know what, I am not gonna feel the least bit guilty about being proud of it. I have a happy kid, I paid $2.50, and I didn't even have to break a sweat :)

Go show Kimba some love, and get inspired by some of the amazing things these women (and some men), can do!