Draw a Dinosaur Day 2014

For the second year, we're participating in Draw a Dinosaur Day. I'm loving Dylan's creation. He's blue, spiky and has a heart.

Last year he made a green, spiky dinosaur that I used to created a pillow. So fun to see how his drawing skills and imagination have changed.

This time, I joined in the fun too. Dylan helped me out by adding the tongue and green leaf in his mouth.

Want to join in the fun? Draw your own dinosaur and, please, share a link. We'd love to see.

Looking for more dinosaur themed fun? Check out our Paper Plate Dinosaur tutorial; succulent Dino Garden; and Dinosaur Snow Globes.


Painted Comets

It's been a while since I shared a kid craft. Here's a new one we tried this past weekend at Astronomy Days at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences - Painted Comets.

  • white paper
  • paint in 3 colors
  • small plastic scraper or squeegee 
  • cookie tray (or cardboard to push paint onto)
Select paint colors. We used three. Squirt a small dot with the first color. Then create a ring around it in the 2nd and 3rd colors.

Take a scraper and pull the paint across the page onto the tray to create the comet.

Set the painting aside to dry. Enjoy.

I would share a photo of our completed painted comet, but it had a little mishap on the way home. Guess we'll have to give this one another try.

I highly recommend checking out Astronomy Days. It's a fun annual event featuring crafts, hands on activities, presentations, etc. The 2015 dates all already posted on the website - January 24th & 25th.


Lowe's Build & Grow: Croods layout

The project that started the boys regular visits to the Lowe's Build & Grow clinics - The Croods Piranhakeet Chomper.

The top right journaling inside the speech bubble features a short discussion Dylan & I had when looking at the photos. Always fun to add a bit of his own words to the pages.

Supplies: Grunge Frames and Noted brushes by Jen Allyson; ABC kit by Sara Schmutz; En Route kit by Erica Coombs; In the Garden by Gennifer Bursett.


DIY Roman Shades from Mini Blinds

I mentioned in my currently post last week that new yellow towels had me thinking about paint and fabric possibilities for our master bathroom.

I've been leaning toward gray walls with a white/gray/yellow print fabric for the curtains. There are two windows. One over the tub in the main bathroom area and a smaller one in the toilet room. When we moved in, both had mini blinds. Ok. Sufficient. But blah. I kept thinking back to an idea I pinned a while ago about making roman shades using mini blinds. I ended up following a tutorial by Craft, Interrupted that I found more recently.

I originally searched online for fabric and found a print I liked. Then I calculated up how much I would need for the two windows - 3 yards. About $35. Reasonable, but I thought there had to be a way to do it for a little less. Then I remembered another Pinterest idea I had used in our home before - repurposing tablecloths from Target for curtains. Perfect. At about $16, I would have plenty of fabric from one tablecloth to make the two roman shades.

I found a tablecloth online that I liked and headed to Target to buy it. Then I actually saw it and stopped dead in my tracks. The colors just weren't working for me. What I thought was white/gray/yellow was white/gray/yellow and beige. It was a larger print and just … well, just felt wrong.

I reassessed. I looked at every tablecloth. No.  

I wandered down the aisle of curtains. No. 

I considered looking at the sheet sets. I did make curtains years ago from flat twin sheets that we used in both an apartment and our last house. But, again - no.

I found myself in the shower curtain aisle and suddenly I found options. 3 different designs (including one that was remarkably similar to that original tablecloth but in the right colors). I ended up choosing a pretty, silky feeling, white/gray/yellow paisley print. On sale for $18 it more than fit the budget.  And when I came home and compared it to our new "Mum" towels from JC Penney? The yellows were almost a perfect match. Yes.

At 72"x72" one shower curtain was had more than enough fabric for the two shades. I cut both out on Saturday night and yesterday completed the shade for over the toilet. The smaller of the two, I thought it would be best to start with. Honestly, the project went pretty quickly. The most time consuming part was being patient while waiting for the fabric glue to dry.

I plan to make the second shade next weekend. It should go together even quicker now that I know the basic steps and won't need to stop and reread through them multiple times.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how the shade turned out. From the ugly mini blinds to this beautiful custom shade - our master bath is looking all grown up (just wait until we get paint on the walls! Crazy ;) ). Also, this is the second time I've made a roman shade. The first was one I made for our kitchen in our last house using a pattern I saw online so long ago I've lost it. This particular idea was easier, faster and looks better.

Cost: $18.29 for shower curtain


Chapter Books

We took a new step in our house last night at bedtime. Instead of our usual picture books, Dylan & I curled up with my childhood copy of Stuart Little and I read the first two chapters to him.

I'm excited. This has opened a whole new realm of bedtime story possibilities. I have a few other childhood favorites on my bookshelf, but when I added the book to Goodreads, it made several suggestions that jarred my memory - The Mouse and the Motorcycle, The Cricket in Times Square, The Boxcar Children, James and the Giant Peach, etc.

What were some of your favorite childhood books?



Currently, I am ...

thinking about kindergarten and how fast my "baby" is growing up. This morning, I'll take my first steps into the building that will be his school for the next 6 years and turn in our registration paperwork. A total mix of emotions here, honestly.
enjoying spending time outdoors geocaching with Trent & Dylan and, as of this past weekend, friends (yo, BA!). Dylan calls it "treasure hunting" and is loving helping us choose the next location to search and, when large enough, what treasure to leave behind. (Kudos to Allison for sharing this fun activity idea with me - read her post on it here - and inspiring yet another "currently" post.)

planning our next house projects. Thanks to Christmas gifts from my parents, my mind keeps returning to ideas for the kitchen (doesn't the new pots & pans organizer need freshly painted cabinets and new counter tops?) and the master bath. New yellow towels in the latter have suddenly spurred paint and fabric color ideas.

reading Love the One You're With by Emily Griffin. I've enjoyed several other books by her, but struggling to get into this one after having just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. That book sucked me in and I didn't want to put it down during the last 100 pages. Already planning to see the movie later this year.

grateful for my family and our safety yesterday. The weird weather of the past week from a low of 9 and highs in the upper 60s led to an adventurous storm system that caused 86mph wind gusts and tornado warnings in the area. We were away from home, but stayed safe in a Starbucks with Dylan & I retreating to the bathroom with 3 other women during the worst of it. Arriving home, we found minor damage in our neighborhood, our own recycling bin knocked over in the drive and part of trim from a neighbor's house in our side yard, but our house unharmed. Truly a blessing.

What are you up to currently?


Framed Pin Collection

I returned from England in November with 2 souvenirs for myself. One was a pin from the Hard Rock Cafe in London. Confession, I have a collection of these pins that goes back at least 17 years(?). I even have a couple that were gifted to me from my father and sister from various trips. Unfortunately, they have just piled up in a drawer all this time, until I saw a simple idea for framing pins on the 3 R's blog here.

I was hoping to get to Ikea (next month maybe?) to pick up some Ribba frames to duplicate the idea. In the meantime, I stumbled across a 3 pack of similar shadow box frames at Michaels for under $10 using my coupon. I cut foam board I had on hand from the Dollar Tree to fit the back of each frame. I played around with placement a bit before deciding on one I liked and actually sticking them in place.

The newer ones have small, short, straight pins that made it easy to push directly into the foam board after removing the plastic backs. The older ones have the long pins that run from one end to another and end in a small clasp. Those I inserted carefully at a slight angle and then pressed the clasp into the foam to help hold in place. I used a small adhesive foam square on the clasp of a couple to further secure them.

So far, I've only filled the one. Debating what I might do with the other two (other buttons/pins? Future Hard Rock pins? Something completely different?).

And, if you're wondering what my second souvenir was, I also purchased a tumbler from Starbucks with "England" on it. A practical souvenir. Something I was already planning to buy as I have one I love and wanted another but here was the added bonus that it reminds me of our 10th anniversary trip every time I use it.

What sort of souvenirs do you bring back from a vacation?


December Daily 2013: In Progress

Three years ago I completed my first December Daily album. The next two Christmases included a lot of tears and, honestly, I struggled to find the heart to complete them. I have several pages done in each and might someday, but not now. I did manage to make a book last year about our elf's adventures. Dylan loved that. Still does.

This year, I was determined that December would be better and we'd have a completed album. Well, it had it's bumps too (really, when doesn't life have a few downs mixed in?) but I'm focusing hard on all the highlights and making strides in finishing this album. I'm about halfway done with a third of the pages completed and the rest in progress.

I'm making the album entirely digital again with plans to print it as a Shutterfly photo book. Here's a peek at a few of the completed pages.

Did you make (or are still working on) a December Daily album this year? I'd love to see. Feel free to share a link in the comments.


NYE 2013 and the DIY Union Jack shirt

The past few New Years, our friends have thrown a smashing good UK themed party with a countdown and balloon drop at midnight GMT (i.e., 7pm our time so easy for the kids to "stay up" and celebrate).

Last year wanting to dress Dylan in theme, I found a Beatles t-shirt and purchased a 5T. So far we've gotten 2 years out of it and it still is a little big so I'm thinking it might make at least one more appearance.

I decided last minute (as in Monday afternoon) that I wanted something fun to wear too. Somehow while in England in November, even while looking for a Union Jack flag for Stacey to hang at the party, neither Trent or I thought to get ourselves a shirt! So, after picking Dylan up from preschool, we swung by Michaels where I bought a plain light gray t-shirt and small bottles of red & blue fabric paint.

I resized a template from Beehive Bits and Pieces blog to fit my shirt (find it here). Printed and traced it onto freezer paper. Ironed the paper and painted it in.

The result was a fun, festive shirt I'll be able to wear for year after year.

Happy New Year!

Cost: about $7 using 50% coupon for t-shirt