Thursday, January 16, 2014

Watercolor Letter Practice With My Preschooler

My son and I like to use watercolors together sometimes.  Its a good opportunity for us both to do something fun together.  I love watercolors mainly because clean up is easy, and the commitment is small and there is little chance I can ruin my brushes.  I like the way it looks, too- but I'm really practical these days.  I suppose you could do this same project with finger paints or something, but I'm not down with cups of open paint EVER - if my son doesn't knock it over, I will.  Watercolors are way more simple, all the way around.
Last winter we sat down at the table for painting togetherness and I decided it was a good opportunity to help him practice his letters:

I wrote the letters with pencil:
Got out some water and brushes:
I started by brushing the letters with water to make it a little easier for him (one row at a time to keep it from drying too quickly):
And he went to town:

He was very proud.  And I got to do this:


 Fun times!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Enlarged Prints for Less than $4

Hi everyone!  How are you?  I'm freezing.  Brrrr.  I'm hearing of pipes bursting everywhere- our pipes to our washer almost froze, but we caught it in time.  Thankfully, I decided to do laundry yesterday, or we might have had to replace them.   I don't think it would have been a huge deal, but a pain, non the less.  How are you fairing?  Record cold getting you down?  A little cabin fever?  Yes to cabin fever here.  So glad preschool started again today.  That's all I'm going to say about that:)

Thought I would pop my head in here to post about something I intended to post about a year ago.  I have pics I took on a day much like today- snowy and cold, in my furry boots.  I saw it the other day and said - that's disgraceful:) Get on it, woman!  And I listened to myself, which isn't always the case.
I have been spending lots of time on Pinterest these days.  Have you heard of it?  Its a site that basically bookmarks everything you find on the internet that catches your fancy.  Could be a recipe, a decor idea, nifty tricks, or just something pretty.  You can see everyone else's pins too and, if you like them, you can pin them to your own boards.   Its safe to say I'm addicted.  I don't know what I ever did without it!  I think the only improvement I can imagine would be if the pins could be rated for practicality and functionality.  The thing is, I actually try the things I pin.  Some of them work, some of them don't.  This post is about one that worked.  It worked so well, in fact, that I'm going to do it again.

This print is 24x36 and it cost me about $3.59 before tax.  I ordered it from as an Engineering Print

 Staples will discourage you from printing photographs this way because that's not how its intended to be used. They almost convinced me not to do it and I almost felt like I was going to get scolded when I went to pick it up.  But they didn't.  I just strolled right in, gave them my name and my $4 and walked right back out.  No questions asked.  

The result is grainy and looks almost like a photocopy.  You can't print in color.  For me this was perfect, but if you're looking for a beautiful, pristine print, this isn't something you want to do.  I'm excited to print some family photos, maybe another print of one of our family hikes.  This specific picture was taken on Sam's first hike in the Hocking Hills.  Makes me smile every time I look at it....

What about you guys?  Have you started boards on Pinterest?  Have you had any successes with your pins?  Fails?  I'd love to hear about it!

xoxo.  Until next time.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Pinterest Experiment: Slipcover

A few months ago, just after we moved, my parents gave me an old sofa of theirs. It was hiding in my father's office, primarily used by their little dog, Lexi to lounge on while my father works away at the computer.   In my childhood home, it was in our dining room and I played on it, while I waited for dinner.  I practiced kissing pillows on this couch!  Don't lie, you did it too:)  Well, time passed and it became a little discolored and faded, the cats used it as a scratching post, a few dogs have used it as their bed..... it's seen better days.  But look at those lines.  And its super comfortable, too.   I snapped it up when my parents offered because I've been plotting to slipcover something after I saw the following tutorial on Miss Mustard Seed and this seemed like a great project to try it out on:   

I like this tutorial because 1. its inexpensive (and if I FAIL, it's not a big deal); and 2. there is no need to worry about cutting straight lines, measuring, or hemming.  The secret is in the cloth she uses:
I bought mine at Home Depot for $32 ish (I think).  I chose 8oz canvas because its what they offer there, but I've since seen drop cloth elsewhere that is more like 12oz- I might try that next just to see if it works/looks better.  I had enough to cover the entire couch but not enough for the cushion.  Something I learned the hard way: these drop cloths are offered in many different sizes.  I chose a size cloth that seemed more appropriate for the size of the cushion, however, when I brought it home, I realized that there was a very subtle color difference between the canvas on the couch portion and this new canvas.  I ended up buying another 12x15 to make sure the colors matched- now I have enough left over to work on another, smaller project.  Not the end of the world, but would have been good to know BEFORE I wasted $12 on the smaller canvas.
An added bonus of using the canvas is that the ends are already hemmed for you!  So, as long as your careful, you can do the whole project without having to hem a thing.  One more wonderful thing is that it rips straight- no scissors necessary.  Have I sold this idea yet?  Really- if you have any interest at all, you should watch the tutorial.  Its long but not so long that you turn grey watching it- maybe an hour or two.  Its been so long since I've seen it that I'm not entirely sure.
Here is my first attempt:
Its almost done- just a little sewing left- which I would have finished, if I hadn't gotten into a fight with my machine when I was ALMOST FINISHED!  Breathe.  It wasn't as easy as Miss Mustard Seed makes it look, but its not terribly difficult either.  I would highly recommend it!  It cost around $70 total (not including my little mistake). Compared to $500 to have someone reupholster it- I'd say its quite a savings.
I just can.not.wait. to get some pillows on here.  I'm thinking something along these lines from Fabric Junkie:
but I may choose something more colorful like these from Studio Pillow:

It will be awhile- or I may end up trying to make some out of fabric I have in the house (most likely:)
I haven't nailed down the colors yet.  I'm really looking forward to getting some paint up on those walls and getting colors in this house other than BROWN.  Here's a cute photo I took of Sam today while playing with his super hero toys:
I knew I would love those deep window sills. 

BTW:  Just for the record, its confirmed- we are having a girl! Sam felt the baby kick today and his reaction was completely anti-climactic:)  Not sure how much he understands at this point, but its only a matter of time.. da da daaaaaaaaa.

Have a wonderful day!  I have plans for another few posts so stay tuned....


Monday, March 11, 2013

Dear Blog

Dear blog:
Its been awhile.  I've been neglectful but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have wanted to hear from me anyway.  A bit of a grouch I was, have been, will be again, I'm sure.  You see, there is a little itty bit in my belly that's causing a bit of stir and I've been so moody lately that I'm SURE it must be a girl itty bit- not very scientific?  You're right, but when I'm right you'll say- hmmmm.  There must be something to that theory of hers. Anyway, I'm feeling good again lately- like almost myself.  Case in point: I'm awake.  Sam is sleeping and yet I've found the energy (and desire) to pull out my paints and practice:
   You know how I usually try and get a pic with my feet showing?  Well, thats impossible these days:
Large and in charge.  Anyway, as I was saying.  ENERGY!  I love it so much.  It makes me happy all over.  Yesterday I moved some stuff around (ahhh. so good to be back!) posted a few things on craigslist and just dreamed and dreamed about all the projects I want to do.  I haven't done that in about four months.  Instead I've been moaning all the work I must do in order to get this new house where I want it.  Give it a rest, will ya? That's what today's self says to yesterday's self.  Anyway,  I cleaned a bit, too.  Worked on a couch I'm slip covering (more on that later).  I was a little pooped and again, grumpy, but at least I got stuff done. 

But, anywho, it hasn't been all whining over here.  The other day we enjoyed a family snow day:
It was beyond beautiful.  I don't mind winter when it snows because we get to do things like this:
I decided not to embarrass Jason on the WWW this time and omitted the pics of him going down the hill on his back with his legs and arms up in the air- a posture that became necessary in order to actually make it down the hill on the (super cheap) sled he purchased just hours before sledding.  It was fun and funny and beautiful (not Jason's "upside down turtle" as Sam called it, the snow).  I did make one obligatory trip on said super cheap sled but thought I'd just stick to taking pics and videos after I got a face full of snow.  Much more entertaining for me. Sam really loved it.  He crashed and I was sure we'd have to pack it in and go home but he was a trooper- even became proud of his crashes.  
I saw a few crocuses in the yard yesterday.  Amazing how spring brings snow one day- one of the best snows of the year- then 60 degrees and blooming flowers the next.  As for me, I'm happy to see it and in fact I'm almost desperate for it.  SPRING, you can't come soon enough for me:)

I have several posts I want to write in the near future (mood willing)- I want to write down what Sam is saying these days because I'm going to forget it if I don't!  I want to tell you about that couch project I'm working on (at a snails pace) and I tried something I saw on Pinterest that I want to tell you about.   OH, and our ultrasound is this wednesday and hopefully I'll be able to tell you if I am, in fact, correct about this little moody monster being a girl. 

I'll be in touch.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Bake a Turkey- According to Sam's Preschool Class

Jason and I had a good laugh over this letter from Sam's preschool teachers.  Kids crack me up.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, if I don't write again before.  Pig out if you can! 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Catch up and the New House!

Hi! Wow, a lot has happened since my last post! 

I'm not sure exactly where I left off, but lately we've been making ourselves into mummies at Grammie's house with the cousins.

We hosted a 30 year old turtle named Mike for a week.

Cat contemplation.  Yummy?
Played in the leaves at the park with friends wearing one of our four super hero shirts. We LOVE super hero shirts. (sigh. eye roll. choosing my battles:)     

We went on vacation with the cousins for a week in august, attended pirate parties and Halloween parties and generally goofed off.  Started school!

He pretty much loves it. We took a hay ride like no other at Windmill Farm near Waynesville.  I was pretty seriously scared I would end up in a mud pie river.  Lets just say that.  I started doing odd jobs for a marketing consultant!  Sam broke my camera and I'm down to the camera on my phone.  This is me making a sad face.   I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot.  Oh, like this big news:

27 Cameron Rd, Dayton, OH 45459
BAM.  Under contract.  Can you believe it?  I'm feeling a little sentimental about my little "cottage" that could.
This is the picture the realtor took for the flyer.  We've had a few showings and an open house.  Seven groups walked through it on Sunday.  We are excited about that.  I happened to look at this picture today of the kitchen before we did the work:
Gag me.  I really really had almost wiped that faux brick out of my head. And that mountain of food! The Ohio State gray wall and the yellowed trash can of old!  I felt like I was slapped in the face (in a good way?) with all the work we've done. Here is that corner now. 
Before I put the picture up and wrote on the door.

At times I felt like we weren't making any progress at all.  There were times I felt I was making everything worse.  Sometimes it just takes a little distance to have a clear perspective. SO. MUCH. BETTER!  And we learned SO much here on many levels.  Can't wait to start all over again and take you guys with me!  Are you up for it? 

Thanks for hangin' in there with me:) 

What's new with you?



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