Thursday, September 29, 2011

31 Days to Finding Harmony

The Nester is hosting a 31 Days event in October, and I've decided to sign up! Yikes! 31 days of blogging about one subject?

For the month of October, I will post something everyday about finding harmony in your home, family, and life in general.  I'll explain a little more when the event kicks off on Saturday.  See you then!

Feel free to grab a button so others can swing by!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photo Names

A couple of years ago, I made the Christmas gifts for my parents and in-laws. I posted about them here, but forgot to put the tutorial on my tutorial page (Thanks fo the heads up, MK!). Oops! Instead of making you go back and find the original post, I'm going to do a new one right here - and put it on my tute page!

I loved the ones I made for the grandparents so much, that I had to make one for us, too!  I found the letters at Hobby Lobby, and got them on sale for about $1 each.  They were in the unfinished wood department, and I spray painted them white.  The frames were found at Gordman's (a discount retail store like Marshall's or TJ Maxx) for about $15, and the pictures were developed at Wal-Mart.  Every year, we take new pictures to replace the old (I forgot to switch out our pictures, though!), so the grandparents get updated pictures every year.  For my parents and in-laws, we include all of their respective grandkids - not just my boys!

Linking up to some of these parties.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crayon Art & Crepe Paper Flowers - a tutorial

If you're on Pinterest, there's a really good chance you've seen these melted crayon works of art.

The boys and I made our pictures before I bought the frames.  I would suggest buying the frames first, so you know just how far the crayons need to be from the edges to fit in the frames.  I had to do some serious sanding on my frame, and the boys could have added another crayon to their pictures.

We were so excited to try this, that I forgot to take pictures (again!), but it's really easy.
What you'll need:
Crayons (enough to cover 1 edge of your canvas)
Elmer's Glue
Blow Dryer and/or Space Heater
Wax Paper or newspaper
Small jar (I used one of these)

1.  Put your canvas in your frame.  Use painter's tape to mark the edges of the frame on your canvas. 

2.  Take the canvas out of the frame & using more painter's tape, meet the edges of Step 1's tape.

3.  Remove the tape from Step 1.  You now know where you can put your crayons.

4.  Pick out your crayons.  We used 21 crayons for ours.  It was the perfect number for my frame, but we probably could have squeezed in a 22nd crayon for the boys.

5. On your work surface, line up your crayons the way you want them on your canvas.  Then, start applying the glue to your canvas, and add your crayons.

6.  Introduce your kids to some of your favorite big band songs, and dance around with them while waiting for the glue to dry.  It doesn't take long, about 10-15 minutes.

7.  Lay down some newspaper (we used a hand towel with some waxed paper on top), and prop the crayon side of your canvas up on your short jar.  With your space heater and/or blow dryer (make sure you have it on your lowest setting so it doesn't splatter the wax), start melting your crayons.

8.  Once the crayons start melting, you'll want to stand the canvas up more.  We did ours on the floor, so we just propped them up against the wall.

From left to right: Mine (when I did mine, I just had my canvas propped up on the jar, which gave me fatter drips), Awesome's (he picked his colors by how he wanted to see them mix, then wanted it hung horizontally to look like a machine gun!), and Bug's.

Now for the Crepe Paper Flowers

What you need:
Crepe Paper/Streamers

Oops!  No Picture!
Stick your flower onto the glued area, then cut away the excess.

8 pkgs. 24 crayons - $2 (.40 each @ Walmart - back to school sale)
1 pkg. 8x10 canvas - $3.50 (each pkg. contains 3 canvases @ Walmart)
Elmer's Glue - FREE (I had some on hand, but it's super cheap, anyway)
Yellow Crepe paper/streamers - $1 (pkg. of 2 rolls @ Dollar Tree)
Frames - $17.50 (All found @ Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off. The boys' were unfinished wood that I painted, and were $5 each on sale. My barnwood frame was $7.50 on sale)
Total Cost for 3 pieces of art - $24 or $8 each!

If you make one of these, I'd love to see your creation!  Just email me or join my Flickr group!

Linking up to some of these parties, this one, and this under $20 party!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

I Remember.

I will never forget the lives lost, or the sacrifices made.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Maybe too much fun?

Holy busy weekend, batman! I'm still trying to recover, but we had fun! Friday, I did the weekly grocery shopping. I hate grocery shopping. The only time I've actually enjoyed it was a couple of weeks ago when I was so hopped up on pain killers that I don't even really remember the trip! (Don't worry, the husband drove!) After I got home, I just vegged for a while and thought about finishing the kitchen curtains before heading over to sis-in-law's house to see B-Nubs (sis-in-law from Denver).

Saturday morning, the boys and I got up early to go to the Home Depot Kids Workshop where I also bought 3 Autumn Joy bushes, picked up some new jeans & Husker apparel at Gordman's, then stopped at Hobby Lobby where I found some super cut $15/yd fabric on sale for $2/yd!  We spent the afternoon and evening with my in-laws where we celebrated the August & September birthdays, met nephew H's new girlfriend, watched the kids fight over ride trikes & bikes,

and listened to nephews C&H jam (sometimes joined by their bandmate, Snazzy Swiss Sweater guy).  Even Awesome and 5-year-old nephew Mad Jimmy got in on the drumming a little!

Sunday, we slept in till 8:00 before heading into town where the boys, after a little bribing, allowed me to take their fall pictures...

...before we headed to the Nebraska State Fair with my parents.

There was so much to do and see!  One of my favorite stops is the Quilt Display.  Grandmother's Garden quilts are one of my favorite patterns, and I am in awe of anybody who makes one.  Once you understand how they are traditionally made (completely by hand), you'll understand why.  Read this or this.

Another stop we made, was the Sheep Barn.  In the front, they had an enclosed room that was the Birthing Pavilion.  There were 3 litters of piglets.  One litter was 8 days old, and two litters were only 1 day old - all born at the fair!  There were also 3 baby sheep, and two pregnant cows.  One of the cows looked like she was ready to give birth any minute, but we didn't stick around for that!  When we came out, we saw these amazingly graceful ladies...

After Saturday night's jam session, the boys were mesmerized by the Street Beat Parkour Percussion performance in the Kidz Zone.  These guys were AWESOME!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any video of the super awesome stuff, and I apologize for the bumpiness - Awesome was bouncing on my knee while I was trying to get this video!

After the fair, I had to run by the mother-in-law's house to pick up her Melaleuca order (if you have any questions, just ask me!), and we finally got to meet nephew C's girlfriend.  The blond guy in the above video could be C's twin.  Looks and acts just like him!

We all slept in on Monday, and even took naps in the afternoon.  We mostly vegged out in front of the TV and computers, but I did get my Autumn Joy bushes planted!

How did you spend your extended weekend?

Saturday, September 3, 2011


If you are born and raised in Nebraska, there's a good chance that you'll develop a condition that causes you to get chills every Saturday during the fall. It's called Husker Fever.

I'm not a die hard football fan, but I do get chills whenever I hear "Sirius" by Alan Parsons Project. It's the song that accompanies the Husker Tunnel Walk.

As a state employee, my grandpa got a discount on season tickets, and he very graciously shared his tickets with his family. Every year growing up, my dad would take each one of us kids to 1 game. I don't know what it was like for my brothers, but for me, it was almost magical. Dad would toss me onto his shoulders, and we'd head down, underneath the stands to cheer on the players as they were making their way from the locker rooms to the field. Then, we'd head up to our seats, and watch and cheer our hearts out. When Nebraska got a touchdown, I'd let go of my red balloons, and there would be a sea of red in the sky above Memorial Stadium to match the sea of red in the seats.

I think many Nebraska fans were almost devastated when our beloved Coach Tom Osborne retired. I believe that he is at least partly responsible for the wonderful reputation that (most) Nebraska fans have. Fans and players alike looked up to him, and he has made us all want to be the perfect definition of hospitality and good sportsmanship. After a couple of wrong turns, we're thrilled to have Bo Pelini as our new coach, and look forward to the challenges that the Big 10 will provide.

Not the victory but the action;
Not the goal but the game;
In the deed the glory.


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