Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Finally Done

This project has been months, maybe even years in the making.  For a few years I have dedicated a wall, the only wall, in my kitchen to the children's art.  Before this project I had a wire strung between two antique door knobs that the kids hung their art on with decorated clothes pins.  This system worked well and the kids know if they put it on the board it is temporary and only stays up about a week or two then is taken down/thrown out to make room for new art.

Well I wanted something different there so I came up with this:

You can see my kids already got to the Welcome!  I just taped off a rectangle the size of the inside of the frame and painted it with about 8 coats of magnetic paint, and 2 coats of chalkboard paint.  Then I just hung the frame around it.

Here's what I learned:

1. Magnetic paint says you only need 2-3 coats, well it LIES!  I did 2-3 and you couldn't even hang a small magnet on it.  Even with 8 coats it's not strong like your fridge, but it will hold things well enough for my purpose.

2. Don't paint your actual wall!  Next time I will paint a board that size and nail it into my frame, way easier and removable.  Now if I want to get rid of it I will have to repaint my whole kitchen!

3. Be prepared to Swiffer Sweeper your floor every day, chalk is very dusty.

4. Chalkboard paint washes very well with water, unlike an actual chalkboard.

5. The kids will be completely entertained for 15.2 minutes after you are done with this project.  Just long enough for you to take pictures and blog about it!

Chalkboard paint is cheap, magnetic paint is not cheap, the frame was on clearance at Hob Lob for $8.  I got the paint for a gift so in my mind that is FREE, so the whole thing only cost me $8!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My 30 Second Fix

No, that's not the amount of time it takes me to down a Pepsi...maybe 60 seconds...HAHA.  No, seriously, It's the amount of time it took me to dress up these puppies.

I put my plastic grocery sacks in my old pickle jars.  I have 2 of them full.  I could have one of those hangy thingamabob's but I don't have a lot of wall space in my kitchen, actually none to be more specific.  So I opt to shove my bags in these jars.  They are not cute by any means and have looked like this for years days.  My motivation to make them cuter comes from the fact that my friend is coming from out of town and she hasn't been to my house in years, and her house is always WAY cute and put together and I was feeling a little competitive.  I know get over it already, but hey I'm a girl and that's just how we roll.  Sooo here is the before:  I know yuck-o-rama, right?

and the after

I just cut a piece of scrapbook paper big enough to cover the pickle label and scotch taped it on.  When they are up against the wall you can't even tell they are half-a$$'d

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Teddy Bears

I've been wanting to try my hand at making Teddy Bear's for a while now.  I have tried a few different stuffed animals and they have not come out well.  So when I came across this pattern on the Internet I was thrilled.  It promised that it would be a quick, easy project, and by-golly it WAS!

The pattern was free, you know I love free!  I used fleece for this project and it worked well.  There were a few parts where it got a bit bulky, so next time I think I'll try flannel.  I also learned that I should embroider the face before I attach the head.  Oh, and if you decide to use the pattern the part when it tells you to slit the stomach so you can sew the top, don't do that!  Just leave one of the side seams open and hand sew it back together it will look better.  I think that's all I would change.  One of the legs looks like it's growing out of his bottom, so next time I'll position them more carefully, and the tail did not get caught all the way in the seam, thank goodness this is just for me, I think I'll call him Oops!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Syndy's Sweat Shop

I decided a few weeks ago, as my girls were screaming at each other, and then things became violent and there was an incident with one of them getting pushed backward into the bath tub (man O is freakishly strong), and they were yelling about how much they hate each other, that they needed a distraction.  A distraction that would get them thinking about other's and not just themselves, they needed a service project.  I contacted my MIL in Chile and asked if there were any needs that the kids and I could help with.  She came back with a great one.  There is an orphanage in her area that needs backpacks, and school supplies.  They don't need to be huge ones since they don't have very many possessions to speak of, so they can be homemade.  PERFECT, I can do homemade.  I came up with a pattern and yesterday we started making them to send. 

Sadly K is on a super fun trip and can't help but she can when she gets home.  So I taught O and the neighbor girl M to sew and they each made a back pack.  I still need to buy the draw string but other than that they are complete!  They both did a wonderful job for 1st timers and I'm going to put them to work again shortly.

We are sending the supplies and packs to Utah, where my MIL will be for a few weeks and she will take them to Chile in her luggage!  Win Win!!  Cheap shipping for us and new packs for the children in Chile.  Bonus, my girls aren't fighting anymore...sad that one of them has to be 3 states away for this to happen, but still a bonus

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Earning the Mommy points

Today my 5 year old son comes in with his friend P and asks when I'm going to make him a cape.  Then he proceeds to tell me that I need to make P one too so they match.  So being the awesomest mom ever I start to dig through my stash and come out with two T shirts that I put with my fabric to "upcycle".  I pulled out my cape pattern, any respectable mother with boys should have one, cut the pieces and serged around the edges.  Now P and C have matching capes that are red on one side and green on the other so they can either be arch enemies, or each other's side kick. 

Here they are with their best Superhero moves:

Total project cost $0, 15 minutes of time invested and they are happy Superhero's.