Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Paint Can Inserts

As with everything else in my life since I went back to work, these little guys are laaaaate. I made them for two of my BFFs who had birthdays over the last month, Smashley and Girl Genius.

My negligence is so bad, you won't even believe this. I called Girl Genius up on her birthday to tell her that I needed her Girl Scout cookie money, and I didn't even say Happy Birthday. Doy.

I called her back a couple days later when I realized what a L-O-S-E-R I was, and I told her I was a bonehead and that she shouldn't even associate with me anymore. Then I took her to lunch and grovelled some more. She's so nice, she forgave me on the spot. I only wish I had one of these ready for her then. It took me three weeks, but finally I gave it to her. 

Smashley doesn't have hers yet, but she doesn't read my blog so I don't have to worry about her seeing this. Not that it matters as it's already three weeks late.

I know she won't see it though, because she's not super tech saavy. In fact, she was so excited to replace her five year old cell phone recently, that when she went into the Verizon store and bought a new one, the manager told her that now she's only three years behind on technology. She's doesn't care though. She's just excited that now she can text without having to use the number pad and scroll through the letters.

She's still kind of slow with her thumbs, so I've had to send a lot of pointless text messages to her to give her practice.


Why aren't you texting me back?

Are you mad?

What did I do?

I was dying, it was so funny. She was sitting right next to me, and still trying to respond to the first message, and I was sending her text after text. Not that I'm so fast or anything. Being a teacher I feel I should always text with complete sentences and proper punctuation. After all, I'm representing my people. The teacher people who live at school and don't have lives of their own.

This is all the more challenging when you are limited to 140 characters or whatever random number it is that we are limited to. It just ticks me off and I'll say Fine! PERIOD. Then I'll send another one to finish up what I was trying to say in 140 characters or less. Heaven forbid I should make a typo at the beginning, because then I'll backspace to eternity until I can fix it, then have to retype everything.

No matter, I still beat Gimp Thumb Smashley, and I got to watch her get all flustered. 

Then she sent me a not very nice message wherein she called me a B with an itch. And it was in all caps, so that meant that she YELLED it at me.

Smashley is so sweet, so that made it even funnier. She's like a bunny rabbit, she's so sweet.

Um, except that bunnies can be mean and they kick really hard. Not that Smashley would ever do that. She's too much of a Delicate Flower, and I could take her just by sitting on her. She probably weighs 105 pounds. Which I think I weighed in eighth grade.

Geezo, how do I get off on these tangents? I was talking about birthday paint cans.

I used Kate Hadfield's Bring on the Cake kit for these cans. I seriously love her doodles.

I made a little mistake on the templates, and one of them came out about an eighth of an inch too short at the top. That's why I put the ribbon around the tops of the cans with photo tape. It covers up the free edge of the template that didn't fit under the lip of the can.

This is an example of one of those mistakes which turns out well, because I really like the ribbon on the outside. 

I'm such a problem solver.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Good-Bye Forever, Part One

Good-bye to the wildflowers. This was Zoe Bug's room, and she loathed it for ages. I get no appreciation from that kid, I tell you. It took me months to stencil all the wildflowers and bugs onto these walls, and she has the nerve to tell me that a) her favorite color is brown and she does not even like purple, and b) she hates bugs and flowers.

The nerve. Ever since Zoe BUG was in Mrs. Moeller's preschool class, her favorite color has been brown. Brown! Zoe's first grade teacher pulled me aside early in the year to ask if Zoe was color blind because why would a kid prefer brown over every other color in the rainbow?

A kid who likes chocolate, that's who. It's in the genes, I think.

Well, I told Zoe that I would never be painting this room again, so she better get used to it. And I stuck to my guns for a long time . . . but then we decided it was time to pull up the nasty seventeen-year old carpet in her room.

And when you're pulling up carpet, you might as well repaint, right? You don't have to worry about taping off and you can fling the paint around willy nilly without worrying about the floor.

I couldn't pass up that opportunity. I could be Jackson Pollock for a day.

I started ever so gingerly by painting over my flowers. I had to take a moment of silence in preparation for saying good-bye.

And I got over it faster than I expected. Painting without consequences is very rewarding. I embraced it with reckless abandon.

What? I stepped in the paint tray again? Silly me. Look! Footprints. Oopsie.

Before I knew it, the top of the wall was done. This next part is my favorite.

The color is milk chocolate. No lie.

This is the new flooring. It's a wood laminate, and all of our bedrooms have the same type of flooring as well as the hallway and living room. With the dog and two cats, it's much easier to keep clean. Cleaning carpet is loathsome. Yes, I think I just made that word up.

Nope, I just looked it up and it's a real word. Goodie, I have lots of uses for it.

This was the closet before. Since the carpet had to come out, so did everything else. That means the shelves too. I loathe painting closets, so since I never plan to do this again, and now it's in writing, the closet went white.

Never. Again.

This is the closet put back together, but it's not organized yet. We started this project a month ago, and putting everything back is a loathsome process. 

See, it's a useful word.

As I was saying, the girls both have so much crap, and we are going through everything and purging as much as I can get my hands on, but things keep coming out of the Goodwill box and finding their way back into the room. Which then forces me to accidentally break things in order to make the eviction permanent.

I'm tenacious like that.

I considered decapitating this freakishly large unicorn stuffed animal and playing Godfather with it, but I'm afraid it might scar Zoe Bug for life.

This is the furniture we had in the room before. It's all white picket fencey looking, and it doesn't really go with the new vision for the room. Horsey.

Although, I am not going to stencil horses on the walls. I've had to repeat this statement to Zoe Bug at least 587 times.

I have this Old West Cricut cartridge that I'm going to use to embellish the room a bit. Eventually.

And I am not going to go overboard with this theme like I did with the wildflowers and bugs. 

I'm saying that to myself as an affirmation. I might need reminding.

I tend to take a theme and beat it to death.

Geez, where was I? Oh yeah, furniture. We swapped out this furniture with some of Stinkerbell's furniture because it doesn't scream DAINTY FLOWER! like this furniture does.

And the bedding. Sniff. It's covered in bugs and flowers which are now loathsome.

I'm going to kill that word from here on out.

Here's the new bedding. I got it from Pottery Barn Kids and it's boy bedding. I picked it because it's relatively neutral with no theme, and it has blues and browns. Perfect for the look I'm going for. The dog under the bed was not on the design board and is not part of the vision for the room. The trundle bed is now in that spot. You might see it when I do part two of this post. Possibly in August.

I need to redo the magnetic board, but that's not high on my priority list. For now, it's tucked away next to the dresser.

The window treatments are gone. The vertical blinds were a pain in the neck. The individual slats were always breaking off.

For now, this is all we have up. I'm toying with the idea of a blue bandanna treatment. Since I have to make it, it could take awhile. This works for now.

The toy box needs to be repainted and debugged. Perhaps we'll pull the wings off. I mean replace the dragonfly with a neutral back. Again, I'm not in a hurry.

I also put an old wood dresser in here, but I forgot to take a picture of it, and I'm too lazy to run upstairs and rectify the situation, so I'll get back to you on that in part two.

Meanwhile, this is what Stinkerbell's room looks like. For three weeks all Zoe's stuff was either stuffed in here, or stored out in the living room. It was awful. I cannot stand living around so much chaos, and it made me cranky. I was obsessively washing dishes just so I could have one room in my house that was put together.

No matter that it's always an illusion anyway. In my mind it's very different. But then I'm crazy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Was Going to . . .

Here I sit, at 10:00 p.m. on Valentine's Eve, having just finished with our Valentines for tomorrow. I had grand plans for projects that I wanted to complete for Valentine's Day this year. Just like last year. 

I have some Valentine blocks that are so cute, I could just faint from the cuteness, but they are only 98% finished. My dirty little secret is that they've been 98% finished for two years now. Oopsie.

I started a "Be Mine" Valentine banner, and it's 50% finished. Actually, I started two of them because I was going to give one of them to one of my lucky readers. Now it will have to wait until next year. Stick around.

I was going to make Valentine paint cans . . .  didn't even get that one started.

I was going to finish the Valentine chair bags that I started last year.

And do you know what the surprising thing is? I'm still hopeful that all of these things will get done in time for next year. They will.

I will conquer procrastination! Just wait.

Hee hee. I stole that from a magnet my SIL gave to me. She knows me so well.

These Valentines are proof that I do get things done. Eventually.

Even if I don't always get them done when I initially plan to get them done. I saw these cute little matchbook Valentine's at least two years ago, and that's when I bought the templates for them. I finally got around to making them for my girlies this year, and I love how they turned out.

I couldn't resist using this picture for Annika's Valentines. She's such a goofball, and this picture sums her up pretty well. It was taken at the San Diego Zoo.

Here is Zoe at the same place, but I couldn't bring myself to put this picture on her Valentines. It's not the most attractive picture and all.

After I put the girls' pictures on the templates and added their names, I just printed them three to a piece of cardstock, cut and folded them, and finally stapled a treat inside. Easy peasy.

Next, the girls wrote their classmates' names on the matchbooks. I'm glad I won't be there when their classmates rip them open to get at the chocolate and cast aside the panda cuteness. 

I don't think I could watch.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My First Time

I was syndicated on

No, it's not what you think. Not at all. It's my first time having a post syndicated on BlogHer. Whoo Hoo! Whoo Ha! Hoot Hoot!



I feel like I'm whooping alone here.

Oh yeah. I am. I forget that I'm talking to The People in the Internet and I just talk, talk, talk. You probably wish I would stop, but I won't, won't, won't.

I've told you before that this is my therapy couch. 

Except that today I am jumping on the couch because BlogHer wanted to syndicate my Decadent Valentine Oreos post on their site. How cool is that? So cool, let me tell you.

I would love for you to pop on over there and check it out. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank YOU, my faithful peeps, for coming back here again and again to read my yackity yack. Thank you!


Water Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon

Smashley introduced me to the yummiest appetizer recently, and I'm so excited to share them with you.  They are to die for.  Aren't they pretty? They're water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. I know it may not sound that exciting, but trust me, it is. It's the perfect blend of crunchy, chewy, and tangy. And it has bacon! Everything is better with bacon. Everything.

Smash brought all the ingredients over to my house for our last crop night, and then she let me snap pictures of the whole process.

This is all you need to make these yummy things: bacon, whole water chestnuts, ketchup, and brown sugar. Oh yeah, and some toothpicks.

Smashley is very finicky about her bacon and insists that we cook it a little before we wrap the water chestnuts.

She's an OCD freak like me, so I was making fun of her opening and closing the microwave with her flippers. She wouldn't touch the handles because her hands were slick with raw bacon slime.

Maybe I'm too easily entertained, but I dang near gave myself an asthma attack laughing hysterically at her. I want to take her to Sea World so she can visit her friends.

I guess you had to be there.

Here are the water chestnuts wrapped in the bacon and impaled with their toothpicks. I tried to help with this step, but Smashley kept snapping at me for putting the double bacon wrapped parts down on the pan instead of on top. Some yada yada about the bacon not cooking well enough on the double layers. 

Sheesh. She's so picky about her bacon.

I missed the rest of the steps because I was showing Melanie-Who-I-Almost-Killed-With-Pie how to make a banner. This is the finished product though. Smashley was nice enough to share the recipe, so of course, I made a recipe card. You have to make these. I promise, you will love them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine Bookmarks Take Three

I made a couple more Valentine bookmarks to add to the bazeeeeeelion I made last year. You can never have too many Valentine bookmarks, right?

I made these because the boys in my class last year requested some that were a little more manly. Apparently pandas and hearts don't cut it for them. Picky, picky.

It took me awhile to get around to it, but I came up with these camo ditties. They're a little plain, but they're manly, so I don't want to hear any more complaining about cutesy bookmarks. The cutesy will not stop, but I can be reined in from time to time.

For short little bursts.

Anyway, these new bookmarks were inspired by the boys, but you know I'm all about equal rights for women, so I had to do a girl camo version too.

The digi bookmarks are posted below for you. Make sure to click on them first to get the best resolution, then save them to your desktop. Upload them to your favorite photo center and order as 4x6 prints. Cut them in half lengthwise, then fold each bookmark in half and attach small magnet pieces to the inside. See this post if you want the step-by-step.

If you want last year's mostly girlie bookmarks, go here. If you want the subsequent boy bookmarks, go here. Happy Valentine's Day, Peeps!