Friday, November 18, 2011

T.P. rolls + Christmas = ?

Have you seen all the awesome things being done with toilet paper rolls around blogland?
Check out these awesome party favors from Crissy's Crafts.

And the teacher gifts she made too!

Awesome, right? It made me hesitate before throwing out those used TP rolls, so I've accumulated about 30 just waiting to be inspired. Yes, my husband thinks I'm insane for saving them. 

Today, inspiration hit! I'm going to use them to make an amazing, hand made, up-cycled, advent calendar! That has got to be the most unique idea ever, right?!


Not so much. 

These next three were all made by Maya* Made
advent 1


and this beautiful set below was made by Brown Paper Packages


Ok, so my brilliant idea was thought up by many others first, but I still think it's quite brilliant never-the-less. 

Are you inspired yet?  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Seeds

Today I learned that you can roast spaghetti squash seeds. Did you know that? I wasn't very optimistic about it, but I did it anyway, and yum! Mine were a lot more tender than pumpkin seeds (which I really liked), and they have a bit of a popcorn taste to them. I won't be throwing away the seeds next time I roast any kind of winter squash! Give it a try. Here is one recipe to try, though I didn't use any oil on mine. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

T-shirt Up-cycle Take: 2, Footstool Slipcover

If you've ever had young kids you know what a mess they can make in the time it takes you to turn around. This poor foot stool began its life in our home with an ugly, dirty, beige fabric and very deteriorated foam. I didn't take a picture, so you'll have to take my word for it. It was actually worse than this at one point...barely. 

I'm sure you didn't miss all those chocolate milk stains on the white canvas fabric? Silly me, I re-covered, and re-stuffed the foot stool, planning on sewing a slip cover that could be taken off and thrown in the wash. Yeah...enter a shorter than usual nap, and a toddler with chocolate milk.  Sigh Clearly the slip cover could wait no longer! 

Enter a t-shirt that doesn't fit in a darker color, and I've got a simple, durable slipcover that can be tossed in the wash as needed, and as a bonus, less wrinkles from cringing every time i saw that chocolate milk. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

T-shirt Up-cycle

We've got stacks of old, stained, holey t-shirts around here that I can't bring myself to throw away. A couple have been cut up into cleaning rags, but come on, how many cleaning rags do you need?

My solution...

I cut those puppies into long strips and turned them into "yarn," then taught myself how to crochet a rag rug. Seriously.

It's not even close to being perfect, but I made it myself, and I love it! It fits great in front of the sink or stove in the kitchen. 

I've been wanting to make a rag rug for awhile now, but the idea of sewing coils and coils of braided fabric together makes me want to scream. Plus, I prefer rectangular rugs, so I learned to crochet instead!

I used YouTube to learn a simple single crochet stitch, and went to town with it. Each color is a whole t-shirt (between 2x and 4x sizes) cut into strips, so my pile is 7 shirts shorter!

 I was inspired by this rug made by Cassandra from Flight of the Pook out of bed sheets:

and this awesome denim rug from Alison King made from 100 lbs. of up-cycled jeans. Holy moly. I Love it!

Maybe I'll use denim for the next rug. For now, keep your eye out for more t-shirt up-cycle projects to come!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Summer in a Nutshell *photo bomb*

Oh hi! It's been awhile, how was your summer? Ours was full of monkeying around,
 Soaking up the sun, 

Lounging about,

bonding with cousins in upstate NY,

splashing around,

becoming buddies with uncles,

and getting to know some farm animals.

It was exhausting!

Now I'm ready for a little chilly weather, and back to some DIY! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In case you haven't noticed, I've been m.i.a. lately. I've started my new job, and there's a lot of O.T. available, so I've been picking up a lot of extra shifts. So far it's working out really well having my husband stay home with the Wee One while i work, then we switch while he does homework and goes to school.  He was able to raise his grade a whole letter in the last month after he stopped working. :) Plus, the Wee One is getting some serious bonding time in with his "Dada" and he LOVES it. They both do actually.

We've been spending our weekends enjoying the weather. Easter Saturday we went to a marshmallow drop. Any way you look at it, 10,000 marshmallows falling from a helicopter is fun! We also got the requisite terrified picture with the Easter Bunny:

This past weekend we went to Nelis' Dutch Village here in town. It's a cute little dutch-themed amusement park for kids. Sounds lame, but it was actually pretty fun.

Wee One was pretty amazed by the llama. He was being so gentle while petting it. :)

Then we took a goat for a walk.

and saw the most adorable tiny baby miniature pony. I've never seen such a tiny pony before, so cute!

I hope you've been able to spend some quality time with your family lately too!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last Round of Quiet Book Pages!

The final pages (queue the triumphant music please)

This page isn't educational per se, but it's fun, and I suppose we could use it to work on directions "Turn left." or "Go North" por ejemplo. The green felt is open on the left side to store the truck or a matchbox car or whatever.

I like this page. He's in his undies. :) Umbrella puzzle or a United States map just weren't doing anything for me.

I imagine this will be good when talking about weather and dressing appropriately for the season. I like the rain gear with leather boots and the overalls the best.

I was reaching for a V word, can you tell? I really like this one when all is said and done though. Kind of an I Spy page. The vacuum bag is closed with a magnet at the top so I can periodically change what's inside. I tried to hide the magnets though so little boys wouldn't eat the contents of the bag. Here's hoping.

Last but not least! The seasons wheel is velcro-ed on to the page. The wheel spins to show different seasons.
Ta da! Now, to assemble the book.

Quiet Book Pages # I-Lost-Count

I'm breaking the last two sets of pages up so they aren't as pic-heavy. These last two groups were made last because they took more thought and planning since they aren't standard quiet book pages.

Color Sorting. This page will have strips of velcro along the outside of the page to mix up the colors, as well as the velcro next to each color.  Look at me putting my button collection to good use! :)

This one seems really easy, but my son's name starts with the letter J, so there was a lot of hemming and hawing about doing a page with pictures of him or something. I eventually decided against it since we plan on having another child at some point.

I cut out enough shapes to make a happy, sad, surprised, or angry face. The right side of the pumpkin is left open to serve as a pocket. I did that wherever possible for ease of storage.

One of each key is glued down to the page, and the other is loose. Since I didn't plan storage into this page I will probably put all the loose keys on a ring or something. I'll give an update on that later. 
This is a take on the standard tie-a-shoe page. The football idea came from Tricia at Made By Me. Shared with You., and the quarterback image was traced from clipart via Google. This one took a lot of thought as well because I was contemplating including my husband's favorite team and player- Packers and Brett Favre, or maybe an additional lacing card. As you can see, I decided on something generic instead. The football is upcycled from a leather purse, and has a double layer of felt on the back as well as velcro so it can be pulled off and played with.

Linked up to:

D-O-N-E Designing!

Hallelujah! I'm done with the quiet book pages at last!

I've still got to put the book together, but the creative (aka time consuming) part is done!

Keep your eyes peeled for the final 9 pages and the finished product, coming soon!

See all the exclamation points?! Can you tell I'm excited?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thrifty Finds

Sigh I love thrift store shopping. It feeds my soul. Is that wrong? Here are some of my recent finds.

A lacing Bear. I've been thinking about keeping my eye out for some of these, and lo and behold I found one for a quarter. It's too difficult for Wee One right now, but he's interested in it.

An Erector Set Jr. car. I wanted to be sure the pieces were all there, so I put it together. Wee one will LOVE this. He is fascinated by how things are put together-kind of like his mama. There is an awesomely fun splash zone at the local aquatic center, and what do you think he's immediately drawn to? The bolts holding the thing together. Sigh


Tons of odds and ends. Lots of little notions and little do-hickeys for a sensory tub, a couple little figurines, bingo chips, all in a bag for 25 cents. A recorder! Every kid needs one, don't they? See the frog? It's a puppet and a book. It's super cute.

The book in its mouth is about what it ate. We love it. Especially for $1.

Lastly, a tool box for my little Mr. Fixit.

Tools included.

Along with a pink Polly Pocket chair? I don't know what that's about, but I'll take it anyway.

Have you had any luck thrifting lately?