{You Like Me. You Really, Really Like Me.}

Monday, November 24, 2008

I've been given an award! Thank you, thank you, Maria from Thrifty Ways & Ideas.

In getting the Kreativ Blogger Award, you must share 6 things for which you are thankful, then pass the award on to 6 other Kreativ Bloggers. So, here are my 6 thanks:

1) My church. I truly believe the leaders in our church love God and want to see others know and love Him too.
2) My family. They are who I always want to be around.
3) My home. My bed. My warm shelter. At night, when we are winding down for the evening, I have a content feeling rush over me. I love being home. I am with my family and we are comfortable.
4) Hope. Expectancy. Forward-thinking. Sometimes this is a curse, because I have trouble being thankful for the now. But I am truly thankful for what God is going to do and what I believe He is already doing.
5) Grace. Without it, I would not have number 4.
6) Prayer. It's so simple, but it is awesome that we have a God who has made a relationship with Him so simple.

Now for the awards:

To Heather aka Mrs. Jonesfor her sidebar list of favorite tutorials and for this memorable mommyhood moment post..

To Joy at Joys of Home because she has as many projects going as I do in my head. She just manages to get them done, and post about them.

To M.L. at The House of Whimsy for her contributions to the "I Can Make That!" Party.

To Amanda at Letters to Olivia for sharing her honest experiences as a birth mom. Although, this isn't a crafting blog by any means-Amanda is using bloggyland creatively-to address some of the misconceptions about adoption and (most importantly) telling us all how we can understand and reach out better to birth parents, those who have adopted, and those who have been adopted.

To Holly at Blogging with Holly because she's had me hooked since her fabric pumpkins. And her photos are so inspiring...I want to take an ottoman out into the middle of the woods and take my kids pictures, too!

To Rachel B. at Made With Love & Glue. She also take amazing kids' photos. I'm stealing a few of her ideas for my kids, too. And she too made some great pumpkins this fall. Can't wait to see what she comes up with for Christmas.

Thanks again, Maria!!! You've made my day!

{Freezer Paper Shirts aka What to do While Waiting for a Phone Call}

Friday, November 21, 2008

We mailed in our dossier packet this week. Still haven't heard from our agency...but I'm keeping busy trying not to think about what time it is in Washington state where our agency is. Keeping busy, eating granola bars I don't need and painting stained childrens' clothing. I'll spare you the photos of the disappointing granola bar incidents. But I'll share my attempt at freezer paper stenciling.

Have you heard of this? If so, ignore my simple tutorial. If not, read on and think Christmas gift ideas and share with me what you come up with!

First, I found a black & white image I liked...I looked through Google images but also searched free clip art files. I would recommend something less detailed at first. I'm thinking about trying a superhero initial for Boo.

Next, I printed the image the size I wanted and traced it on freezer or wax paper. All the instructions I've read say to put the shiny side down. Good luck determining which side is the shiny side. I had to cut out my image three times before I got it right.

Cut out the image with an xacto knife, or a parring knife.

Place a second sheet of the wax paper under the top layer of your fabric. This will keep your stencil from moving and paint from bleeding through.

Iron your stencil on a dry setting onto your shirt, or other fabric-think denim, totes, napkins...hmmm....

I used a sponge brush and just tapped acrylic craft paint over the entire stencil like this:

And because I'm a speed demon, I waited no more than five minutes before peeling back my stencil for a big reveal:

What do you think? I'm thinking it's 11 am in Washington and I hope the phone rings soon, but this was a nice way to spend the morning.

{2008 Rock & Roll San Antonio Marathon}

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunday was the San Antonio Marathon. It was perfect running weather, no wind, sunny and comfortable temps for most of the race. Although I must NOTE TO MYSELF: next time, remember to visit a thrift store before the race for clothes I don't mind shedding in the first few miles. I've said it before, but I mean it this time. I've learned my lesson. We stood in a shuttle-to-the-start line, a porta-potty line, a gear-bag drop-off line and the starting line in freezing temperatures, and only our running clothes.

Mr. Smarty is so sweet. He knows how discouraged I get when I am cold. There is a reason I moved to Texas. It was not for the Bar-B-Que. Even though he was just as freezing as we stood in our lines, over and over again he told me about how great a day it was going to be and how much I trained and prepared for this day. And it was a great day.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm a crafting junkee. There, I said it. I gotta have my fix. Sometimes I lie awake at night (or is it lay awake?) thinking about how soon I can get another can of Colonial Red to redeem a curbed piece of furniture. Okay, did I say to much? You aren't all going to come over here and throw an intervention on me, are you?

Well, don't. Cuz I'm being really good right now. REALLY good. I haven't been in a Hobby Lobby in weeks. Or a Lowes, even though there is one less than two miles from my front door. And I have three pieces of totally awesome, perfectly good but discarded furniture in Mr. Smarty's side of the garage (sorry, babe).

We are in the middle of a series on being Consumed at our church right now. The series is designed to teach us about how God wants us to deal with money so that, rather than bringing us a temporary fix, and ultimately causing us anxiety, it brings us joy. And it couldn't be at a more appropriate time. As we are approaching the Christmas season, the season of giving (and getting), I am becoming more aware of what really consumes me. Just look at my VISA bill, and you'll see where my "excess" has been going. I don't believe my fondness for spray paint (it's not an addiction. really. ) is my problem (denial? ehhhh...), but when I put it above spending, saving or giving to things that have more significance, or a more lasting effect, it has become a problem. And even though I am missing my little projects, I am really excited about choosing to use our resources for something more significant. You could say I am finding joy outside the can. Well, you could. I didn't say you would.

So, I'm taking a break from my stores. Now what's a girl to do when she needs to get a crafting fix?

Rearrage the furniture. Then rearrange it again. Swap out pillows from the couch upstairs-why didn't I do this earlier?

Finish that grout project from three months ago...now even the laundry room has pretty grout. Yup. I'm all done. Totally. Really. just don't use the hall bathroom. or look in the pantry. or under the dresser in the stairway.

Sew for a friend. This was such a God thing-I was really missing sewing, and a friend asked me to make her sister a shopping cart cover. I got my fix, my friend had a hand-made gift to bring to her sister's shower, and her sister now has something to help keep her son healthy when shopping! Win, win, win! Yay, God!

Frame some foliage from back home...Mom sent me some leaves from home, I found some old frames I wasn't using-viola! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE looking at these:

Change the sign on the front door to welcome Thanksgiving!

So what do you do when you have to be more creative when being creative? (Does that make sense? You know what I mean!)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yesterday was Birthday Number 5 for Belle. With our adoption fees adding up and coming due, I tried to celebrate her birthday as frugally as possible, while still being special...it seemed like a complete failure to me, but thankfully, and interestingly enough, I don't think Belle interpretted our afternoon like that.

My plan was to go to the first show at the dollar theatre. We could all get in for $3. All that was playing for kids was Kung Fu Panda. Then, I thought we would go to Toys R Us, where I have a $10 gift card and $3 coupon. Mr. Smarty wanted her to pick out a new board game. Then we'd go back to Tata & Giddo's for pizza & a birthday dessert. Sounds like a good plan, no?

So ten minutes into Kung Fu, I'm sitting in the dark, with Boo cuddling on my lap, thinking...this is great! Really great! Why don't we do this more often? Then I look over at my five-year-old, my dear sweet birthday girl-with her eyes closed and her fingers in her ears and little sniffles escaping her little nose. She was so scared. I hadn't even noticed a scary scene yet, but she was terrified. Awww man! "Okay, Belle, wanna go?" "uh-huh"

So we piled back in the van and drove to the toy store. No cars in the lot. Lights off. Sign missing. The store had closed. Great. Remembering the Babies R Us on the other side of town, I drove there to see if they carried board games since they would also take my gift card. Nope. Their toy section was very limited to toddler toys. Bummer.

And what a failure of a mom, I am.

But did Belle even notice nothing was going according to plan. Even though she was well aware of the plan. She would just sweetly ask, "What's next on the plan, Mom? " Like we could just check off going to the movies, going to the toy store. By then she was ready to go back to Tata's and make her own game. Which she did, out of a cereal box from the recycling bin. LOVE HER!!!

Auntie Rowaida visting from Jordan on her birthday? Priceless!

Two Photos and Free Stuff for Voters

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

These pictures have nothing to do with Election Day (or do they?) but I took them yesterday and thought I'd post them. This little chapel is across the street from our Homeschool Coop. I can't seem to decide if it's steeple is whimsical or depressing. But I always have to take a closer look as I pass it.

So maybe I will just feel better if I know everyone else is drinking as much coffee as me...but here's some more free coffee info:

Starbucks is offering 12-ounce cups of their brewed coffee to customers who've cast their ballet. Then if you need something sweet to go with your brew, try a free red, white & blue star shaped donut from Krispy Kreme for voters. Still not convinced it's worth it to vote? Try a free scoop of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a free cookie from McAlister's Deli. And some Chick-Fil-A's are offering a free sandwich for the occasion.

Do it Yourself Silhouettes

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last week, The Nester confessed a splurge on her children's silhouettes for $54. Because I did my kids' profiles for nothing this summer, I have to brag and post. (Mr. Smarty says it technically was not for nothing, but I did not purchase anything specifically for the silhouettes-I had all the supplies on hand.)

With my bro-bro's help, we took the kids' pictures individually facing sideways in front of a bare or plain wall. Bro-Bro is a photoshop pro, so he fiddled with them and removed the background even more, but it wasn't necessary. It just made the images contrasts easier to see. Then, on my plain ol' hp printer, I printed the profiles in b&w. I then traced the printout images on white scrapbook paper.

I used a black acrylic pen to go over the profile. This allowed me to get Belle's wisps and made it super easy to fill in with black craft paint.

There were several ways to go about this project. I debated just cutting out the kids profiles from the printer and tracing them on black scrapbook paper or cardstock and glueing them onto a white background, or whatever color I wanted for the room. But I liked the painted finished look and am happy with my quick project!