Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mimsey is TWO!! and i'm tired...

My Mimsey is crazy.  Her current favorite toy, and I use that in the very loosest definition possible, is a rock she found outside about 2 weeks ago.  She calls it Baby Rock, and she feeds it, gives it baths, and puts her socks on it to keep it warm... when it's not snuggling in her pocket.

Today as we were getting ready for her birthday party, she insisted that we had to dress up Baby Rock as well.  At least you can see her adorable skirt that I made.  I based it, roughly, on Anna Maria Horner's Bo Peep Skirt, but alas, as I have not yet been given her book (hint, hint, husband) I had to just sort of wing it from a picture.  I like it, it would be cute a little fuller, but it matched the party decorations.  And her rock...

This is Mimsey's princess cake.  I made it in the Williams-Sonoma Great Pumpkin cake pan, and made the wheels out of pink melting chocolate that I poured into jumbo muffin tin cups.  It was the hit of the party (besides Mims!), but what can I say, my family is easily impressed.  Honestly, I will just be happy if I don't see it on Cake Wrecks...  isn't that sad?!  :D

She got some awesome gifts from her grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, and Cousins, so she spent the rest of the day busy with her toys.  And I re-discovered my love of the Smurfs (thanks Auntie Nandy and Uncle Doob!)...  Oh yeah, and the balloons are all still up and look great!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cute Alligator Hair Clippie Tutorial

Amy over at Angry Chicken has a great tutorial on felt barrette covers that completely inspired me to make some for Mimsey's birthday. I picked up some great 100% recycled plastic felt (awesome!!) and set about making some barrettes. Very quickly I discovered that I am not nearly as awesome as Amy is, and my barrette sleeping bags sucked pretty hard. Something about sewing from the bottom and (eek) following the line, just confused the heck out of me. So, I started cutting out the felt slightly larger than the barrette, sewing it onto the felt with a miniscule seam allowance. Suddenly the sleeping bags were looking pretty great! I trimmed them up, and VIOLA! Mimsey loved her barrette!
Then I started getting fancy. I started mixing up the colors and sewing two different colors together. (I know, I'm living on the edge...) At first I was just trimming the bottom color a little larger than the top to make a border, but then I pulled out the pinking shears and got really crazy. Suddenly I had a pack of google eyes in my hand and the spark of the tutorial that I am now going to unleash upon the world...

The Alligator Hair Clip Tutorial
(wild applause!)
Step 1

Cut out the top color for your barrette. Cut it just slightly larger than the hair clip, but leave plenty on the back end (you'll trim it up later).
Step 2

Sew top color to the white felt. Use a very tiny seam allowance. Leave a gap between barrette tops.

Step 3

Slide the barrette into the little pocket you've made. It will make the next step much easier.

Step 4

Using pinking shears, trim the bottom color (white) around the edge of the barrette top. Try to line up the "valley" of the scissors with the edge of the top color, because it looks cuter.

Step 5
Using the back of the barrette as a guide, trim up the back end of the top color of the barrette. Go ahead and trim up any loose threads as well and glue on google eyes! Crikey, you've got alligators!!!!
Okay, I have to be honest. It's not your monitor. The top alligator with the pink eyes does have pink teeth. I thought it was cute.

Need a break? Buy balloons!

For Valentine's Day, Jake and I got Mimsey a Dora the Explorer mylar balloon.  We picked it up when we were grocery shopping about a week before Valentine's day, because the store had a whole aisle filled with balloons and Mims just went crazy for them.  I probably walked up and down that aisle 10 times before we could leave.  Anyway, the thing is still floating.  It looks brand new.  Mims is still crazy for it.  

So today we were beginning preparations for her party, and since she loved her Dora balloon, I went to the Dollar Tree and got her 10 more balloons.  It sounds so silly, but she literally spent 2 hours playing with them.  She ran around the house with them.  She took them one by one into the kitchen, and then she came in to get me to show me that they were in the kitchen.  Then she wanted to dance in the kitchen, because the curling ribbon hanging from the balloons looked like a party.  So we danced.  

Best present ever!!  (and she's enjoying them too!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black Beans, a recipe

Just one last quick post for the day.  I have to share my new favorite food.  I came up with this recipe out of sheer panic when I realized that I was having dinner guests, and didn't think I'd have enough food...  But, ahhh I struck culinary gold!!!  Yummy black beans, which work as a side dish, or even better serve them with chips for fake nacho bean dip goodness.  And black beans and tomatoes are sooo good for you, the tiny bit of cheese won't hurt...  

Emergency Black Beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) of diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dark chili powder 
1/2 tsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup shredded mexican blend cheese

Drain black beans and tomatoes.  Add to frying pan over medium heat.  Stir, smashing beans as you go to kind of thicken up the mixture.  Add spices and keep smooshing.  When the bean/tomato mixture is hot, stir in the cheese, smooshing beans until the cheese is melted in and the whole mixture is a cohesive mass.  Serve hot, preferably with tortilla chips!!  

Baby Cthulhu lives!!!!  I know, he's kinda awkward, what with one of his tentacles growing so fast, but the others will catch up in a month or two.  His little clawed feet are still soft.  It takes time for the hard, sharp claws to grow in.  The poor little god is pretty helpless right now...  But he'll grow up to be a big tough guy in the future.

I deviated a little from the tutorial, since I started with a slightly larger crochet hook, and then had to adjust everything so it would look right.  LOL!!!  And I wanted the crazy tentacles with the sucker pads, so those are different too.  But the tutorial was great, and didn't take very long, which I have to say was the best part, since I'm an "instant gratification" kinda gal.  

Best part of it:  Jake absolutely loves it!!!!  Hooray!!!!  We will probably give it to Mims to play with, but he knows it's his...

Notice the fancy wings?!  Yep, he can fly...

Thank you again Amber at Cthulhu Crochet for the amazing tutorial!!!

I have had a marvelous weekend.  I know, it's super duper early Tuesday morning, but that's how we roll around here.  Okay, so really it's because Jake has Sun-Mon off, so that's when we celebrate the end of our week.  Tuesdays suck in our world, so it's not all lazy Mondays... 
This is Mimsey's house that I've been working on.  It still needs buttons, but I am very happy with it.  I think she will like it.  She's seen it several times, but she thinks it's mine and calls it Mommy's house.  Oh, my poor little one is going to grow up so confused...  

I had thought that I would make the inside all cutesy too, but honestly, it was tricky figuring out which fabrics went where, and I ended up with an all blue interior.  Oh well, next time will be crazy fun on the inside too.  Still, I want to keep it, so I think that's a good sign... Thank you UK Lass for such an awesome project...

I found a couple of other awesome projects here at Cthulhu Crochet.  I am finishing up a Tiny Cthulhu for Jake, who has requested claw feet on his, and I think I'm going to make a Nibbler for Mimsey.  She won't know who he is (yet) but he's so cute, and it will make me and the Mr. laugh.
Baby Cthulhu is almost done, just a tiny bit left, so more pictures are on their way.  In the meantime...

Gratuitous pic of cute kid... Who will be TWO in 3 days!!!  

Friday, February 20, 2009

I have had a very productive couple of days.  Grocery shopping, check.  Supplies for Mimsey's party favors, check.  File income taxes, check.  Trip to Costco (which is always an event!), check.  Whew!  Can you believe that I found time to work on some projects?!  :D

I have been working on a present for Mimsey's birthday.  I'm making her a little portable dollhouse from the tutorial that I found here.  It's super fun, and challenging in a good way.  I looked through the flickr group to see what everyone else has done with their doll houses, and I was completely inspired.  It's almost ready to go now.  I just need some buttons, and I'll be set.  I can't wait to make another one!  The one I made is about the size of a happy meal box, so I totally want to make one for a lunchbox! Mine is pink, and I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Yay for paper toys!  My new obsession!  I have completed the treasure chest from the balance game at Creative Park, and I am going to work on the pirates for it tonight.  Sooo cute, and it's turning out just like the picture, which completely surprised me.  I honestly had expected it to turn out kinda crummy, since I am not a paper toy designer/expert.  But it's fun and in my price range.   

The paper toy penguin from Zooguu by sweetest pea is another matter all together.  Its super cute, but did not turn out quite as good as the picture.  I'm gonna try it again before I post my final opinion...  

One last thing.  My dear, sweet Mom-in-law is having a friend visit in 10 days or so.  So I'm posting pictures of our houses, so that she'll know that there is a place for her to stay, and hopefully to reassure her family...  LOL!!! Hey Tipi!  Can't wait to meet you in person!
(The yellow house is Deb's and the white house is where Jake and I live)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2 old dogs, only 1 new trick

What is it with my dog?! She has become so bold lately, stealing food from Mimsey's hands, and she chowed down on a ziplocked bag of M&M's that were sealed in my craft bag (slobbering all over the contents of the bag as well). This is the 2nd time that she's done this (getting into my stash, she takes Mim's food all the time, although to be fair, solidly 70% of the time Mim's offers it first...) I don't know what I'm gonna do with her. Ugh. Why do old dogs learn new tricks? I thought that she was pretty well trained...

Bummer of a night, because besides the great m&m caper, my big old clunky desktop doesn't want to load a new version of adobe acrobat reader to keep up with my new love of paper toys. Sooo, I've got to figure out a way to either hook up my netbook to the printer, or get the program to install on the desktop. Which means that I did not get the chance to print out and put together the cute toys that I wanted to show you. And the internet in my room is shoddy tonight. Whine, whine, whine....

But at least with all of my free time I was able to get my income tax forms started. I'm going to attempt to e-file this year, but I wanted to get them all ready to go before I tried to computerize them... lol! The Magic 8 Ball says a refund may be in our future, but if there is, it will all go to car repairs... awww, suck.

Does anyone else hate being a grown-up too?!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creative Park

Thank goodness Valentine's Day is over.  I almost finished Jake's present, which I will show you when I do actually finish, but he seemed to like the idea of what it was going to be.  I am so lucky to have married someone who appreciates the time and effort that goes into creating a homemade gift.  I got a packet of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and a Craft! magazine.  Which was exactly what I wanted, but I was so annoyed to find that they had published birthday flags in the magazine.  Ugh, so similar, down to the cupcakes on the front.  Jake assures me that mine kick the other flag's booty.  Mine do hang nicer, and are way cuter.  So there.  

Okay, so back to what I was saying.  Now that I've got Valentine's Day out of the way, I can focus full time on Mimsey's birthday party!  Yay!!  Okay, not full time, but an hour at night at least...  So I was looking for something different, that I hadn't seen before, and I found this!  It is Creative Park, and it's the coolest site ever if you're looking for something fun and crafty to do.  The whole site is full of free (FREE!!!) paper toys, gift boxes, frames, scrapbook pages, cool little funky projects and all of it is free!!!  (Did I mention that it's cool and free?!)  I have yet to print anything out and try it, but it's on my list for tomorrow.  When I do, I will shoot some pictures and report back on how hard/easy the projects were.  I especially love the fun little picture frames, and the craft cards!  I am never buying another $5 birthday card again!!! 

Late Start

Howdy!  The weather here in sunny So. Cal. is still gloomy, and raining in spurts.  Mimsey is being a champ, as is Jake, but I am being petulant and unreasonable.  I used to love the rain.  Now, I just hate mud.  So, to pull myself out of this cold weather funk, I have made myself a new purse.  It's bright and shiny, and eco-friendly!

I know, those Capri Sun purses are sooo 5 years ago, but I don't care!  Recycling never has a stop date, and by golly, the packages were free with the cost of the juice inside.  The cost was just perfect for my current depression budget. I found some great tutorials on and am planning on making some lunch bags and pencil pouches next.  And, Capri Sun is now teaming up with TerraCycle and doing a whole recycling program for their pouches if you're not crafty, and want to raise money for your school, church, scout troop, etc.  And you can get ready made tote bags, and other stuff on their website.  Neat!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Welcome to my brain!!

I have never been good about keeping a journal.  I know, I know, I’m verbose, wordy, and could chat your ear off in person, but I’m no good at talking to myself.  At least not on a consistant, neatly filled books of musings sort of way.  So, please forgive me if my whim of “blogging” (ugh, does that term gross anyone else out too?! ) comes and goes in spurts.  I hope that I will have interesting things to say that will bring you back, but at this point, it’s all speculation.  In the meantime, I am getting ready for Mimsey’s  big Oh-Two birthday (that’s 2 for you normal folks) and while I still have to get through Valentine’s day, I couldn’t help myself, and I whipped these up for decorations.  My birthday’s 2 weeks after Mimsey’s, so I get to leave them up for the next month.  Yippee!!  Yum, cupcakes… 

Anyhow, they were super simple to make.  I bought some cotton fabric in 6 different colors (You could get by easily with just 1 or 2 colors, it would still be cute) and some medium weight fusible interfacing.  I just followed the directions to fuse the interfacing onto the fabric, and then cut out my triangles.  I used the scraps to make the little cupcake appliqué pieces.  I stitched the cupcake pieces on with a zigzag, and then sewed two triangles together, right sides out, leaving ½ inch allowance for trimming.  I pinked the two long edges of the triangle, to straighten them, and make them cute.  Then I took a package (3 yards) of ½ inch bias tape and sewed the flags in, using the packaging creases as a way to keep the flags spaced evenly.  I think all together, my 2 sets of flags took me about 3 hours, including cupcake appliqué time.  Easy peasy, and they look so festive, Mimsey carried one set around for about 20 minutes, showing off “her flags” to anyone who would listen, which was mostly our dog, Kelsey.  I still have enough fabric to make another set, which would look good across the archway to the dining room.  I will have to take pictures of the process, so that I can post a proper tutorial for these. 

I hope that we’re done with the rain soon.  I hate being cooped up in the house all day, but it does give me a good excuse to dress Mims in this when we go out.  

Awww.  She’s cute.