Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Now that you're gone.

You accidently left a shirt behind. I think it was a tender mercy from the Lord, because I wear it as often as I can get away with. It's funny how I've got a whole wardrobe of lovely things but I elect to wear a baggy, blue T-shirt with a pirate ship on the front. I blame longing.
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Other things that give me strength and comfort while my love is so far from me...

*Smelling every article of clothing as I transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer. The clean makes me happy.
*Watching romance movies from the early 90s. I especially love the paramount movie montage that they play in the previews, set to "take my breath away." Cheesy, yes, I know.
*Singing "the daddy song" with the boys.
*Unfortunately... FOOD. I'm about to get huge. It doesn't help that we're heading into the holidays.

What should I do for comfort to replace my eating? Any ideas?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sick-leave

We're all a little under-the-weather. Here's a lovely runny-nose shot for you.
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But I've been working on some thoughts and theories to share, and I promise to be back to my old, bloggy self soon.

For now I'm just enjoying blog-hopping and reading all of your posts. What a neat group of inspiring women I have met in this world. Thank you, all.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Grandpa is the troll under the bridge. He hides. And when you walk above him he yells,
"WHO'S THAT GOIN' OVER MY BRIDGE!?"
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He yelled it at a group of punky-teenagers. They were confused and it made us all giggle a lot.
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He's trying to teach Iggy to say, "Don't eat me, eat my big brother."
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He's been the troll since I can remember.
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I'll bet you love my dad, even though you've never met him.

Sunny Snapshot: Caught red-handed

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This is the face he gave me when I saw that he had been eating massive quantities of margarine.

How could anyone be upset?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Acorn Wreath Tutorial

The kids had way too much fun helping me collect the acorns, wood, and moss for this one!
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You will need:

An oak tree, to gather acorns, moss, sticks, and leaves.
Heavy wire (a wire hanger would work)
Floral wire
Floral tape
Hot glue gun
Pliers
Hammer and nail
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1. When gathering, make sure and grab more than you think you need! Grab quite a few sticks because these will be the base of the wreath. I searched for acorns with the caps still attached (in above picture on the left) for the main decorative work, but picked up many others as fillers (above on the right). I also collected extra caps to glue onto bare acorns later.

2. Make a ring with the heavy wire, sized as you like. Wrap the ring with floral tape. TIP: double or triple up the wire to make the ring more sturdy. I had to, as you will see, go back and make a stiffener for the wreath because my initial ring was to flimsy.
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3. Make a few strings of acorns by turning them into beads. To do this, use a nail and hammer. Punch a hole in the acorn with the nail, remove the nail from the acorn.
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String a piece of wire through the holes in the acorn.
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4. Use floral wire to attach the gathered wood to the frame. You can also start to attach your acorn strings by winding the ends of the wire around the ring. The below picture is the front of the basic structure of my wreath.
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The below picture is a back view.
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5. If you find that your wreath seems too floppy, make another ring to size, very sturdy, and attach it to the back of your wreath with floral wire.
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6. Use the moss you collected to fill in any spots where you can see the wire, and to add decorative elements. Attach the moss with hot glue.
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7. Use the hot glue gun to attach any special acorns or other neat things you found. Also attach acorn caps to as many of the acorns on your strings as you like.
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And there you have it!!! A unique, and rather inexpensive wreath. I always have wire and floral tape on hand, so it didn't cost me a thing! I highly recommend stocking your craft shelf with these items because the will greatly improve your capacity to create using foliage.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Does anyone else live out of their sister's closet?

Tamsin's is, like me, a queen of thrift-store shopping.

With our powers combined, we've created a super-wardrobe.
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The newness motivates me to be really fantastic every day. I just wish my husband was around to motivate me to shave my legs. Thank goodness for opaque tights, right?


The final countdown.

We made a paper chain counting down the days until Daddy gets here.
Keep scrolling to feel my pain.

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Top 5 things I miss about him today...

1. When he pinches my bum and tells me I look hot.

2. The songs he makes up in the car about whatever he sees at the moment.


4. Watching him wrestle with the boys.

5. Sneaking out to "run errands" (but really to get hot chocolate together).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The walks home from school.

He's learning to run... and go down stairs. This means scrapes and bruises. Nothing is quite so sad as his poor nose today. How does he manage to steal my heart with each smile? Especially when he smiles through the rough and tumble (literally) days.
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This kid says he's a "moo" and eats grass. Children are better than any high-paid comedian in the business. These babies are medicine for my soul.
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We've been walking to pick up their aunt Emily from school.
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He insists on wearing his turtle shell.
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This is what I've always wanted.
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Hooray for living a life of simple dreams.

Simple Bat Halloween Display Tutorial

I'm on a craft rampage! Join me! I'm pretty excited because I thought of this one all on my own.
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you will need:
Cardboard
Yarn
Cotton balls
Paper lunch sacks
Sparkly gems for eyes (or something like that)
Black spray paint
Mod podge
Glue gun

for optional mounting board:
a long, skinny cabinet door (or something like that)
Fake spider webs
small blocks of foam(or some material like that) to mount the bats onto the board

1. Cut out bat shape from cardboard. My bats ended up being about a foot and a half long. Tip: fold a piece of paper or cardboard in half, draw one side of your bat, and cut the paper so you can fold our a symmetrical bat. You can use this as a pattern if you'd like. I wanted each of my bats to be different, so I cut them out one-by-one.
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2. Hot glue a cotton ball to the belly of your bat. Glue the yarn onto the wings to create the looks of a skeletal structure.
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Your bat might look something like this...
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3. Crinkle up a paper lunch sack until its texture is soft and evenly rippled. Cover the front of your bat liberally with Mod Podge, taking care to get all the corners in between the yarn.
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4. Press the lunch sack firmly onto the front of your bat and use your fingers to smooth out the paper.
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5. Trim excess paper from around the bat and fold the edges of the paper, using Mod Podge to secure them to the back. Yours may look something like this...
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6. Spray-paint the bat black. I chose to spray somewhat unevenly, leaving some of the brown visible in places, to give the bats a more realistic look.
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7. Hot glue eyes in place. And there you have it! A SPOOKY...
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CREEPY...
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but RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING bat.
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You can certainly stop there and use the bats as you would like... In a wreath... along your fence posts... the possibilities are endless!

I mounted them on an old cabinet door we had lying around. To do the same...
1. Spray paint the door black
2. Spray paint a small block of foam (or anything, really) black for each bat you have. The foam blacks I used were about 2x2x1 inch. Hot glue one block on the back of each bat. Then glue the other side of the block onto the door. This gives the display depth, so the bats pop out a bit.
3. Use fake spider webs as a finishing touch.
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And there you go!!!

Top 5 things I love about early fall:
Halloween crafts
Hot chocolate parties, late at night
Snuggles with my boys
Cold, dewy mornings
My church's general conference, which, after attending, inspires me to be a better me.

Enjoy the splendor of the season.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goodbye, old friend.

As often as we joked about him being "the cat that refuses to die," we all love him.

My dad just walked out the door with him, and Cholla will be gone.
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I wanted to let him have some dignity, so I photographed him in the dark.

This cat is around 17 years old, all but blind. He's been with us longer than two of my siblings.

When he coughs, I look around to find the senile, old man who wandered into our house.

It's time.

We will even miss his drooling.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spooky Halloween Photo Display Tutorial!

The thing I love about this halloween idea is that you can totally make it your own!
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You will need:

A picture frame (no back or glass needed)
A picture printed on regular paper (black and white, or sepia tone work best)
Cardboard
Mod Podge
Batteries for the lights
A tiny bit of red paint
Glue gun

For the optional picture matting:
A brown lunch sack
A tiny bit of black paint
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1. Cut a piece of cardboard for the backing of your photo, sized to frame. If you want to make a matte for the frame, cut one extra piece of cardboard to the same size. If you are not planning on matting your picture, skip to step 4.
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2. Cut out the inside of the matte, sized to picture.
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3. For cool texturing, rip up a brown lunch sack and crumple the pieces. Mod Podge the scraps around the frame.
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3. One the Mod Podge dries, mix a tiny bit of black paint with water on a paper towel. Rub the towel along the matte to highlight the crinkles in the paper.
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4. Mod Podge your photo to the cardboard backing.
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5. If you made a matte, hot-glue it to the top of the cardboard backing. Punch small holes (just big enough for one christmas light) through the eyes of the picture. This may be sad because your kids, like mine, are so cute, but remember that it is for halloween!
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6. Paint your lights with watered down red paint.
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7. Poke them through the photograph, and marvel at the extra-special spooky display you made! I used the glue gun to secure the lights in place.
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My kids think it's super funny, and they won't let me turn the eye-lights off.

Happy Fall. Yum. Fall.