Monday, June 28, 2010

Paint Your Food and Eat It Too!

Today I had a brainwave.  I was going to make a cake with Little Miss.  No, not another rainbow cake.  Just a cake.

For a few days she has been begging to make something together with me.

I had a box of cake mix and even a tub of frosting (I didn't mean I was going to make it from scratch, ok?) sitting in the pantry.  I went down into the basement to hunt down an appropriate vessel to bake said cake in and procured a bundt pan from one of the many non-unpacked kitchen boxes.  The bundt wasn't my first choice, but it was sitting on top of one of the first boxes I opened so I went with it.

I was feeling pretty clever with my pan in hand, and Little Miss gave a little scream of delight when she saw me emerge from the basement steps.  I haven't been able to locate many craft supplies since the move (and I'm afraid I'm out of Busy Bee Bags) so this little cake idea was going to be a nice diversion for the two of us.

I can only say I'm thankful that I didn't fully reveal to L.M. what we were going to be doing.  I had forgotten that we have a non-working oven.  Oops.

I know I know, we've lived here a month already.  It was broke when we moved in, so why has it not been fixed yet?  Sue me, it's the summer and we've been grilling and using the stove top for meals since we moved . . . it's too stinking hot for an oven anyway!

So I was stumped.  Little Miss gave me that "Mom is so clever, I wonder what we're going to do!" look of expectation and I knew I had to think fast.

All I can say is Praise God for Bloggers.

Seriously.  I get so much inspiration from so many of them.

This little gem I just came across the other day and tucked it in the back of my brain for just such an occasion.  OK, maybe not the "stuck-with-a-bundt-without-an-oven" occasion, but you know . . . a "mom-let's-do-something-together" occasion.

SUPER SIMPLE.  I'm just glad I had the incredibly basic supplies on hand.

Step 1: Mix small amount of milk with food coloring.

Step 2: Pop some popcorn.

Step 3: Spread it out and let 'er paint!

Step 4: Admire your delightful rainbow of snacky delight.

Step 5: Now quick . . . stuff your face!


She LOVED it.  We will most definitely be doing this again.  Thanks to Living Locurto for posting this idea.

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My New Sewing Room: It Begins!

Mr. Skooks has been working tirelessly all day today on my his latest project: prepping the furniture for my new sewing room!

Ok, back up.  Let me tell you  a little story.

When I was 8 years old, my parents bought me my first bedroom set that was all mine.  (I had previously shared a room with my older sister.)  I remember going to the store to pick it out, though to be honest I don't know if I was kind of steered towards a particular set or if I truly selected it from all the options.  Regardless, it has been with me ever since.

Yes, my 8 year old bedroom set has been with me EVER SINCE.  I grew up, but my bedroom set did not.  I got married and got a bigger bed, but my bedroom set stayed the same.

Don't get me wrong.  I've been thankful for the dressers and the bookshelf and the desk and all that for as long as I've had them (ahem - over 20 years), but my bedroom seriously needs to grow up.  A little too girly for Mr. Skooks, not to mention a little too young.  The drawers are not sized to fit adult sized clothes very well.  Did I mention they are kinda girly too?  Oh, and they're too girly.  And too small.  And too . . . you guessed it . . . girly. 

That's why when we moved to our first home last month, Mr. Skooks and I made the decision that we would move said furniture to the new house, but NOT into our new room.  (We are still without dressers in our new bedroom by the way - - did you know that as soon as you buy a house you start to bleed money?  It's true.)  So yes, we are saving up and our clothes are in kinda crazy piles in the closet and on the floor, but we are STICKING TO OUR GUNS.  I think the crazy piles will motivate the saving . . . what do you think? 

It might have seemed obvious to move the furniture in with Little Miss (it was my original idea a few years back when I thought we would much more quickly be acquiring some more grown-up furniture), but eventually she will share her room with Kee-ku and there will not be room for all that furniture in there. 

So I devised a plan.  And it was largely inspired by Miss Heather Bailey herself. 

Paint is drying on my newly refinished furniture and taking pictures in a dark basement will do it no justice so you'll just have to be patient. 

All I can say is I AM IN LOVE.  And Mr. Skooks is such a dreamboat husband.

Stay tuned!  Getting organized is one of my favorite things and I am so close to being able to start pulling the sewing room together I can almost taste it.  :)

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

How It All Began



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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Practical Sewing: Flower Girl Dress Alterations

After hacking away at all the extra fabric and sewing and patching parts of the dress that were never meant to be refashioned, I finally gave up on finished the dress.  Little Miss was ecstatic.  It had just the right amount of little girl flounce that she couldn't stop (very sincerely) curtsying in my direction. 

I think any serious seamstress would have been absolutely appalled by the things I did to that dress.

I know I was.

But in the end it was wearable and apparently passable.  Those that were in the know that I had worked on it gave me compliments on how well it turned out. 

They may have just been being nice.

Mr. Skooks thought it turned out "good enough."  I would tend to agree.

The best compliment I got on it from someone who didn't realize how many hours I poured into making it work for a MUCH smaller person was said by the bride's mother: "Oh, it doesn't look too big."

All I could bring myself to say to her was, "It's been heavily doctored."

You may be wondering about my picture here since obviously it is completely unrelated to flower girl dresses and such.  I found it on my computer after the move.  I was planning on posting it before I moved, but AT&T shut me down before I could get it up there and then there was that whole not getting the internet up and running for weeks debacle . . . so here it is.

Completely irrelevantly late.

It made me laugh though to find it.  Jess and I were so much on the same page with our recent moves.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Lint Roller

I'm not sure where I first heard this idea, but it's a genius one. Especially if your most used sewing tool, like mine, is a seam ripper.

Don't get me wrong, ripping out a line (or 12) of stitching that went awry is not going to become "fun" because you have a lint roller. But it will become less tedious.

Step One: Realize you messed up your stitching.

Step Two: Slap your forehead once, firmly but not too hard. You want to reinforce to yourself to not do what you just did again, NOT knock yourself so hard you forget what you were doing or worse PASS OUT.

Step Three: Watch your language. There may be children present.

Step Four: Unpick the nasty business with your seam ripper of choice.

Step Five: I'm serious.  Watch your mouth.

Step Six: Get out that lint roller you never use. You do have a lint roller don't you? If not, they're cheap and you can get them almost anywhere.

Step Seven: Run your roller over that hot mess of threads you've got hanging out of your project. See how easy they come out? Isn't that dandy?!

Perhaps, but not dandy enough to start messing up projects on purpose.

[Author's note: This post may or may not have been inspired by my latest dress alterations project.]

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Downsizing . . . A LOT

After a week and a half of back and forth with AT&T about why my phone line wasn't being tended to I am *finally* back in business.  You can imagine the frustration that comes from moving an entire household thinking you might be out of work for 3 days turning into the swift desire to bash your head against a wall when you realize that due to some inept-ness on the part of a large telephone company that you can't seem to avoid you have now been out of work for a week and a half. 

I am blessed beyond belief that I have a boss who is currently renovating her bathroom.  She was in a unique position to understand how things just don't always seem to go according to plan and didn't give me too much grief for missing more work than I previously planned.

SO . . .

No pictures today as I have yet to unearth my camera post-move.  There's not much to show at the moment anyway.  My sewing room is currently packed with boxes-that-are-not-immediately-needed and thus I am doing my downsizing on my dining room table.

Downsizing?

Yes.  Little Miss, fresh from her starring role as Adorable Flower Girl in My Brother-in-Law's Big Fat Canadian Wedding, is set to reprise her role next weekend in another family wedding (Mr. Skooks' cousin is tying the knot on Saturday).  A wonderful and lovely thing.  HOWEVER . . .

The dress she is set to wear was purchased a few months ago by the bride-to-be's grandmother who fell in love with it while walking through Target.  With no regard for sizing, she bought dresses for all 5 little flower girls (yes - 5!).  Said dress was passed to me at aforementioned brother-in-law's wedding (yes, just last weekend).  My sweet soon to be cousin-in-law was overly apologetic as I pulled it out of the bag.  (She had mentioned it might need to be taken in a bit which I had previously said "no problem" to even though I have never actually done alterations on anything before).  Confused, I pulled out the dress which was a girl's size 7.

Let's review.

Little Miss has just recently turned 3.

Dress that needs to be taken in a bit is size 7.

3.

7.

Did you get that?

So um . . . that's what I've been trying to work on in between unpacking boxes and trying to pull the house into order.    And you don't want to see a pic of the dress.  Especially the inside.  It's some kind of a hot mess in there.

Any tips on how to severely downsize a dress?  It's all fully lined and has some tulle layering over the skirt. 

Yeah . . . I have no idea what I'm doing at all.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

AT&T and I are not getting along

Super duper quick post to say that I'm all MOVED (hurray!), but AT&T and/or the phone lines in my house are trying to keep me from you.  Fingers crossed I Mr. Skooks can get this thing figured out soon so I can return to my regularly scheduled blogging (I'm snagging some computer time at my in-law's house at the moment).

Hope you're having a great week everyone!  Be back as soon as humanly possible.  :)



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