Friday, April 27, 2012

Tagxedo Creator

I love playing online with the great tools available.  I miss Picnik that is now closed :( So I have had to find other places to play.  These cloud designs are popping up everywhere and here is a great place to create your own.  Tagxedo

 I thought a crown would be fun and I love pears.  I have a project coming up with a great pear jar.  I have been itching to finish. 
There are several options to save them and share.  There are several styles and shapes.  It really is fun to see how it changes.  Have fun playing, and let me know other places you like to play.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Easy Smoothie Treat

 It has been such a busy week, I am ready to relax.  I wanted to have a treat that was better than the treats I usually head for.  I had some Cool whip on hand, although I usually use yogurt, to make this easy sweet treat.

 I use a mix of frozen fruit.  My favorite that is also very inexpensive, is at Costco.  It is a large bag for $8.99.  You can't beat that price.

 Add in equal part cool whip to fruit,  1 cup each.
Add in atleast 1 cup milk of any kind, I like Rice or Almond.

 Blend and enjoy.  I wanted mine to be more like Ice cream, add in more milk for a smoothie.
I also recommend adding in the frozen fruit a few pieces at a time to not burn up the blender motor.
Friday is looking good to be back to crafting.  I found a great glass container for some faux mercury glass, I am excited to try.  Check back for details.

Tricia Marie

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easy Poster make over

 Posters aren't known for being attractive, usually hung on the wall with wrinkles and pin holes. Here is a simple fix that really makes a nice piece of art that your kids will love.  Here is a poster we picked up for free at the movies and I thought I had gotten rid of it because I just did not want it taped to the walls.

 When my son found this poster stuffed in the back of the closet, both my boys were excited to see it again.  However, it had been through the ringer and I did not want it on the wall with push pins or tape.
Here is what I did to save it.
 The corners were torn and it was very wrinkled.
I decided to crinkle it up more and give it
a well worn look.  It is easier than trying to
 hide the damage.

I used foam board from the Dollar store.
I cut it with my fabric cutter and it worked well.
It was already to dull for fabric, now I found a good use for it.
 I smoothed it down onto the board then rubbed
ink over the top to further the aging process.

                                    I found a neat trick on Pinterest and attached a
                                         can tab on the back to hang the poster.

                              I used a pallet board and sanded it down to make a shelf.

                      It is a great way to hang posters, it looks much nicer than those push pins.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gluten free noodle salad

Living with out gluten does not mean going with out some of my favorites.  This is a twist on a salad my Mother made.  Adding some great vegetables your family likes, with a nice Italian dressing makes a quick and easy salad. 

Fresh cut red bell peppers 
Sliced cucumber
green or kalamata olives
Fresh ground salt and pepper.
And your favorite noodles. 
My family is gluten free and my favorite noodle is Brown rice Noodles. 
For the dressing you may use a store bought Italian or make your at home.
A simple dressing recipe would be
salt and pepper
and any other spices you may like to add. 
Add in to your salad as you like.

This salad is easy to make adjustments to by adding in your favorite vegetables.  It serves cold and tastes great. 

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Restart a garbage disposal

Last night the sink disposal stopped just as I was finishing the dishes.  Dinner scraps and dirty water filled the sink.  Not how I wanted my evening to end.  I turned off the humming machine and stuck my hand down the greasy drain {it is recommended to turn off the breaker first}  I did think about  turning off the breaker so the machine would not mysteriously turn on.  Like that movie I saw as a kid. 
I was a bit frustrated that it did not start and I did not know exactly how to start it either. 

My son and I experimented this morning as the sink started to smell.  We figured it out. 

First: there was a small rag that got stuck in the blade.  It was pulled out and then I used a wooden spoon, {and my hand, again not recommend}  to make sure the blade was free moving.   If it is not
there may still be something stuck in it still.

Second: I had to climb on the floor to see underneath the disposal.  There is a button to reset the machine, Pressed it.  AARGh.  It did not start.  I am getting a bit cranky by now since I am not eating until it is done.

Third: There is this neat little tool to turn a hole on the bottom of the machine to free up the blade and clear the pipeline.  Turn it back and forth, not around, to clear it and then hit the reset button.

 Above is the little tool, though you do not need the tool if you have hexagon shaped ones in your tool box.

Here is the red reset button and in the center is where the tool goes in.  I moved it back and forth about 2 inches each way several times.  This one also has a QR code.  We scanned it and it also had instructions.  Of course I did not see that til I was already doing what it needed. {Note to manufacturer, put code on side so we can use it}

Now back to my normal programming, Crafting tomorrow.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Using Chalk Paint

Anne Sloan has a great Boutique paint called Chalk paint.  It is different than Chalkboard paint in many ways.  With its ease of use it may be worth the cost and certainly the look it can create.

Regular and homemade chalk board paint should be used as regular latex paint.  The surface of the project needs to be prepared with sanding, priming, and then painting.  With ASCP  you do not need to prepare the surface.  The label on the can discloses that it can go over most surfaces even Lacquered wood.  Lacquer normally needs to be sanded and primed for any paint application so using ASCP is a great alternative.

I found this great large mirror frame on the curbside driving home one afternoon.  I knew I could not pass it up. 

 It was in great shape and has great detail.  I have a few ideas for it and it was a great candidate for Chalk paint.

 I did not sand or prime the surface as the label says.  The other nice thing about this paint is it is more concentrated for better coverage.  One quart will cover 150 sqft compared to 250sqft per gallon of regular paint. 

One coat did well for what I wanted to do.  I sanded some of the edges and areas it might wear over time.  Than I used the clear wax to seal it.  This is an important step to protect the paint.  I followed with a dark wax that I rubbed into the crevices and than wiped off.  Finally I did one more coat of clear and buffed it for a satin finish.

Come back soon to see how I used this great piece.

 I also have some great tips for using ASCP coming up soon.  I have a few other projects from my curbside find.

Happy Painting!!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In's and Out's of Paint basics

If you are planning on painting your self, you may consider what paint will work best in your home.
Some questions you may want to ask are:
What is Latex and oil paint?
What sheen should you use?
What brand is better?
If you want a low VOC Paint?
What colors may need a primer coat?

The first thing you may do is go the the nearest paint store to find out what kind of paint to use.

There are several different types of common house paint the most common being Latex.

Latex comes in all sheens from flat to gloss.  It is quick drying {a few hours} and holds up well in most applications.  It is also low odor and does come in Low VOC.  Latex is commonly used for walls and the popular sheens are low sheen or eggshell.  One of the questions I get most often is:  Don't I need to use semi-gloss for baths and kitchens?  the answer is no.  Back in the days of our grandmothers, the best paint was Oil based and came in higher sheens like semi-gloss.  Since then latex paint has come a long way and now holds up well in moist rooms and cleans very well for greasy areas.  I commonly paint eggshell in both of these areas.

Oil-based paints are commonly used for woodwork.  They are still popular for these areas but are increasingly changing to latex or a hybrid.  Latex does come in higher sheens and has several pro's for using instead of oil.

Latex Pros:   Dries fast, easy touch up, cleans up with water.  Low odor, and comes in LowVOC, stays flexible, less yellowing over time. It is flexible so it will chip less.

Oil Based:  Takes 8-12 hours to dry, low VOC variety can take more than this to dry, will yellow over time as little as 6 months,  harder to touch up especially since it yellows, gets brittle as it continues to cure. It will crack and chip when bumped.

Enamal comes in both latex and Oil and is usually used for woodwork and doors.  Enamal is made to be thicker and hold up to washing and bumps.  It also tends to level out to a smoother finish.
Latex and oil are now very similar in apearance and Latex continues to get better for fine finish work.

Sheen is the next thing to consider.

Satin is a good middle of the road and holds up well in all areas in the house. 
Eggshell is popular and does hold up well but I recommend a middle of the line or above paint.  Cheap paints should be in a higher sheen to hold up.
Flat is great for ceilings and works well in closets.
Semi gloss is common for trim, satin has been becoming more popular as well.

If you are choosing to paint a whole room you would use latex enamal for wood work,
Eggshell for walls, and flat for the ceiling and closet.

Low VOC (Volital Organic Compounds)  Usually the problems people have with paint is the amonia in paint.  This makes me sneeze when I paint.  Low VOC paints have less or none of this and other things that make it smelly.  Low VOC paints can also be Low odor.  I always question a Low VOC paint that still has a noticable odor.  The little odor a good paint has will disapait as it dries and does not linger as long as a regualr paint.  Solvent based paints will also have Low VOC's but may still have a higher odor.  The VOC's have just been lowered not eliminated.

Now Let's talk about brands.  I have a preference to Sherwin-Williams for several reasons. 

Proximity,  I did start going to Sherwin-Williams because they were close.  I recommend going to a close store and get to know who's behind the counter. 
Most stores will keep your information for 3 to 5 years, incase you need to repaint or touch up what you have ordered.

Quality:  Not all paint is made the same.  I know many of you love Behr and this is very strange to most contractors as it is the worst paint for us to use.  There are Hate Behr sites out there from contractors.  In my experience I call Behr paint "Babysitters paint"  as soon as I turn around it runs down the wall.  I  also do not give a warranty when I use paint becasue of its inconcistency.  Home owners love it because of the convience of location and store hours.  It realy is expensive and is not the quality of other paint lines.  I always recommend going to a paint store, they are all about paint and will give you the best options. 

Ask what contractors use Often times the guys at the paint store will offer the most expensive paint.  They are selling.  Contractors will use contractors lines and have a preference for certain paints.  I like paints that are good on cost and hold up well.  Here are some statics to think about when considering paint.  These are based on averages and my own experience.

1# Walls are painted every 7 years.

2# ceilings are painted every 20years.
As well as closets.

3# Trim and doors are painted every 15 years.

4#  Exteriors are painted every 10 years.

You may decide to buy $50 paint that has a lifetime warranty and think you will not paint again.

However, you will buy a new couch and want a new color or replace windows so the exterior needs to be painted.  Using a middle of the road paint { Not too cheap or expensive}  is best. 

Let me know how your paint project goes.  I also love to answer questions.

Happy Painting!!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Planter revamped Foil finish

 With spring here and patio season about to begin, adding in some decorative planters is a great way to create an inviting space.

This pot was found at Goodwill for about a dollar. {You can also check recycle bins at local nursery's for pots} It is a nice pot as is, though a bit plain.
 I used tacky spray to adhere the tin foil to the surface and then applied a coat of Mod Podge.
{Mod podge is the greatest stuff on Earth!}

 After an hour the Mod Podge dries clear and it is ready for paint.
 I used some black chalk paint and brushed it over the top.  I did not worry about fully coating the surface.  The last step is to sand the foil and paint.  It makes a nice finish and ready for planting. 
Happy Crafting!!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby Massage

Massage is a great bonding experience for you and your baby.  It not only feels good for your little one, but it also gives them your undivided attention.  It can also help with teething pain, tummy aches, and achiness, at least a good distraction.

I like to use a good quality oil good for the skin. I have been doing massage since day one and little man has not had any rashes any where.  His skin is so soft and the oil absorbs quickly.  I have really gotten away form lotions as I am not sure what ingredients are in them.  I also do not want to use any petrol products; as in mineral oil and Vaseline. Pure and natural ingredients are best for baby.  You may decide not to use any oils.  Not much is needed.

Some recommendations for oils

Olive oil is great for skin but can sour more quickly than others.
Grape seed oil is light and is the one I prefer
Avocado oil
Coconut oil is also great for the skin.  It comes in a butter form but quickly liquefies.  I do not prefer this as it does have a bit of cooking oil smell. 

Always do a sensitivity test spot by putting a small bit on the inside of the wrist and let sit over night while sleeping.  Any reaction in the morning and do not use on your baby. 

Massage is easy and you and your baby will enjoy it whether it is practiced or not.

I picked up a book at the library and followed it.  I did not follow it very long as I just did what we liked best.  When little man is happy I know he is comfortable. 

Using baby massage is also important to develop your babies sensory.  Massage helps them to feel their body from their core to the tips of their fingers and toes.

  It also gets them used to good touch.  So many children do not like to be touched.  It may be that it does not feel good to them or comfortable.  Isn't it great when we can help our children learn healthy and comfortable touch.
Use this time to look into your babies eyes and talk and giggle with him.  Having a conversation with his expressions and coos helps him develop his language. 

I love night time with my little guy. Evenings generally get a bit noisy and Little man can get cranky so bath time we spend some time together. I always give him a little massage and love the ways this little body wiggles and waves. He always has a great smile and now a bit of a laugh. There are spots he likes more and some he likes for just a bit.
This has become my favorite time with him.  It is a quiet space and at least 10 minutes talking to him.  I hope you give it a try.

Things to try:

Massage around the mouth and cheeks to sooth teething.

Work in circles around the belly to help for tummy aches and gas.

Lightly massage feet and hands.

Start at the shoulders and rub down the tummy to the legs and end at the toes.

Talk about each area being massaged with your baby.

It is easy to do and worth the time spent with your little one. 

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hair crafting

Today I am off to get a hair cut.  With little man at almost 6 months I have shed half my hair. {darn those hormones}  I hoped I wouldn't lose it this time around, but I think I have lost more than any of my children.  I found some strange crafts from hair for your enjoyment.


Looks like fun, But I don't have any cats, shucks!!


For keepsake locks of hair.

hair necklace.jpg

Jewelry is great, it would also be good for fancy embroidery.  This just seems like a lot of work.

Great for a gallery wall.

I actually am surprised at what I have found with recycling hair. 

Here I go to the salon.

Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book = shelves

 I love books, old books, ratty books, fresh new ones.  I especially love children's books, I call them my poor mans art.  With books going out of fashion they are everywhere are very cheap.  I still have my collection of books I love but I picked these ones up at the dollar store, (as if you hadn't guessed).
I wanted ones with names that were child friendly and colorful.  I actually ended up reading 2 of the books, they were great. 

 I hung them above the changing table.  even though I am heading for a woodland theme, I ended up with many monkeys so here is Chester our favorite monkey, chillin' with bright eyed owlet.

I did not hang them at a right angle to give more options for use.  You can see the "L"  bracket I used under neath.  I attached it to the book and then to the wall.  I wanted to hide as much of it as I could.

I have my custom Owl in the tree art and our first baby picture matte. 

I have a few more tricks for this room I keep pugging a way at it. 

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