Tag Archives: projects

Nursery Update

Last weekend, Ed built this beautiful book case for the baby’s room.  After painting it white to match the other furniture, I decorated it with the children’s books that were given to us at the shower, and some moo cow gifts: a singing/moving stuffed animal, a cute lamp, and a humidifier.  Thanks to my family and friends for the presents!

Meanwhile, Ed’s mom continues to work on the mural.  Here are some of her latest additions:

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Sneak Peek…

This week, Ed’s mom started working on the mural in the nursery.  No paint yet, all pencil drawings.  Here’s a sneak peek at what she’s done so far.

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How-To Craft: Santa Gourds

This is a fun craft that was inspired by some of my mom-in-law’s ornaments.  Last year, I posted pictures and some folks asked for a how-to post.  Well, all this time later, I actually got around to making some more and taking pictures.

First, you need some dried gourds.  They lose color and may look rotten, but if they’re not mushy or moldy, they’re not bad.  You can even take your chances by painting some gourds that haven’t dried yet, in hopes that they will dry.  If you didn’t plan ahead and save your gourds from your fall decorations, you can buy them.  Local Harvest has a nice selection.

If your gourds have shellac on them, it will start to peel off as they dry.  Lightly sand them with some fine sand paper to remove the flakes.  I like old-fashioned Santas that wear maroon or dark green, so I use those colors.  Paint half of the gourd in your color of choice for Santa’s clothes; this will be the back.

You’ll probably need to put on two coats of paint.  When it dries, the back is done.  Then turn the gourd over and paint the top part, which will be Santa’s hat.  You can put white on the end for the puffy ball, but I forgot this time!

Next, paint on a face using skin-tone paint.  Remember, the bottom half of his face will be a beard, so you only have to do the top part.

Next, use white paint to add a beard, hair and the fuzzy part of Santa’s hat.

Finally, add on some eyes and a mouth, and your Santa is done.  Mine are pretty rustic, but if you’re a talented artist, I can imagine beautiful Santas!

All done!

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DIY Kangaroo Costume

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This costume was so easy to make.  I have a brown velour jump suit that my brothers affectionately call my “poop suit.”  Needless to say, I no longer wear the poop suit on regular occasions.  For the costume, I wore the pants as-is, and cut up the jacket to make the ears.  I got a brown hooded sweatshirt and stitched up the sides of the front pocket, then took the seam out of the top of the pocket to make the pouch.  I put a teddy bear in the pouch, since I didn’t have a stuffed kangaroo.  I stitcked the velour ears onto the hood, and voila! A kangaroo.  My original plan included a tail, but I ran out of time and energy.

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Filed under Sustainable Living

Dining Table

Ed finished building our dining table!

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Here it is in our dining area.  I’ve been waiting two years for a table here.  The flowers are from my garden, the last of the Endless Summer hydrangeas.

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The table is cherry and built in Ed’s signature style, a combination of early American and Shaker.  The cherry was leftover from a stair that Ed built, and the wood is from Connecticut.  This table matches our coffee table and TV cabinet, and he plans to build end tables to match, too.  The only problem is that now we need to get chairs, so we’re not quite using the new table yet.

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Glittery Pumpkins

Last year in December I took my remaining pumpkins and gourds and painted them to become Christmas decorations.  This year, I broke out the glitter and got started a little early.  I’ve had a couple of requests to post a tutorial for my Santa gourds, but I’m not quite making those yet.  I did take pictures today of how I made glittery pumpkins, which will serve as decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Start with mini-pumpkins, which also can be called Jack-be-Little pumpkins.  Choose pumpkins that are nicely shaped and without soft spots, and try to get ones with long stems, since they’ll be easiest to hang on to.

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Spread craft glue on the pumpkin with a paint brush.  You can paint it all at once while you hold the stem, or you can do it in two or three different sections.

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Hold the pumpkin over a bowl and sprinkle it with glitter.  Today, I used gold, orange and maroon glitter to make pumpkins in fall colors.

*Warning: If you need to sneeze, turn away! I sneezed right over the bowl and glitter went everywhere.  I can only imagine how messy this project will be when I have little helpers.

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Let the pumpkins dry completely while sitting on newspaper.  Use them for decoration around the house, but check them regularly to make sure they’re not rotting.

Do you have a favorite way to decorate pumpkins?

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Baby Afghan and Pregnant Bellies

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I think this is the simplest afghan pattern ever.  If you can make a granny square, you can make this.  If you don’t know how, then check it out this tutorial with pictures.  I re-learned how to crochet a few years ago, after learning a little as a child and deciding that I preferred knitting.  I would describe my skill level as basic, meaning that I know some stitches and like to crochet, but I’ve never made anything fancy.  Still, this simple afghan is quick and easy for me.  Plus, people are so appreciative of a homemade gift that it’s totally worth the time. 

To make the afghan, you will need two (or one, or more) colors of yarn.  It’s totally adaptable and up to you.  Make a granny square, and just keep going around and around the square until the afghan is the size you would like it to be.  In the picture above, I started with 20 rows of blue, then added 10 rows of yellow and 12 rows of blue.  I then double-crocheted around the edge of the blanket in blue to finish it.  That’s all!

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I made this afghan for my dear friend Cindy and gave it to her at her baby shower today.  Cindy and her husband Sean are friends of mine from high school, and so the shower was a wonderful reunion with high school friends that I only get to see a few times a year.  Cindy and Sean are expecting a little boy in November.  Because they live in the same town as us, we look forward to our kids growing up together.  They’ll even be in the same grade!

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As many of you have been asking for belly shots, I’ve decided to comply.  I still don’t have a noticable belly (at least I don’t think so), so here’s a picture of me with Cindy.  I’m 4 months, and she’s 7 1/2 months along.

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