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Monday, November 19, 2012

What not to do when making yarn balls ....

Today is my baby's birthday .. she's a big ol' 11 years old now!  I'm on a roll in getting their room decorated before company comes. 


I saw this idea at a friend's house while doing their newborn shoot.  She said it was so easy, and it looked so amazing!  I thought "ooh! I could do this to Maddie's room!"  So I scoured Pinterest, blogs and figured out what formula I should use.  For example, liquid starch .. elmer's glue ... cornstarch .. and the list goes on.

Here is my list of what not to do when making yarn balls.

1)  First of all .... don't make them.  I'm not kidding.  They may look incredibly easy, but they're not.  Sure yarn is cheap, balloons are cheap, and so is glue.  Do not be swayed!  Stay away from these balls!  Go buy japanese lanterns instead!

2)  If you decide you have to make these yarn balls, then don't use just elmer's glue & water.  I tried this on my last three balls I made, and it did not work.  The first three balls I made (I ran out of mixture), I used a combination of Elmer's glue, cornstarch & water.  I think the ratio is like 4 oz glue, 1/2 c cornstarch and 1/4 c of water.  When I realized that my yarn was not hardening up like the first batch did -- I had to run out to get even MORE glue, and did my mixture and paint it on while it was wrapped around the balloon.  It did the trick, and hardened up after drying.  Also note that you'll use even more glue than you think you will use.   Stock up for this project.


3)  Two people really need to be doing this -- one to dip the yarn in the mixture and one to wrap it around the balloon.  I read somewhere someone said to place vaseline around the balloon, but I didn't do this.  If I did, maybe it would have prevented a lot of frustration after I popped the balloon.  I'll show you why in a second.... If it doesn't prevent what I'm about to show you, then I have no clue why they put vaseline around the balloons?

4)  Again, don't make these yarn balls.  They are a headache, I'll tell you!  I'm totally doing ya a favor!


5)  After you pop the balloons -- they will still stick to the yarn, and there will be lots of dried mixture that stays on the yarn.  What a pain in the butt.  I gave up after a few hours of scraping this off with a skewer -- I'm hoping no one take a close look when it's in her room.



6)  I used a punch balloon for my large pink balloon -- however, do not buy a punch balloon that has ink on it ... like a princess.  That transferred onto my yarn.  *%#)@#! 


7)  I bought two different types of yarn.  The thicker yarn was cheaper -- and it was harder to deal with and it doesn't look as nice as the thinner yard does (the pink).  So, splurge a bit more and get the thinner yarn.

ouch ... sorry for the noise in that picture!  High ISO = noise in my pictures!

8)  When hanging the yarn balls in the ceiling over your daughter's bed, don't drop a tack on her bed.  'Nuf said.  :/

and finally

9)  Are you really sure you want to make these yarn balls??


My daughter is totally worth it -- but man alive I wish I did something else!  (can you see the black ink in my large pink ball?!! FAIL!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The many faces of Mike... part 2

Almost three years ago, I wrote a blog post about how my husband Mike has many faces for me when I take pictures. 

When we had our family pictures done on my birthday this year by my fabulous friend Valerie -- we laughed when we saw all of Mike's expressions.  Now, I'm no stranger to husbands hating picture time at my photo sessions that I take -- and while Mike didn't "hate" our photo time -- his funniest expressions came at the end of our shoot.

Enjoy a few photos that show Mike at his finest .... :)




Now you have seen the bloopers ... here are the REAL gems of our shoot!




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Being grateful and showing it on paper

I was going through pictures in my bedside table on Friday night.  Going through some of my favorite photos, favorite momentos that I saved of the girls when they were born -- their hat, their arm bracelets while in the hospital.  My favorite articles I read from Dear Ann Landers when I was a teenager.  My teenager photos. 

At this time, I had finally found the picture I had been looking for for years of my grandpa holding Katie when she was still a little wee one. His dog Buddy was looking at Katie, studying her. 


I did come upon four pieces of papers.  Seeing my grandpa's handwriting on them brought tears ... I miss him.  His two year anniversary date of passing away on Thankgiving is coming up. 

I had forgotten about these papers until that night.  Years ago (like 8-9 years) I had made all these papers with everyone's name on the top of their paper.  Everyone in the family had to go around and write something they were grateful for or loved about that person. 




All I could think was "what a great activity this was..."  What a great way to share things in ways that we may not have normally said to each other.  Plus here .. I have it in writing.  :)  (Love Miss Katie's handwriting and spelling?!)

So if you need a "Grateful" project -- try this activity. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Decorating a teenager girls room ...

At first I think I was dreading decorating w/ a teenager.  I figured I would have had to title this post "How not to kill your teenager while decorating their room" -- but in reality, it was a piece of cake really doing this project w/ my teenager!

Katie has in her mind how her new bedroom should look.  We have the walls painted her color of choice.... some of the bedroom furniture still needs to be painted black .... and it's time to get the walls done!

She was in a hurry to get a comforter, and instead of WAITING for her dream comforter (it was a beautiful grey comforter, I loved it too...) -- she ended up making a drastic change in choice, and so therefore her "dream" bedroom was altered big time.  She wanted a grey bedspread -- but that particular weekend we started looking, she decided she was NOT going home empty handed.  (talk about stubborn children who regretted their choice a week later and begged to take so called bedding back to the store).  So now her bedroom is turquoise & brown.  We decided it was still OK to incorporate some more color in her pictures -- b/c after all... bedspreads can eventually be changed out.  Eventually.  Like in a few years.  Or so...

She wants to make a heart collage out of pictures, to go over her bed.  So we bought the canvas for those (we'll do 5x7 sizes).  Now to pick out the pictures and get them ordered.  So more posts to come in the near future for that!

However, the opposite side of the wall, we were able to do this weekend!

Katie & her BFF Madison painted the edges of her canvas different colors -- orange, yellow, lime green, burgandy, grey.  Then, after those were done & dried, she & I mod podged (I can't believe that's a word) the canvas & the pictures.



This is the end result!  We both love it!! 



She really loves these printables we found on the internet -- and the song "You are my Sunshine" ... my mom used to sing that song to my girls when they were younger.  We added in a few of her favorite pictures and ta da!  We have a fun wall!






stay tuned for part two of "decorating a teenager girl's room!" .... now on to start on "how to decorate a tween girl's room.  Starting with yarn balls.  Wish me luck!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

We have a Piglet & a Barbie ...

I very rarely buy costumes for my kids.  If I can find a darn good price on a costume, then I'll buy it and save me a headache.  But in the past 5-7 years, my girls had to come up with a costume --HOMEMADE.

Our good friends came to our neighborhood like they did last year -- we have the best neighbors who give good candy!!

This year Maddie went as Barbie.  Katie straightened her hair, applied heavy blue eyeshadow & blush to her face.  Let her wear her silver heels .... and she carried a big silvery glittery bag like Barbie always has.


Katie & her BFF Madison went as Piglet & Roo.  I made the ears & the tail -- and we did buy a light pink shirt that was on clearance for $3.  I'm such a tightwad.  (I know Mike... I know...)  She & Maddie made her nose the night before. 



After walking half of a block, Maddie had to change shoes.  Ha ha... I knew that would happen and told her to take comfy shoes.



Before we left though -- I tried to do something cool for dinner.  So I made mummy pizza!  Very simple -- and very easy.  Add in veggies with ranch dip, and some orange pop -- we were set!


and yes ... I'm embarrassed to be walking around with 14-15 year olds for Halloween....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall... at the cabin

A few weeks ago we all took a quick trip to the cabin.  Mike went up with Maddie on Thursday night, and spend Friday through Monday at the cabin.  I had to work on Friday & Monday, so Katie and I hopped in a car right after I got out of work on Friday and drove the long distance to the cabin.   We came home on Sunday afternoon.  Fastest trip ever.  :(

It took us FOREVER to get out of San Antonio -- due to a car pileup (people don't know how to drive in the rain here!) -- which meant we made it in time for rush hour in Austin!  I was so hoping to avoid this ... by the time we made it to Round Rock, we had been in the car for almost 3 hours -- it should have taken us an hour -- maybe an hour and 15 minutes at the most.  So, I was itching to get out and walk around for a bit.  We rented a small car b/c my Explorer is not the best at getting good gas mileage -- but man alive it was a pain to drive with my long legs!  LEG CRAMP!

So, we stopped at Ikea.  :)  Katie met up w/ a friend she met at EFY over the summer -- yes, a BOY.  Cameron & Katie hung out for a bit while I walked around and picked up a few things I needed.



After an hour, we got back in the car and drove like a maniac.  Katie promised me she wouldn't fall asleep.  But she did.  Thankfully before she did, she inserted a CD and it was a "Dirty Dancing" CD ... so I sang my heart out to all those old songs.  Finally she woke up and put in a different CD.  Madonna... the Immaculate Collection.  She fell back asleep.  Listened to that CD twice.  Ugh.  Woke her up again and told her to change it out.  So she put in .... the WIGGLES!  She groaned -- and I was a happy little camper b/c I was seriously dragging butt and trying to stay awake.  Thankfully we made it to the cabin at 11:30 that night -- and fell promptly asleep!

On Saturday Mike rented a small tractor & a brush hog to clear off some land on his neighbor's property -- so he could hunt. I told him too bad the tractor wasn't green -- per the country song "Let's take a ride on my green tractor" (or something like that). 

My usual trip to Walmart took place... twice that day.  :D  This is the only time I will go to Walmart -- while at the cabin.


Mike & Katie went deer hunting (since it was the kids weekend to hunt for deer).  Had to buy Katie a new camo jacket b/c Maddie outgrew hers, and used Katie's old camo jacket.


Our friends were at the cabin with us that weekend, and Sarah made a huge pot of chili -- so yummy!  Perfect for the cool weather! 

I noticed these berries when I drove in on the property == bright purple berries.  They are all over the place, and I have NO clue what they are.  Sure are pretty to look at though!




Mike also took Katie driving for the first time.  Better him than me.  She drove like a little old lady.  Took 5 minutes to back the car out so she could go on the road.  A few feet at a time!  But Mike said she did good -- hugging the curb very well!






I noticed by the septic tank ... we have a sink hole.  BOO!  Mike said that was the area in which he dug a HUGE hole and deposited trees/brush, etc when he first started clearing the land.  Probably the heaviness of the tractor caused it to sink.  Thankfully it won't impact the cabin in any way -- b/c Mike has the cabin supported by huge cement pillars that goes way down in the dirt/sand.  I forget how many feet... is that suprising?

Then it was time for Katie & I to leave.  :(  We got stuck in another traffic jam outside of Waco -- took forever for us to make it through.  We went maybe 2 miles in an hour.  So, after much encouraging, Katie popped in the Veggietales CD.  Sung our hearts out for the length of the CD.  Good memories... good times.  :) 
We finished up our trip to Buccee's!  Katie had never been -- and so had to get her mug shot with the famous Beaver?  Woodchuck?  What is he??

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