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Posts Tagged ‘making stuff’

We recently bought a Vitamix.

Yeah! Smoothies, fresh juice, salsa, peanut butter, ice cream, soups, the list is endless right? I use it every day, and know we are getting our money’s worth out of it in the amount of fruits and veggies we now can consume.  I will say though, that it’s not as easy as the road show guy makes it look. I love the way he just tosses all kinds of stuff in there and out comes something amazing. When I get home though, and start throwing various flora into the machine, the results are not always positive. I can’t tell you how many smoothies I’ve tossed because no one will drink them, myself included.

“Too tart.”

“Too sweet.”

“Too watery.”

“Something bitter in there.”

“What IS this?!”

I know they give you a recipe book, but a lot of those recipes have something like 20 ingredients or just 1 ingredient that I never seem to have. Obviously, it’s been a learning process.

But today . . . . . .

Today, I made a 10.

A drink it all, lick out the glass 10.

A “where have you been all eight weeks that I’ve owned a Vitamix?” 10.

A “there’s no way this can be healthy” 10.

(And no, I didn’t add any alcohol!)

It’s THAT GOOD!

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a TINY bit. Maybe you aren’t gonna go slap your momma after drinking it or anything, but it IS yummy. It’s especially yummy after so many mistakes and failures. So you wanna know what was in it? Of course you do! It’s actually not anything earth shattering, but I think for me it’s the consistency and sweetness that’s always been off, so the STATE of the fruits here is what made it work out. Here you go.

1 orange, peeled of course (taste it first, make sure it’s a good orange. Bland oranges make bland smoothies)

5-6 fresh strawberries

1/4 C fresh, peeled cucumber

1/4 C FROZEN watermelon

1/2 FROZEN banana

1/2 C apple juice (if you have the time, do fresh pressed in your vitamix and strain it, if not, you can use store bought-it’s only 1/2 a cup)

That’s it! Blend it up for 30-45 seconds and BAM! Yummers.  Makes one HUGE serving, for a carry around cup, or a 2-3 modest servings.

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Well I “finished” this project a couple of months ago, but I  put off this post because there were a few tiny details I wanted to get to first. What do you know, but life just keeps happening on me and I’m not getting to them, so I’m just gonna post what I’ve got and have to be happy with it.

Liam came up with the color scheme for the most part. He loves Clemson and sort of wanted that, but I didn’t want to do a sports room, so I told him he could have the orange and we would pick another color to go with it. This blue is what he chose. He picked out the curtains too. My always handy, ever so talented brother in law built the bed/cave. He and Andy laid down the new floors (LOVING my new floors! So THANKFUL for my new floors!!!). I’d like to make the boys a rug like Gilly’s if I can find the material and want to get a couple of orange bean bags for the cave. There are plans for monkey bars under the bed at some point and more painting to be done on the walls of the cave hopefully.

Right now I’m having a love/hate relationship with the room because every time I go in there I have to clean guinea pig mess off of the floor. Apparently well adjusted guinea pigs do this hopping thing called “popcorning,” which means they’re happy, sending hay and bedding and poo all over the place. I’m glad they’re happy, really I am, but I wish they’d keep their happiness in the stinking cage. (I think I just hijacked my own post. sorry.)

Picture time!

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Finally finished! Whew! I feel like I’ve been off the grid for weeks working on this stuff. We’re 3/4 through the projects, taking a small break before finishing up with the boys’ room. I’ll post more pics of that when finished. for now, here are a few shots of  Gill’s room and I’ll do some floor shots soon too. I should also put up some night shots so you can see how soft and lovely the branches and white lights look in the dark. It’s a yummy space! Hopefully these will excuse my long absence. They aren’t really in any sort of order and I don’t think there’s much in the way of explanation needed. A few things were Pinterest inspired, of course, some my own ideas. I’m really pleased with the results and thankful that Gillian is too. She’s not always an easy one to please, so I’m glad she likes it. I think I might like it even more than her though. I like to just go and sit in there and pretend I’m a little girl again.

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Projects

There’s just not space in my mind or on the clock to blog right now. For the past few weeks my free hours have been consumed with building budgets, scoping pinterest, pricing materials, picking fabrics and brainstorming accessories. The bedroom and playroom are about to be transformed into individual rooms for Gillian and the boys. The nasty mcnasterson carpets that have been plaguing my domestic senses and challenging my contentment for the past five years is coming up and the hardwoods are going down! The first two coats of paint have been applied! Yay! All this happening at once though is causing loads of chaos, not to mention keeping me from being able to even think up a blog post much less write one. If something comes to mind, I’ll try to get it up here, but more likely than not, I won’t be back again until the projects are complete and I have TONS of pictures to show. I miss writing though. Who knows, maybe saying I’ll be gone will inspire all sorts of writings. Isn’t that how it often works?

Anyway, off I go. Busy, busy, but REALLY grateful. The provision of all these materials is an awesome blessing. Can’t wait to show you when it’s done!

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Loving Lacey

No, this isn’t a sappy post about my blogging/crafting/homeschooling/dressing wacky/make cool stuff out of other stuff buddy, although many of you read her blog, so I could probably tell Lacey stories and you would be just as interested. I just liked the title. I’ve had lace on the brain for weeks now, as I’m finally doing things with a stash of tired, over-loved tablecloths, napkins and doilies I got from my folks. I’m super excited today because I finished my “winter garland,” made from a sad old table cloth that was absolutely begging to be gently disassembled and turned into something that would make someone (that’s me!) very happy.  My favorite part of this whole process is finding something that has beauty in it, but no more usability as it is, and turning it into something fun that can be enjoyed again. I really think that little “lightbulb” moment is the best part. I’m not always the best or most skilled in my follow through, and often, once I make it, I have to give it away because I have no place for it, but I love the “oh, I could do THIS with that!” moment.

As to the garland, now I’m thinking winter nothing, this baby’s staying up year round! It’s really not all that wintery looking. The lace isn’t even ivory anymore, it’s more of a beach sand or wheat color. Of course, it’s got a handfull of my antique buttons and it’s just simple and sweet. Next year I may hang it on the Christmas tree, but not sure. I also may divide it into two and put one at the mantle, and one over the “window” that separates the kitchen from the dining room. I’d love ideas for a place to put it. I do wish the pictures were better, but my house is dark, these days are gloomy, etc., etc. It is what it is.

Enjoy your holidays friends! Hope you’re all making and buying hand made as much as you can!

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As I mentioned yesterday, I don’t normally get my Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving because we traditionally stay in GA with the Martins/Jacksons/Stovalls, etc. on the Friday after and I’m just too beat to use up my Saturday. This year though, thanks to VZW and Black Friday madness, Andy was working and there was just no way I was going to get in another day of school in this week. Knowing in advance that I was setting myself up for a lot of frustration, I hauled down the boxes and told the kids we were going to decorate today. Their excitement was through the roof until I opened the box with the Christmas tree and told them to start fluffing the branches to look like a young blue spruce.


Well, the seven year old and the five year old were pretty typically hyper/enthusiastic/bickering/too short to reach anything/digging through everything and asking “what’s this?!” every two minutes. I tried blaring Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Christmas Cannon Rock all morning, thinking I’d just party through the annoyances. You can guess how well that worked. Although there was this really cute moment in there when they were pretending to own a Christmas shop and were trying to sell me boxes of lights, candles and bulbs. They even made a sign. It was pretty dang cute.

In the end, of course, they ended up watching lame early 90’s Christmas specials while I did all the decorating.

It was a good thing I guess anyway, because I have a hard time letting go of things–especially my tree. I want it just so. I don’t want the homemade ornaments on my tree. I want a little tree to go in their room that their homemade ornaments can go on. Actually, we don’t have any homemade ornaments yet. (Don’t tell, but we really teach our children at home JUST to avoid them coming home from school with homemade ornaments.)

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Is that bad? Do I have control issues? I mean, I’m all for handmade, I’d LOVE handmade . . . if they were good . . . . .

Ohhh, that IS bad!!!

I really did do better this year! I let them do the tree all by themselves and I only readjusted about a half a dozen ornaments when they weren’t looking. Difficulties of their age aside, they really made it all worth it. As I was putting on some final touches Gillian ran up behind me and squeezed me hard and said, “I love the Christmas you made Mommy! Thank you for the Christmas you made!” Ahhhh. Moments like that are priceless gifts.

I remembered how my own mom always made our home a warm and festive place to spend the holidays both in very lean years and years full of blessings. It’s a gift to get to do that for my kidlets.

We wrapped it all up with cuddles on the couch “readingA Charlie Brown Christmas, drinking hot cider. As I admired the soft glow of pretty, twinkling things that makes December my favorite month to hang out in my living room, I gave thanks for my family and tried to hold on to the way Gilly says “ordamins” instead of ornaments, for next year she’ll be a big girl of six who won’t make that mistake ever again.

On a final note, I didn’t take many pictures, because I’m not very good at getting indoor pics that do the decorations justice. I did want to show my “new” windows. I’ve not done these before. The “snowflakes” are hand crochet pieces from a tablecloth that I’m taking apart and repurposing. In your mind, picture them attached and think winter garland. It’s coming ya’ll.

I always do my little “Charlie Brown Tree.” This year I let Liam decorate this one all by himself too and he was quite proud.

The entry way is always one of my favorites. I also had a “new” apothecary jar to use and I’m not sure this is quite the best use of it (or the best picture). It’s all I had on hand though, so that’s what we’ve got this year. I’m going to keep brainstorming on that. I love the glass jars/vases/hurricanes filled with ornaments look, but it always seems too modern in my rustic room.

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My own idea! Not an idea from Pinterest! It’s amazing how excited I was to make something that I came up with on my own after months of pinning and making, pinning and making (not sure I’m sticking to my “make one for every ten pins” rule). I was led to wonder then if Pinterest is really a conductor of creativity, or an hinderance. Am I spending so much time and thought on pulling together other people’s ideas that I can’t think up anything on my own,  or do these ideas foster in me my own desire to create, improvise, and discover, stimulating my creative hemisphere to the point of spontaneously birthing out something all mine? The other day I saw ON Pinterest a quote that someone had pinned, “You were born an original, don’t die a copy,” and I couldn’t help but comment that a quote like that on a website for sharing/stealing/whatever you call it other people’s ideas and inspirations is sort of a contradiction. Please note that none of this is a complaint. I love my Pinterest and will go right on pinning, using, making, revising and all of that. I was just musing about it. Any thoughts on that my fellow pinners?

ANYWAY . . . . here’s my idea. Which, by the way, if you search for on previously mentioned website, you will probably find twenty other versions of the exact same thing, so DON’T.  I want to go on thinking my idea is really special.

I went to the wedding of some friends Saturday and was rushing at the last minute to pull together my outfit. I ended up in something that needed just a little more oomph but I was clean out of time. I had these old strips of lace lying around here in my scraps basket. They’re the outer lace trim from a round table cloth. Think something like this.  So at the last minute I cut some strips of it to fit my wrists and I tucked it in my sleeves, pinned and ran out the door. I really enjoyed the steampunk sort of feel it gave to my outfit and decided to turn them into permanent accessories. Here’s what I did. Actually, it was sooooo easy, so I’m mostly just going to post pictures . . . I think they pretty much show how they came together.

Cut scraps of lace about 7.5 inches plus an inch for a seam allowance.

        


Cut a pannel of scrap fabric and pinned along bottom edge. This is mainly to give the hem something to hang on to and to keep the lace from itching my wrists. Am I the only person with sensitive wrists? In hindsight I should have hemmed that top edge of the pannel too, because it will probably start to unravel, but I didn’t think about it until it was already sewn to the lace.
     
Ready for fasteners and embellishments–be still my heart, I get to use some buttons! This was simultaneously the most difficult and the most enjoyable part. Have I mentioned that I love buttons?
Sew on fasteners. I don’t care for hooks and eyes very much, but it’s all I had and I was too impatient to learn how to do the cloth button hooks. These are working quite well, but I’m definitely doing another pair with cloth button hooks next.
Up close view of the vintage buttony goodness . . . and . . .
     
Ta Da!

Super fun!


P.S.

I couldn’t help but check out others on Pinterest to see what was out there. I know, do as I say, not as I do. Here are a couple I thought were just too pretty to not share.

Sweet

 

So pretty and a little sexy

Takes a little more talent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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