Friday, March 4, 2011

For the Birds

The girls have been feeling pretty bad for the local birds lately. So much snow has fallen this winter and the girls have feared that their feathered friends haven't been able to find enough to eat.  I'm not exactly Miss Audubon, but even I felt sorry for the hungry birds.  For much of the winter my bird feeding consisted of plopping blocks of suet filled with seeds into the empty flower boxes like this...


Sometimes I'd fill a bowl with bird seeds and let the birds have at it.  This little guy appears to be saying, "WTF?" to my choice of serving vessel.


                                     This method did provide us with lots of beautiful visitors.


 But one night, as I was browsing the blogs of some really crafty Mamas, I stumbled  across this great idea at SmileMonsters (click for the recipe).  These cute hearts are made with corn syrup, flour, water, and bird seed.  It was a very messy, but very fun project.





 After baking them, we hung them from the deck. 



 I don't know how they did it, but the birds instantly knew that there was a feast awaiting and they flocked to the hanging hearts.  The squirrels also found them.  This clever squirrel hoisted the heart right to the top railing and inhaled the entire thing in about  15 minutes. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A room fit for a tween

My baby girl turned 12 today!  More than anything, she wanted a room makeover. 


Her walls were pink. Her bed (that Todd built) was pink. The rug is magenta and is in pretty good condition so it wasn't going to be replaced. She loved the comforter so it stayed.  She also loved her curtains which were 4 sheer panels, each a different, bright color. There was blue, green, orange, and purple. She chose to paint each wall a different color corresponding to the curtains with black trim to make the colors really stand out. 




She and Todd worked very hard to cover all the pink.


Her storage baskets were sprayed black along with a side table that had been hanging out in the living room.


 I hot glued orange, green, and blue  embellishments onto her pink lampshade. I painted a "J" from Michael's, wrapped part of it in raffia, and added 2 of the same embellishments from the lamp to tie them together.  Each cream colored switch plate was covered with torn tissue paper and sealed with Modge Podge. 


 Sweet smelling candles, a lava lamp, and funky standing lamp from Target finished the blue wall. 


 Here's the very best part and my favorite element of the room.  My mother in law gave us an old love seat that she no longer used.  It had been in our basement for a few years so I scrubbed it with Carbona (the greatest stuff on earth) and used the shop vac to really clean it.  I found the perfect black slipcover at Target that was originally $69.99 but was on sale for $17.48!!! 


 It fit perfectly on the love seat which then slid right under J's bed. That has become  her new reading spot. The love seat also opens into a single bed for when her BFF sleeps over.



She received 2 black circle rugs and a rectangle area rug tonight but I didn't get a picture of them.  She loves her new space and so do I!  It's grown up but still youthful - like my growing girl.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas memories

December is only half over and we've already got some fantastic memories. 


   We've watched Jacey perform a lovely song on the piano,


broke a sweat while putting on gloves,


napped on the couch while fighting off pneumonia,


and decorated the tree. 



Devin decided to commemorate the month with a very special drawing.  I give you.... "Daddy Yelling at the Christmas Tree". 

The back story - the bottom of the tree was cut at an angle so it would not sit straight in the stand no matter how tightly Todd turned the screws. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inexpensive holiday sparkle

Tis the season for glitter, sparkle, and twinkling lights!  It's also the season for  crafting, though every season is the season for crafting, is it not? I wanted to do something different with the mantle this year so I turned to my favorite places for inspiration - Michael's and Target.  At Target I found these adorable glass bottles that cost $2.99 for four.  I bought two packs. My plan was to fill them with something  and line them up on the mantle, so off to Michael's I went.  In the floral department I found the sole red, glittery branch neslted among the silver and gold branches. I needed something to anchor the branches in the  bottles so I walked to the aisle where the glass beads are kept. I was beginning to become dismayed because everything I found was too big to fit in the openings of the bottles.  Then I saw it - metallic sand!  Silver metallic sand! I never knew such a product existed.  I think I audibly gasped. 
 I sped drove home and called my favorite five year old to help me.  She poured the metallic sand (!) into the bottles while I snipped the branches with the wire cutters I use for beading.  I only used a fraction of the sand so there's plenty left for other sparkly crafts.  There are many more bits of red branches, too.  Some of them adorn the Barbie houses in the playroom. 

I saw these cones these cones in a catalog and thought they were really pretty.  They weren't terribly expensive ($15 for a set of 3), but I thought making them would be  fun.  I bought 2 paper mache cones at Michael's ♥ along with metallic paint and way too much glitter than necessary.  My total was around $15.00.  I already had Modge Podge and acrylic spray sealant at home.  Again, I called my littlest girl to help.  We began by painting the cones. When the paint was dry we covered the cone in  a thin layer of Modge Podge.  Then it was time for the fun part.  I poured the glitter on a cookie sheet, slid the cone on Devin's arm, and let her go.  She really liked this part.  She rolled and rolled. The glitter covered so well that I don't think we even needed the paint.  There was  enough glitter left over to make about 30 more cones so back in the jars it went.  Once they had dried over night, I sprayed the cones with the acrylic to keep the glitter from flaking off.  I adore glitter, but not when it's on my hands, rugs, or childrens' scalps. 
Here's the finished product, with a few additions..lights, votives, and a vase filled with ornaments - one of my favorite tricks.  I made the wreath last year.  You can buy one here  if you want to spend $59.00 plus shipping.  Are they serious?  It's a piece of styrofoam. With a feather boa wrapped around it.  Make one for yourself.  Don't be afraid of the glue gun.
If you've got sparkle in your house, let's see it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

wax on...wax off

During the summer Bryn and Tori discovered they could wax Devin's eyebrows with stickers.  Devin was a very willing subject and thought it was hilarious.  A few weeks ago, while the rain prevented them from playing outside, Bryn and Tori  waxed Devin again.  This time they used packing tape and waxed her nose.  All 3 of them were giggling their little heads off.  After ripping the tape off Devin's nose Bryn used a foam paint brush to smooth Devin's skin. 

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The view from my house

This is what I saw while standing on my back deck a few weeks ago.

This is what I saw while standing on my front porch a few days ago.

This is what I saw while standing in my driveway today.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall

If you had asked me 2 months ago what my favorite New England season was, I would have said summer.  Hot sunny days, the beach, tomatoes fresh from the garden, flip flops and hot pink toes.  Right now, however, my favorite New England season is fall. Today's weather was everything you read about in Yankee Magazine - brilliant blue skies, crisp, dry air, and the perfect temperature.  Warm enough to leave the jackets in the car, but cool enough so the girls could run, climb, and jump for hours without breaking a sweat.

 
After playing for a long time, we ate ice cream because that's just what we do.

The tomato vines are barren, but we now have these beauties.
 
I'm still wearing flip flops, but my toes are no longer pink.