Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School Craft Tutorial

Well, it's here...the buzz of school starting and packing lunches and running kids to soccer practice. I can't say I'm as excited as the boys, but glad they are thrilled to be learning (or seeing their friends!). I was even good, only snapped a few pictures and didn't require anyone to hug me before I left them at their desks yesterday.

Sending them back to school also means me pampering the teachers with things they need for the classroom and things to let them know how much I appreciate them taking my bundles under their wing and loving them almost as hard I as do!

We filled a basket for each teacher with dry eraser markers, pens, sticky notes, binder clips, and of course some bath and body products. This year I might have went a little over board, but when I saw this project I HAD to make it.

The inspiration for this project came from Ana White Homemaker blog (a new favorite crafty place that I frequent). I made a few tweeks so I could use what I had on hand.

Here's what I did.

What you need:
1- large wooden paint stick (we got ours free at Home Depot from our fence painting project)
2- 6" jumbo clothes pins
various scrapbook papers
decoupage glue (we used Mod Podge from Michael's)
large paint brush or foam brush
drill with bits
2-1" wood screws

Cut your scrap book paper to fit the tops of the jumbo pins and the paint stick. I had to piece the one for the paint stick, but that was ok because it will be covered by the pins later (just be sure to put the seam under where the pin will be). I also made some coordinating small pins for desktop use while I was at it.

Follow the instructions for your glue to adhere the paper to the pins and the stick. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Drill a hole in the top of the stick large enough to have it hang by a nail or screw. You can smooth the roughness with a bit of sand paper.

Now, with your pins face down, lie the stick on top also face down, lining up the pins with edges of the stick and far enough apart a sheet of paper can fit between. Hold in place and drill a small pilot hole (smaller than your screw) through the stick and into the thick part of the pin. Screw the pins to the stick from the back.


Now you have a place to clip all your notes.

I'm going to be making the yard stick version for our house and hang under our vinyl calender for the kids to keep track of reading logs, soccer schedules, and the like. I'll post pictures when I get that one done...until then, I'm off to make soap!

Here's a little hint:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Less than Perfect

I'd like to say I'm perfect (and I'd like to have you believe I'm perfect), but I am not. Sometimes I fail....really fail....and that is part of life. I have to laugh at myself or I'm pretty sure I'd have to cry.

I've been trying to get some of my fall line on the curing rack while also getting the kids ready for school and make some end of summer memories. I've been working on fall favorites and some new creations. And it seems that I've forgotten how to make soap over the summer!

I hope you don't mind seeing my ugly, imperfect side. I don't often share this kind of thing with anyone in fear you might see me in another light.

I think I must have left out one of the oils because this was clearly brittle when I unmolded it and sure enough it tested way up there on pH. Eeek......this one will be going in the garbage and I really hate that....waste that is...and that I'm not perfect. I haven't made a bad batch in FOREVER.

And this one in the same week!! What??!! I'm pretty sure I've been on vacation for way too long.

The first image is the original batch and it appears that the cocoa powder I used to color it separated out. While it is perfectly usable, let's be's ugly. My husband said it reminded him of burnt upside down cake. I think I'll chop it up and use it in my own shower. At least I don't have to throw it out. The second image is the 2nd version. It is lovely. I took the re-do as an opportunity to play with the layers creating a "crust" for my pie.

Be looking for some new pie creations and some favorites from last year. With any luck I won't have any more mishaps and have a full inventory!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gone Already?

I can't believe it is August already! The grass is scorched from record breaking heat, yet there is still beauty to be found and memories to make before I send my brood back to the arms of waiting teachers.

There are supplies to be bought and clothes to try on. And life moves on and on, faster than I can track. I know that even as I've watched them all summer they have inched their way out of shoes and pants.

August, this week in fact, marks 12 years spent with this amazing man. Twelve years, where does that time go? I've been so blessed to have grown with this man beside me. He is my best friend. He keeps me balanced like no other, brings out he best in me. He is the daddy to these precious, growing boys. I can only pray they'll turn out like him.

I guess you could say:

My summer may be drawing to an end, but I still have us. And I love who we all are together.