towel rug

I have been keeping around some old holey bath towels for over a year in hopes of making a rug from them, but could not figure out how to accomplish a nice looking rug with a crappy looking towel. That was until Sparkle Power! came to my rescue.
Sparkle Power
 She made a rug with the towel inside of a covering! Now why did I not think of that? I love the internet and blogs (when they are not a time-suck and give me brilliant ideas, of course).
I have to admit, I love Candace's binding, but I was in too much of a hurry to learn that new skill. I needed it done in a hour,when my son would wake up from napping. Plus I had about a billion other things I needed to speed through during his nap. This is my version.

Sooooooo, I used a pillow case (we upgraded to a king mattress and therefore king pillows a while ago so this pillow case, which I love, was not to be used again on our bed. And I did not think my son would want it in his bed) to cover a double layer thickness of towel (trimmed to size).

Next, stuff it in to the pillow case. Cut off the excess of the pillow case, and sew it shut.
Then run a stitch 3 inches around the perimeter. I won't lie and say that was easy with all that towel in there. My machine struggled and I had to get it back on track a few times, but the ol' machine got through it and I gave it a pat on the back when it was done!

 A cushy place to land after getting clean.


happy easter!

He is risen!

taken with my droid

He is risen indeed!

Thank you God for all you have given us. The sky, the earth, the rain, the sun, my precious family and most of all your life and my salvation.


easter tea towels

Gosh! It's almost Easter and I haven't posted these Easter tea towels yet! Good thing they are super simple.

 All you need are:
* white tea towels. I got mine from Target, but they are also at the Dollar Store
* cute fabric (mine is from walmart over 2 years ago!)
* design (the bunny I used is pretty much Martha Stewart's bunny)
* iron
* steam-a-seam 2 (pictured below)
Trace your bunny (or eggs, or any other shape) on the paper backing of the Steam-a-Seam2

Place it on your fabric

And, just like that, you are done! I have given several as gifts! Fun to give, because they are decorative and functional. My favorite type of gift!
Sorry the pics aren't so great! That comes with the territory of a working Mom. You take photos of things when you can, not when the light is awesome!


easter creatures and wheat grass

Day 5
 Who knew it would be so hard to find wheat grass seeds. I went to 2 stores and called 3 others. My mom called at least 4 stores and finally found the seeds at a health food store. geeez! I was so glad when she found them and brought them to me so that my little son and I could plant the grass and watch it grow.
Day 8
 I thought the wheat grass was the perfect setting my newest little Easter friends. Meet Peep.
 Here is Peep, with her siblings Cheep, and Cheepie.  Cheepie was adopted by a friend today.
Day 9
 And here's the Easter bunny!
 and his little cotton tail
 So pretty with the sun's rays shining through the blades.
 By the way, I dyed the chicks' wool yellow using KOOL-AID! My aunt told me about this so I was so excited to try it out. I plunged the wool in warm water then in another bowl heated water in the microwave until it boiled and poured the lemonade flavored kool-aid in it. Then I stuck the wool into the kool-aid mixture bowl and microwaved it for 2 minutes, let it cool for 2 minutes and then microwaved it for 1 minute. I combined several methods I found on the web. I suggest only doing this if you plan on needle felting the wool. If you want to dye wool yarn, there are special tutorials on that. I wouldn't want you to wet felt your wool, even a little, if you weren't wanting that!

The photo below does not show the true color of the yellow wool. The chicks are a better representation on the color.
And just for fun...look what I woke up to the other morning! So cool! The mirror across from our coat closet reflected my son's silhouette on the door.
Here are the (extremely embarrassingly dirty) mirrors.


the country bunny

This is a book I've had since childhood. I did not recall any fond memories reading  it, so I was not totally  heartbroken when my son ripped it up.
 I made lemonade with lemons and made some Easter art!

 There were about 4 ripped pages and a missing page or two.

 Not a great photo, but you get the idea of scale. The frames were $1 each in the clearance section of Ikea. I got 4 of them, but only used three for this.
 As you can see, once I arranged them pictures on the mantle, I changed the orientation of one of them to horizontal. It looked better that way.


baking debut

Believe it or not, my 2 year old son and I had never baked cookies together! Part of this is that I hardly even get to bake anymore, even alone. Too many other things going on! I remember when I would bake these cookies or something else almost every weekend. That was pre-baby. My son has a mini-obsession with the mixer already, so he had a great time. He poured in all the ingredients and turned on and off the mixer.
My son saw this photo later and said, Look spill!" That is what he noticed!

My mini ice-cream scoop and my slipats (although this is not my "true" silpat) are my best baking friends.
You can see one is missing. We had to try them right away!
The basic recipe is from Jessica Seinfeld's much talked about book, Deceptively Delicious. Here's her recipe.

This is my (healthier) variation on her recipe. My changes are in italics, if you want to compare.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpeas

1c brown sugar

½c apple sauce + 1/4 c flax seed (in place of margarine)

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (aka garbanzo beans) (no need to mash-they get kind of ground up in the mixer)

bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour (or 1.5 white flour +1/2 cup w.w. flour)

1/2 cup oats (or 1/4 cup old fashioned oats + 1 "bar" crunched up shredded wheat cereal)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 350

Beat the sugar and butter until smooth

Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then chickpeas and chocolate chips

Sift in flour, oats, baking soda and salt
Scoop dough with ice cream scoop

Bake 11-13 minutes, careful not to over bake (I take them out early while they are still soft and I love them this way).
Makes 3 dozen
Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. They freeze well too! Take one or two out of the freezer and put in the microwave for a few seconds-heaven!

Variation: add approx 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder to the batter to make double chocolate cookies.

I've tried all sorts of variations (soy flour, demura sugar, etc) and they all taste good.


painting animals outside

With this warm weather we've had the last couple of days we decided to strip down to the diapy and head out back and do some painting this weekend.

We went to see the weed-eating goats our town has "hired" the this weekend and we also bought some little wooden animals (goats, pig,dog and cow) at Michael's.

My son loved painting these goats. I think technically the large one is a cow, but he calls the big one "mommy goat" and the little one "baby goat." Cuteness!


home is wherever i'm with you

thread art

The inspiration for this project was from Nelly's thread art post (fraufertig), whose work I saw on MADE's Celebrate the Boy series (Didn't you love it?).
Originally I thought I would made our last name initial for our dining room, but since we are working on finishing our bedroom (hopefully that post will come soon), I decided we needed to get some artwork on the walls in there first. I wanted something romantic and ever since I saw this video, I have loved this phrase...
home is wherever i'm with you.

Here is the original song. Love it!
All marriages have their ups and downs,twists and turns, but through it all, home is how I feel about my husband.
hence my thread art for our bedroom:

Okay, let's go!
Materials needed:
1. Piece of wood. Mine is about 22" x 24". I bought a large piece of plywood from Home Depot for about $15 and had them cut it into a bunch of different sizes for several projects I am working on, but you can get just the smaller size you want for cheaper. The cutter-guy was great.He let me take my time figuring out what sizes I want and my son got to see wood being cut by a huge machine! Cool!
2. Paint in desired color. I primed mine and then painted it white. (free since I had it on hand)
3. Sand paper and block sander or power sander.
3. Lettering. If you have vinyl and a cool vinyl cutter, awesome. If not, like me, you can get letters from the scrapbook store. Mine were $5.
4. Thread. Strong. (also free since I had it on hand)
5. Little baby nails with heads. Mine were $1.50 at Home Depot.
6. Hammer.
7. Hanging apparatus. I used 2 of the teeth-type hangers which I screwed in the back of the wood. Make sure that the screws are not longer than the depth of your plywood! You can do this first or after you are done.
8. Map and thick backing paper for the heart.
9. Glue gun and glue sticks.

One you have cut, sanded, primed and painted your plywood, cut out a template of the shape you want to create with the thread. Mine was a "home" or house.  I used one of my son's old drawings for the template paper, as to not waste paper (side note: I also use his drawings as gift wrap and cut out pieces of his art for cards to give to family members.)

Start hammering in the little nails all around the edge. I took the cue from Nelly and measured out little tick marks on the paper so the nails were (fairly) evenly spaced.

My little helper.
That red-orangy mark on his index finger? A callous from sucking on it. The other marks? Markers.
I used needle nose pliers to hold the nails up. This helped me from not pounding my thumb and index finger and held it up straighter than I could with my fingers.
Highly recommend this.
 The result after all the pounding. I debated if I should just keep it as is....I really do like it this way with just the nails...but I went for it and started winding thread around the nails. I did not have a real plan. I just started in the square and worked around from one opposite side to the other until I felt I was finished. Then I moved on to the roof.

Definitely use a good quality thread that will not break easily. This will save you a lot of heart-ache because if your thread snaps you have to start over. Luckily, I had my favorite color (gray) on hand and it is a good brand. I did not get any photos of the actual thread-wrapping, but it's pretty self-explanatory. Start by triple knotting the thread at your starting point.

Once you are done winding the thread around in one direction, tie triple knots at ending point and at random spots wind the thread around the head of the nail a few times to secure it. Then move on to another direction. Once you are satisfied with the design, tie it off. When you're done with the thread part, move on to your lettering.  Use painter's tape to align your letters and mark the center.
This was my scratch-paper-idea-drawing.  I used that to count the letters and spaces.
This is the package of chip board letters I bought.
 Place the middle letter on your center line and start placing the letters.

It took me a while to decide if I should go with my original idea of a compass of a map in the heart for the middle of the thread art or do something different. In the end, I decided to just to stick with the plan (again). I cut out a heart around the compass of a regular old map and then glued it on another heart cut from thick crafting paper to make it stiff. Then I hot glued it on top of the thread. Of course, you can skip this step depending on what your thread art is composed of.

Take off the tape and you are done!

I'm happy to report that even the hubs likes it! That is sayin' something, let me tell ya!