Thursday, November 20, 2014

Professional Help for the Cookie Bowls

So, when we announced our new schedule, we mentioned that we'd only have posts up on Sundays and Wednesdays unless we just had something really great that we didn't want to wait to share with you. Well, today I found something way fun that I want to share!

Remember back to our first Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl post where Tessa sent in this Pinstrosity?
Well today I discovered (through the nifty gadget in our sidebar that plays a slideshow of all the Instagram photos tagged with #pinstrosity) that Tessa was on the Rachael Ray show earlier this month getting help from the pros with this exact project! How fun is that?! Way to go Tessa! Watch the clip to see what Chef Ryan Scott does to get these to work right. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Saggy Ornament Wreath

Alright. I'll do it. I'll pull out the first Christmas post of the 2014-2015 Christmas season. I realize I'm stuffing Thanksgiving a little (hehe, nice pun there Marquette. Why thank you!), but this one is great. Especially for those of us who haven't started decorating yet because either we're Thanksgiving purists and the Christmas boxes cannot be cracked one second earlier than December 1st, or we're bah humbugging it this year (I'll have you know the Google spell checker didn't even give the squiggly red underline with humbugging...apparently it's a real word because Google said so and Google knows all), or we just haven't even thought about it yet really. This project looks like a quick and easy DIY Christmas Wreath of glass ball happiness, but, as Katy found out, it doesn't always go as planned. Katy sent in the two photos she took her inspiration from, and two photos of her results.

The Original Pins
So, as is all too common on Pinterest, along the line of pinning the wrong picture got attributed to the wrong blog/pin. The picture below is the pin that Katy pinned, but it wasn't on the blog it linked to. I did finally find the original post and have it linked below. But Katy didn't have that link and so she had to wing it. 
I did some digging on the link the pin led to and I found the 2nd photo she sent us on the blog:
Finding this post was the key to the puzzle. But first...let me show you Katy's results.

The Pinstrosity

Katy's exact words were, "I like my festive, but saggy, balls."

So what happened here? Lack of wire strength. As there were no directions linked to by the pin, Katy had to go off the pictures. The 2nd picture of the original pins looks like it is the start of an ornament wreath, but after digging around and finding the original post the photo came from a wreath was not in order, but this fun chandelier decoration:

If you look at the post, Mike uses flexible wire to string the ornaments on as the wire doesn't have to hold a specific shape. They just needed something sturdy to string the ornaments on to rest them in the chandelier.

When I found the original source to the ornament wreath photo that showed what this project truly needs as far as wire goes. They used a coat hanger. You need sturdy wire that isn't going to bend with the weight of the ornaments.

So it ended up being another case of the mis-pinned photo...that dastardly imp struck again. It gets the best of all of us. I hate finally opening up one of my pins that I've been excited about only to find the internet imp has switched things around and that actual picture is no where to be found where the pin led. I don't know why all the sudden it's an internet imp, but apparently that's what's going on with all our web woes.

Moral of the story? If your wire is tired and not very strong, your wreath will be saggy and won't last all that long.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Em's Halloween Show-and-Tell!

Marquette shared her Halloween costume show and tell the other day, and I thought it would be fun to share ours too!! Happy Wednesday all!!
Chip and I went as Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus for all of our Halloween festivities!

(I had chalk all over me buy the end of the night from our sign lol)
We went to our church trunk-or-treat and had a themed trunk for all of the kids at the activity.
These pictures are really awful because it was dark, I apologize, but you get the idea...
We had candy and glow sticks. We had a little game for the kids, if they could throw the ball into the last row of jack-o-lantern cups they got candy AND a glow stick (if they didn't get the ball in the cup after a few tries they still got candy).
We had fun playing science lab all night.
It's hard to see here, but the jars are all filled with glowing bugs and we had science books, and skulls in our "Science Lab".

 Here is Dr. Nye in his element ;)
For our costumes I found the dress at a thrift store, it was a gosh awful pink before and I used fabric dye from the craft section at Wal-Mart to get my awesome purple color. The dye I got was a cobalt blue, but the blue plus pink made purple! I'll take it!
Next I cut out and hot glued all the felt pieces onto the dress. I drew everything by hand with a  marker, then cut them out and glued them on.
My wig was a child's Disney Merida wig that I pinned up, I used Chip as my mannequin!
For Chip's costumes we borrowed the coat and prop goggles, I bought him the bow tie and he wore his Sunday clothes. Done.
We had a really good time and I've been wanting to do Miss Frizzle (whose first name is Valerie, who knew??) for a while.
Just so no ones feels like we have a handle on the holiday season, I just cleaned our car out yesterday. True story. Real life!!
Hope you all had a great Halloween! On to November!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oil Stain Remover Tested

Welp, as promised earlier, I have the results of my first oil stain remover test! Because I had all the supplies, I chose to test the wikihow oil remover instructions first. 

Step 1. Spill oil on shirt. Check. 

2. The instructions said to use a paper towel to blot out remaining oil, but my shirt was already dry...there was no oil to blot. So I proceeded on to the step where I cover the stain in baking soda and let it sit for 60 minutes. The baking soda is supposed to soak up the oil. They say to repeat this step until the baking soda no longer turns brown. As the oil was already dry, this only took one application for me.

3. Scrape off all remaining baking soda with a credit card. You can barely see the stain spot at this point, so I was hopeful.

4. Apply dish washing detergent as a pre treatment, and scrub into the fabric with an old toothbrush until it foams. I couldn't ever get it to foam...but I sure scrubbed the soap into the fabric!

5. Wash with 1-2 other non-delicate items with normal detergent, on the hottest water settings, and add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar. I added about 3/4 of a cup.

6. Dry as normal is the last step, so into the dryer it went.

Did it work?
Did it?

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

On one hand I'm a tiny bit sad it didn't turn into a Pinstrosity (I kind of figured it would as the oil was already dry and these instructions seemed to be for fresh oil spillage), but only because I now don't have a Pinstrosity to show you. But, you now have a oil removal method that you can try at home with ingredients you most likely have on hand! Cool! I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me.

Halloween Costume Pinspiration while we Wait.

Last week I got to spend some time up with my sister, her 2 children, and my sister in law. We had a marvelous week, but one of my shirts may end up dead because of it. Of course I was wearing a new gray shirt I'd recently bought and didn't think I needed an apron, and I spilled olive oil on it. I ran to the bathroom and rinsed it out and applied soap right away, but the stain was there when it dried. So today I have 3 oil removal pins I am testing. My shirt is currently in the washer testing out the first pin (which I had all the supplies for here at home), and if that doesn't work I have 2 other pins I will try (but I have to run to town and get a few supplies). All this to save a shirt. Sheesh. So while the shirt is in the wash and we all wait for the results, I thought I would share my Pin Win from Halloween! 

About 2 weeks before Halloween I happened on instructions for an adult Mr. Tumnus (the faun from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) costume on Pinterest, and I knew that one year I would turn Darrow into Mr. Tumnus for Halloween. Then as the time approached I realized how easy it would be for all of us to just go as Narnians, so I looked up pictures and ideas (on and off of Pinterest) and went for it.  We bought some supplies for Darrow's costume, but we wanted to make ours out of what we could find at home, and that proved a little tricky, but it worked!

Who do we have there? Let's go through the characters.

Mr. Tumnus
As soon as I saw this photo with the curly hair I knew this was definitely on the to do list for Darrow some day.  His costume pulled together perfectly!

I got the fabric for the pants at JoAnn's. Once I saw that red fur, I couldn't leave it there! I bought just enough (a rectangle 18" x the width of the fabric) to fit how tall I wanted the pants to be (giving myself a few inches for elastic and hemming). I should have taken step by step photos, but of course I didn't think of it until afterward, but it wasn't too hard.

  • First I spread the fabric out on the table (fur side down) and laid a pair of Darrow's sweat pants over the top to trace the outline. I gave an extra inch and a half on the top to make room for the elastic waistband. 
  • I got two pant silhouettes cut out, and then trimmed the fur on the edges (cutting it down to the fabric layer) so that it would be easier to sew. I trimmed 3/8" on all the edges except the top; the top got a 2 1/2" trim. 
  • With right sides (the furry side) together I sewed the legs of the pants together (leaving the leg holes and the waist hole open). 
  • Next in went the elastic. I folded the top of the pants down towards the inside and sewed a casing for the elastic (leaving a small section open to insert the elastic). After measuring Darrow's "waist", I cut a length of elastic the same length and fed it through the casing. I overlapped the elastic ends by 1/2" and sewed them together and then hand stitched the casing closed. 
  • Last I hand hemmed the pant legs. I would have machine stitched them, but I didn't want a visible seam on the outside over the top of the fur. 
For the scarf, I bought a skein of red yarn and crocheted up a simple stitch. I chained 11, then did alternating rows of 10 single crochets and 10 double crochets to give it a little bit of texture. To finish it off I added tassels to the end. 

For the horns I bought a light colored plastic headband (his head is big enough that a regular sized one worked great), and some tan felt. For the ears I cut out 4 ear shapes and then glued two pieces together to make them thicker so they would stick out better. I glued those onto the headband with clear gel tacky glue (using clothespins to hold the felt on until the glue dried). After the glue dried, I pinched the ears together at the base and glued them (again, using clothespins) to give them more of a 3D look. For the horns I cut out 4 horn shapes, and then sewed two pieces together, leaving the bottoms open. I turned them right side out, put a little stuffing in (if you don't have stuffing you can use toilet paper, or whatever you can find), and then glued them to the top of the head band. 

I bought black boots for him to wear, but they just didn't look right, so we went with his black/gray socks as his hoofs. 

Since Halloween is cold here, we put him in a long sleeve tan onesie rather than letting him go topless. If I hadn't wanted the onesie afterward I would have drawn some abs on there, but I decided not to. 

Next we had Susan Pevensie:


I decided to use Susan's battle outfit as the inspiration for basing my costume. Since I was using only what I could find around the house, it wasn't exact, but it worked well I think. 

The skirt came from two old curtains I made for our first apartment (I knew there was a reason to hang on to them! I knew the fabric would come in handy! I cut the top tabs off, sewed seams up the side and added an elastic waist band. TaDa! Not anything I'll wear to church, but it worked great for the costume.

I had a long sleeve shirt in a similar shade of red that I wore underneath.

Next was the armor/chain mail. We're a little short on chain mail around here. I did find some brown mottled fabric in my stash and made a quick and dirty "shrug", and then put my stretchy brown tank top on over the top (tucking the straps down in so it looked "corset-ish" like her armor.

The costume was still lacking though, so I added two belts, and that helped quite a bit.

Even though her battle outfit didn't have a cape, many of her Narnia costumes did, so I took a tablecloth that matched my belt and fastened it on with a safety pin. To hid the safety pin and make the whole thing look better I then clipped on two gold clip-on earrings to look like the clasp/pin on the cape.

Topping it off were Cameron's powder horn to use as Susan's horn, and then Cameron's quiver of arrows. I opted to leave the bow behind since I knew I'd be carrying Darrow for part of the night.

Finishing it off was Susan's signature hairstyle. Not too shabby for last minute and all homespun!

And then finally, a Troll:

According to the Narnia Fanon Wiki, "Trolls were a race of ugly and evil beings that lived in the Trollshaws, located in the vast, virtually ungoverned nation of NorthfellAfter Narnia's creation, Trolls were most often found in cold, mountainous regions of Northdell, but can be encountered nearly anywhere. Despite been evil, Trolls were very intelligent, civilized, and worshipful." I'm not sure if that comes from the books or if it's just fan fiction, but there you go. Trolls are listed on the Wiki list of Narnian Creatures, so we just went with it because...we already have a troll costume made!
The troll hat from previous years had since been dismantled to use for other costumes, so for this year we used the Dobby ears from the Harry Potter Girls Camp skit instead. My favorite part of this whole costume is the tail, it cracks me up.

The vest is made from burlap sacks and twine. The shirt is an old dress shirt that we shredded the sleeves on and then literally rubbed in the dirt and ashes. For the pants we let out the hems an shredded the bottoms, and then added patches to the legs. The tail is an old coat hanger wrapped in brown strips of fabric, with a lock of wig hair glued to the end. The nose is a costume witch nose we got at Walmart.


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