Friday, September 16, 2011

Hunting for a Deal

I didn't think it was going to be hard to find some used wooden frames that wouldn't cost me very much that I could paint and makeover into a few projects. WRONG!! Wow, we have looked at Goodwill, Salvation Army and hubby searched garage sales! There was nothing at the thrift stores for under $10. I started searching at stores for a good frame to just buy and finally found these two frames at Meijer on clearance. They are a little scratched up but I wanted to paint them anyway!
Not the $1 or 2 I really wanted to spend but $6.24 is better than the original price!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meet Fred

I would like to introduce you to someone. This is Fred.
This is Fred in the barber shop. Does he look a little worried there is a 4 year old about to cut his hair?

No, he should be very proud of his barber's work.

Fred is an Eye Grow that L got in her Easter basket. Last month when I reorganized her closet I found him and got him started. L has been having fun cutting his hair and best of all, it grows back! She did a pretty good job cutting his hair even. Then she directed me where to cut it and even it up. I'm not sure how long he will last but he's been a smiling face sitting in my kitchen window.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Budget Book Ledge

I couldn't wait for our second wood working project to be completely done to show you. This is number 1 of several book ledges we are building for L's room. So simple and so easy! The plans are the $10 Ledges from Ana White. All you need is 2 1x4s and 1 1x2 cut to your desired length. These ledges are 35" long to fit in a short wall between a corner and a window.
I did all of the cutting, drilling, screwing, sanding and painting on this project - Cowboy just lent a hand when I needed something held.

First Day of School

And all was well in the world... or at least with L's first day of school. She ran right into the room and forgot all about us. We had to ask her to come back and give us a hug and kiss goodbye. As sad as I may be about my little girl growing up, was exhausted and went to bed early so she must have had a great day! She talked the whole way home about learning about animals and trucks and the book mobile coming to visit. By the way, I LOVE her kitty shirt from Old Navy. Just makes me smile!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Completed Build!

I have been drooling over Ana White's sight for far too long. My husband was interested but not as willing and confident to build all of the things I wanted to build. Our first project was her Spa Bench that caused lots of headaches but lots of learning. It is still sitting in the garage with it's end yet to be determined!

So Cowboy decided that I should try using the saw. Now mind you, I had never picked up a saw in my life. I watched my dad use his plenty of times but I always had to leave the workshop room when it was time for him to turn the big table saw on. I was a little nervous turning the circular saw on for the first time but we clamped a make-shift jig onto where we needed to cut and I just followed the guide. Success!! Me doing the cuts was the key to building things together!! This was our first project that we got through it without too many hiccups and without any arguing about the best way to build it!
No, it's not a fancy piece of furniture but we built it ourselves. It's a slightly modified version of Ana White's Laundry Basket Dresser. We built it to hold outdoor toys that stay in the garage so it may or may not get painted because the garage walls are unfinished. We used 2 - 1 by 2s screwed together instead of the metal angle. The basket on the bottom we just chose to sit on the bottom. We also put it up on small plastic wheels we picked up at Menards to keep the bottom dry plus it will be easy to wheel it out to clean behind it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

School Night?!?

Tonight is our first school night and I'm just wondering where has the last 4 and a half years gone? Where is the tiny little 2 1/2 lb baby that we had to drive an hour to go visit for 2 months while she was in the hospital? Where is the baby that would lay on her tummy on the living room floor and babble at the dog? Where is the toddler that loved to watch my sewing machine and play in my fabric scraps? The past 4 1/2 years has gone by way too fast.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

101 ways to cook Eggplant

As much as I love eggplant, I have a hard time finding a variety of ways to cook it. I can only think of 3 ways! The only way I remember my mom making it was breaded and fried. When I started growing eggplant myself we starting making eggplant parmesan. This year I added ratatouille to that list of what to do with eggplant but I have so many more eggplants waiting to be picked and as much as I love fried eggplant, I don't want to fry all of them. Do you have a favorite way to make eggplant?

This is the breading recipe my mom always used:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced into rounds or cut like fries

Add salt to flour, stir in egg and oil and gradualy add milk. I tend to only use 3/4 cup of milk. I think using the whole cup makes the batter too runny. Dip eggplant in batter and fry in hot oil. I have also adapted the recipe for my own family by adding other seasoning into the flour - Mrs. Dash or a combination of seasonings that I'm in the mood for! I also lightly salt the eggplant when it's done frying.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Splish! Splash!

Yesterday was the last Friday before my little baby err... big girl heads off to school for the very first time. Since we’re STILL car shopping and stuck at home (that’s a story for a later date), Grandma asked if we wanted to go to the splash park. I had planned to take my big girl last Sunday while Daddy was out target shooting (blowing up any plastic object he could find) but it had finally cooled off and was way to chilly to be running around on a concrete pad with various sprinklers and water spraying and dumping devices. The splash park was built a couple years ago where some under used tennis courts stood. We had never been there before and couldn’t figure out why they only opened for 2 hour sessions. We got there ½ hour into a session and it was the perfect amount of time to cool off on a 90 degree day. I’m glad no one else had a camera because I probably made a terrible face when the barrel of water dumped on me just as I was walking under it.
This was the obvious favorite of all of the kids. In the hour and half we were there, there was always someone hiding inside of this water feature.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Meaningful Words

When I got home from feeding the horses this morning, my husband stopped me to read a scripture verse he came across: If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done - Ecclesiastes 11:4
I can't even begin to tell you how many things this applies to in our life right now. During the afternoon while he was at work, I started reading in my bible but I couldn't find the verse. I even called him and he told me which chapter he thought it was in. I read through 3 chapters trying to find it again. When he got home we discovered why I couldn't find it. In my bible 11:4 reads: "Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest." Now if we would have read my bible I don't think it would have connected as much. Both of ours are actually New Living Translations but we bought them a few years apart.
Do you have a favorite verse of the bible?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Have you heard about Martha's new paints?

I must have been hiding under a rock, or at least under a pile of paper that wasn't letting me wander my favorite crafty blogs. I didn't know that Martha Stewart was releasing a line of acrylic paints for Plaid. Unfortunately they are only available at Michael's though. As much as I do love Michael's, we only have a Hobby Lobby and Joann's in town.

If you've been hiding under the same rock as me, here are some links to some reviews showing off these versatile paints on everything from wood to fabric.

The Crafting Chicks painted storage cans for crayons and other school supplies as well as metal lunch boxes.

Craft Test Dummies has a good review of the 5 different finishes available.

And Tatertots and Jello stenciled decorative pillows!

I haven't had the privilege of trying these paints out but I can't wait to save up a little spending money and drive 45min to Michael's. Have you had the chance to use any of this new line yet? I'd love to see what you've used them for.

Here is Martha herself talking about her new paint line: