July 29, 2010

day 4.

Today is Day 4 on my journey to better health.

This week has been a little squirrelly in some respects...especially since I gave up coffee.

Yup, you read right.


You can imagine what the last few days have been like. Two days of mild headaches. Complete exhaustion day 1 and 2...well, let's just carry that into day 3 too.

But here we are! Day 4! I actually woke up feeling pretty good too! Not overly tired...not real foggy...and I got out for my morning walk. LOVE that. The fresh air and sun really helps to kick off the day right.

Some of the views on this morning's walk....

So, not only have I given up coffee, but I'm also doing without red meat, processed sugar, and dairy. I've done it before, and honestly, have never felt better in my whole life than when I ate REALLY well. I've read several of Marilu Henner's books, and even got to meet her! She's AMAZING! She has done so much with her life and even with her crazy schedule, she manages to eat amazing food, exercise, and do everything with GUSTO! If you haven't read any of her books, you really should.

My new favorite breakfast??


They live in my freezer and they call my name now each morning. Take one of these, toast it up, and put on a little natural peanut butter and a drizzle of honey.


I think I took 4 bites before I even got to the table.

I wish I could make them last longer....

...but they're just sooooo gooooood.


...GONE. Not even a crumb left on the plate.

Off to enjoy the rest of my healthy day! It's GORGEOUS out today! We'll be running a few errands, playing, picking up the house a bit, and getting ready for a fun weekend.

Have a great day!

July 26, 2010

monkey how-to's: scrapbook paper wall flowers

Awhile back, I saw these GORGEOUS paper flowers, done by Amy at H is for Handmade. She made these strips of paper flowers, hung in a store window display. Holy cow...go check them out - they were BEAUTIFUL!! She actually took inspiration for that project from another project she had done - a felt Chrysanthemum pillow. Again, quite a beauty!!

I've gone to her blog several times to gawk at those projects and figure out how, exactly, I could do something along those lines for my daughter's room.

It finally hit me...instead of doing the version Amy did, that hung on a ribbon, I'd figure out how to make one that could just hang flush against the wall.

So, while I had extra crafty hands here this weekend (my aunt from Texas and my mom), I insisted we give it a go!

I gathered my materials:
Scrapbook paper (several different sheets)
Scrapbook Adhesive
Hot Glue Gun
Tissue paper

I took a bowl from my kitchen and traced it on the cardboard. I then cut out the circle. I think it's about 10 inches or so in diameter. The cool thing about this project is that you could really make these ANY SIZE! Whatever you want/need!!

Then, I drew a flower petal on the back of one of the pieces of paper. We used 12x12 paper, and I made the petal 12 inches long (not sure if you can see that in this photo above on the back of that paper). These 12 inch petals are the largest. We used one petal to trace the rest and cut out 8 of them.

Here are all 8 of our big petals. Lookin' good so far, right?!?!

For our next row of petals, I knew they needed to be smaller. Check out Amy's tutorial for her pillow - she describes it even better. At any rate, I made the next row of petals slightly smaller than the big ones. We cut out 8 of those too.

Here it is with the second row of petals spread out. We staggered them so they'd fill the empty spaces.

Finally, we cut out 8 more petals, slightly smaller than the last ones.

So, once we were done cutting, we had our circle for the center of the flower, 8 large petals, 8 medium petals, and 8 small petals.

My daughter even helped me to trace and cut out a solid piece of cardstock that we stuck on the cardboard center. I used scrapbook dot adhesive to stick that paper on.

To add dimension to the flower, we decided to staple the ends of the petals together. I hope this part is clear! Basically, we took the smallest end of the petal (the end that will attach to the center) pinched the two sides together, and stapled them. You can see above the ones that are stapled curl up a bit.

Here's my mom showing how she pinched the petal ends.

Okay, first row done! All stapled - now time to hot glue them down!

Basically, I tried to flatten out the end enough so I could get a big glob of glue on there, then I stuck the petal down. I placed them at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 positions on the clock, then filled in from there.

The first row is glued down!

Lookin' good so far!!


Before we glued down the second row, we had the second row of petals laid out, and my mom looked at it on the table, and was like,

"This would make a beautiful centerpiece! Let's stick a candle in the middle!"

So we did! And she was right - very pretty! This would be a fun centerpiece for a spring/summer bridal or baby shower, or even a girly birthday party.

We decided to try out a vase of flowers too. Hey, when you've got an idea, you've gotta run with it, right? We thought maybe some tulle down around the base of the vase or candle (we're thinkin' flameless might be best here, considering all the paper!) to cover all of the ends of the petals.

Alright, so back to the project. For row two, we decided we needed a little something to help us hold down the petals right after we stuck them on. Since the first row was down, there was a good bit of dimension happening, making it a little tough to hold them in place with just our fingers. Plus, let's face it, the glue was HOT and we didn't feel like burning our fingers all night (my aunt's done that before, and we felt like we really needed to preserve what was left of her fingertips).

Here it is with 2 rows of petals down!

We did the same thing with the third row.

We then needed to make something for the center. We decided to cut out 4 (2 big, 2 little) X shaped flowers out of tissue paper.

My mom whipped up a tissue paper flower. I think she just accordion-folded a piece of paper, tied some curly ribbon around the center, then opened up the flower. Easy peasy! GO MOM!

I set all 4 'X' flowers on top of one another - the 2 big ones first, then the two smaller ones. I staggered them so the petals hit in different spaces. I put 2 staples in them so they'd stay together. Then I glued those down on the center of the flower. Next, I glued the flower on top.

Okay, that's IT!!! It sounds like alot, but seriously, I'd guess it maybe took us an hour and a half, including cutting out the petals, stapling, gluing, and picture taking! NOT BAD, right?!?!

The next day, while I was out enjoying a walk (ON MY OWN - GASP!!!), my mom and aunt gathered the scraps and helped Lydia make a smaller one!!! They didn't do the stapling on hers, just cut out the petals, stuck them on with scrapbook adhesive, made a fringy little center, and stuck on a button. Lydia was SO PROUD!!! (so was mommy!! **sniff sniff**)

Now...to see them on the WALL in her room!!

I am completely ecstatic with how they BOTH turned out!! I put them on the wall above her 'book nook' (using the 3M velcro strips!!) and purposely put them up a bit higher so she wouldn't want to pull at them all the time. Although, I'm kinda thinkin' we MIGHT need one more small one! ;)

That's it! I think it's a project that definitely ends up looking like it took longer than it did. The finished product has a 'wow' factor, I think...with the different papers and the dimensional quality of the flower.

If you have a little girl who likes flowers, enjoys crafting, and loves color, think about giving this project a try! I don't think you'll be disappointed!!!

**Linking up to:**

are ya feelin' the tie-dye craze?

I'm guessing that most of you in blogland have no idea that I used to have a very small business on HyenaCart. I dyed cloth diapers and clothes. Totally random, right?

Well, this was a few years ago, before tie-dye came back with a vengeance. Actually, maybe we in the cloth diapering world brought it back to cool? Hmmm...I doubt it, but hey, it was worth a shot, right?

When I got pregnant with our son, I stopped dying because the smell of the dyes and chemicals used to set the dye drove me crazy. My little business went to the wayside. *sigh* But boy, in the midst of it all, I had FUN with the dyes!!

I dyed mostly cloth diapers...different brands and types. I cloth diapered my daughter and the fabrics and diaper options were endless!! But, since I'm a mama who LOVES color, I had to jazz up some of her stash. So I started with her diapers...

...I dyed, and dyed, and dyed. I went through all of her diapers, then got some white tees to do for her.

I loved making her matching sets!

And she LOVED playing in piles of clean, soft diapers!!

Then I ordered a couple of white cotton dresses and outfits for her. I dyed those up too! Needless to say, she was a colorful little girl! She loved when I'd make something new for her - and she'd ooooh and aaaah over the colors.

I got so many positive comments from some of the message boards I was on that I started a small business online. VERY small. I'd offer custom dye slots to dye others' diapers and clothes. I also sold some new clothes in my shop.

I loved doing tees - it was always so fun to see how things would come out.

Dyed prefold diapers were a hit too.

And these little dresses were some of my favorite things I had done - for two sisters. How cute do you think they were in these matching frocks? I bet adorable!

This morning, I was shopping around online and almost purchased a dyed tee.


I had to slap myself!!

The one I saw was insanely overpriced and not even that cute. What was I thinking?!?!

My brain must have been in a fog...I gave up coffee today. Yikes.

But then I got to thinking that maybe I should dye up some duds for me and the fam. My little guy would look so cute in a rockin' blue/green/yellow tee. And my daughter could use a few tees for fall/winter. Hmmm....

Have you all been enjoying the dyed clothing craze? Some love it, some hate it. I have a love-hate relationship with it sometimes, depending on the dying I guess.

Who knows...maybe I'll bust out the dyes soon. If so, I'll be sure to keep you in the know. Do I smell a tutorial in the future?!?!?! Anything's possible!! ;)


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