Monday, October 20, 2014

Week in Review: October 13-19

Ooh! My Week-in-Review is so warm & cozy this week! I LOVE it.
I haven't blogged my W.I.R. in a while now. So, if you're sippin' a cup of coffee or hot cocoa or tea or some other delicious fall-inspired drink, just sit back. Relax. And read. Because this is where I blabber about my week & whatever else I feel like chatting about. Writing is my therapy. And I appreciate you stopping by!


This weekend a friend invited me to go to her church's women's retreat. It was in Spokane, WA at Bozarth Mansion. What an absolutely beautiful home! I practically skipped around the property with my camera, snapping random things, snapping all the things. It was built in 1911, & full of old details that I just couldn't get enough of. My friend, Julie, & I stayed in the bridal suite. haha! 
The whole weekend I was surrounded by women I didn't know. But they were so kind & lovely. Which meant I followed Julie around like a scared puppy only half the time. The speaker was really good—I got lots of tasty nuggets for my soul. And worshiping in a setting like that with all of our soft pretty voices was a special sound.
The Mr. was a champ for watching the girls at home. He fed them donuts for breakfast & frozen meals for dinner. They stayed up late all weekend, ate piles of frozen yogurt, skipped rocks, played with friends, went to the park, & walked along the river.
Apparently all the fun stuff happens when I'm gone. 
It WAS hard to leave the mansion. And the atmosphere of not needing to be needed all the time, of duty & responsibility. Escaping reality for a brief moment is a good thing. A necessary thing. Sometimes you don't realize you need something until you receive it. This weekend was just that for me.
And just so you know: Waking up on a foggy fall morning in a mansion is magical.


I love mustard. As in: the color. I treated myself to a mustard-colored cardigan from Target a few months ago. I actually gasped when I saw it. (I have a friend who says when she sees anything colored "mustard" pop up on her Pinterest wall, she knows it's me that pinned it. And she's right.) Now that the autumn is upon us, I can wear that warm, cozy cardigan. And I do. Like, all the time. I should have bought 3 or 4 or 12 of those sweaters. I want to be like those TV or movie characters that open their closets & have the same outfit draping from each hanger. My repetitive outfit of choice would be jeans + random t-shirt + mustard cardigan. 
Last week my mother had this brilliant idea to paint all 4 outside doors of her house. 
She asked, "What color should I paint them?"
Mustard.
Of course.
So we went to Home Depot & color-matched my sweater to the perfect shade. The color we actually chose is "Rice Curry". But I renamed it "Nikki's Cardigan". 
Her doors look AMAZING.


My sister & mother & I continue to get together every month for breakfast & tea. We had a little cry this time. Which seems a customary happening since grandmother passed away four months ago. Grandmother is missed so much. And the ache in my heart continues because she is gone. I'm trying to think of little things to do to honor her. Even little seemingly insignificant things. Like, the knitted piece I'm working on, (to yarn bomb a tree), was made casting on 92 stitches—to represent the 92 years my grandmother lived on this earth. I'm thinking of attaching it to a tree near the benches she used to rest on when she walked at the park by the river.
I am anxious for more chilly weather to arrive, so I can wear the cat sweatshirt & plaid flannel she always wore. 


Have you seen the 15-second stop-motion video I made? It was a fun little "just because" project I did as a promotional tool for my blog. A mini commercial, if you will. Picking songs to go with videos is so much fun. Take a peek HERE. Hope you like it! And please share it, if you do!


In case you haven't heard on my WhiMSy love facebook page, I am working on a D.I.Y. Christmas Crafty Countdown Blog Extravaganza. Or just D.I.Y.C.C.C.B.E. for short. Haha! Not really. I don't know what I'll call it.
 EVERY SINGLE DAY, starting Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) & running through Christmas Eve, I will post an original do-it-yourself tutorial on the blog! 
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 
That's TWENTY-SEVEN projects! 
Who's ready for a month of crafty fun with this girl?
And, phew! There's a lot of work going on in the background here: Brainstorming, crafting, snapping photos of each step, editing photos, scheduling blog posts, cleaning up one mess so I can make another mess, etc. Trying to get a head start on everything means I HAVE to craft. I HAVE to. (hee! hee!) I am loving my days, scattered with craftiness in-between all the mom & wife stuff.
But it is KILLING ME to keep all these projects secret. I am seriously dying at all the cuteness that I can't share. Yet. And what has always happened in the past is that I get a cool idea in my head, but then I forget about it, or don't share it fast enough---&, before I know it, someone else has the SAME idea! And so then my cool idea becomes NOT my cool idea. I'm freaking out, hoping my ideas will still be original by the time they post. Is that weird? I know I'm not the only one this happens to.
Though there is still much work to be done, thirty-nine days is an awful long time to still have to wait. 
Dear Thanksgiving: Hurry up & get here!!!


Well, here's to a grand week!
Happy Monday!

For a photo play-by-play, click HERE.







Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY: Glitter & Bejeweled Spider Rings

I love the creative process. Lately I've been crafting behind the scenes, prepping for my month-long Crafty Christmas Countdown on the blog, (to begin Black Friday & run EVERY DAY through Christmas Eve!) & so I'm making & making & making stuff all day. Every day. Random ideas for a project will pop into my head & I just run with it. It's so fun when that happens! Today, while working on Christmas crafty stuff, this Halloween spider ring idea popped into my brain. It's a bit chaotic in the WhiMSy love house. You should see the dining table. Let me rephrase that: You CAN'T see the dining table. Stuff everywhere. The Mr. loves it. (Not.)
This project is so simple. So easy. Like, it'll take you minutes to complete. And your daughters will fight over which ones are their favorites.

**I realize that most spiders have 8 eyes. But CRAFTY spiders, you see, have however many eyes you want them to have. So there.

 •The glitter is from EK Success, & it is AWESOME!
•I went to Goodwill & found the rings. I got a bajillion for 88cents!
•The artwork in the background is from a little Pazely girl. I love the fanged creatures!







Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recycle DIY: Doodlebook (super fast & easy!!)

The Mr. tossed it in the trash & I quickly grabbed it, thinking I could make it into something else.
Recycle DIY to the rescue.
This is SUCH a quick little crafty project. In fact, the 10-year old made it.








Monday, September 29, 2014

#Neon Makeover

Who doesn't love a fun "Before" & "After" makeover?
I was recently given a really girly, pretty vanity. Free is awesome. Zoey wanted the vanity in her room. But it was too girly & pretty for her tastes. She began to ask questions like, "When are you going to paint this, mom?" Actually, it was just that one question, repeated over & over & over. 

I decided to tag team with Zoey for some DIY mother/daughter fun. I felt like it was important for her to see how much goes into a project like this. 
It consumed our whole weekend. She did get out of the messiest of the jobs, though: sanding. While she was in school on Friday I did that horrible task alone. But I complained & moaned about it when I picked her up, just so she knew how much of a chore it was. 

That vanity separated into 14 parts. Each part was given a good wiping down, & then we taped off areas that we didn't want painted before we whipped out our cans of  spray paint. Many coats of neon later, it was satisfactorily bright. Then we lightly sanded with steel wool, removed the tape, wiped everything down again, applied a clear varnish, reupholstered the seat, washed the mirror & glass, & assembled everything together. 

It felt SO GOOD to work on a project like this. It's been years since I've had some fun with paint & furniture. My mom & I used to do this sort of thing all the time. We would go junking & thrifting & learn different paint techniques & we were totally passionate about the latest decor mags & watching the best show on TV at the time: Trading Spaces.


The idea to do the #NEON was all Zoey's. I was actually hesitant of the idea at first, but now I #LOVE it!

Zoey is hooked on the neon theme, & I have begun to help transition her room from "you-were-just-a-sweet-baby-like-yesterday" little girl to "where'd-my-baby-go" tween. Zoey has been so good at giving up things. I'm the one having a hard time. She doesn't want the little ballerina picture anymore that I picked up at a thrift store that's been in her room since she was born. Or the giant canvas I painted of our cat missing half of one of its ears, who is no longer with us. (RIP King Louie.) She has given up some of her Barbies & half of her doll stuff. She no longer wants the messy, yet adorable, paintings she created as a toddler hanging out with her newer, cooler things. 
*sigh*


This vanity is now a super fun addition to her space. And, oh my golly goodness! Don't you love that "blah" bedding?? It was a birthday gift to Zoey from my mom. 
I have already scoured Pinterest for some fun art projects. We can't wait to switch out the lamp & bedskirt, add fun pillows & throws to the bed, do something fun to an accent wall, etc. 


When the girls were babies, I did their room all cutesy. But since then (which is 10 & 12 years ago), they have never really had a "theme". So, it's fun to be able to give them a bedroom of their wishes, granted upon request. And by that, I mean we use every holiday in the calendar year as an excuse to add one more piece, or buy supplies to create something special, & then call it their "gift".

Little sister has now begun to ask me, "When are you going to do my room, mom?" She has decided on "Woodland" decor. Seriously!? If you know me, you know that I love everything owl & fox & deer & woodsy. You will not be able to hold me back, people. 
For reals.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zoey's Lemonade Stand

At the beginning of the year Zoey, Pazely, the Mr. & I each wrote down something we wanted to accomplish in 2014– like a goal or wish. Zoey chose "Have a lemonade stand" as hers. She has never had one. Shocking, I know. The girl is almost 12 years old & has never sold lemonade on the corner of a neighborhood street. 
*hangs head in shame*

I knew the perfect place & time for Zoey to set up shop would be at the upcoming yard sale my mother & I were planning. And I wanted it to be big. You know, to make up for all those lemonade stand-less years. The bigger the lemonade stand, the better I felt. (Notreallyyesreally.) 

Since the yard sale would start out in the chilly morning, we thought we needed more than just lemonade. So we added hot chocolate to the scene. 
The night before the big event, we baked chocolate chip cookies, & mini coffee cake muffins. Do you want seriously delicious choco chip cookies? I just use the recipe on the back of the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® bag of mini chocolate chips. And then I substitute shortening for the butter. (1 CUP of butter = 1 CUP of shortening + 2 TABLESPOONS water)
Oh, & here's the recipe pin I found from Serious Eats for the coffee cake muffins. (We made them "mini", so we reduced the baking time to only 10 minutes.)




Zoey had a roller coaster of emotions in the days leading up to her lemonade/hot chocolate stand. She was excited at first. And then she didn't even want to do it at all because she realized she'd have to buy all the supplies to set it up. But then after I gave her the "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money" pep talk, she was fine.

Though this was not a Pinterest-worthy lemonade stand, it was definitely in our style: We used what we had, borrowed what we didn't have, & made + baked what we had time for. (Being busy helping to set up the yard sale made me a tired mama with not a lot of time on her hands.)
Borrowed: chalkboard, vintage tablecloth, carafe for hot chocolate, fancy pitcher for strawberry lemonade.
Handmade: "Refreshment" banner, pinwheels.
Everything else was ours, gathered from closets & cupboards– pretty much all those things that are saved for special occasions & not used very often.

Sandwiched between the cashier station at the yard sale (which consisted of my mom, sister, or I wearing a leather fanny pack + sitting behind a TV tray) & tables full of low-priced knick-knacks, was Zoey's "Refreshement" stand.

She sold out of her treats at 11 am & started giving away free lemonade at 2 pm. She was giddy the whole day & even received several tips. When all was said & done, she took in $41.75, with a net profit of $27.75. (Math on the weekend?! Woot! Woot!)

One of my favorite details of the whole thing was the banner. I printed the word REFRESHMENTS onto pages from an old, discarded dictionary. Before printing, I cut the pages to 5" x 7", then set my page size in Microsoft Office Word to the same size. I used Baskerville Old Face font in size 400. (Well, except for the letter "M", which was too wide– so I lowered it to size 350.) I fed the pages through the printer one at a time & I LOVE how it turned out! I had always wanted to try printing onto pages from a book.

Zoey's favorite part of the refreshment stand?
$$$
That, & serving people.

In the picture above, little Miss Pazely is Zoey's first customer. (In fact, she bought the first & last chocolate chip cookie of the day.)


  
 Pazely & I made the {non-functioning} pinwheels from scrap paper, fun colored brads, & striped paper straws leftover from her S'mores Birthday Party. She sold a few pinwheels throughout the day, which was quite fun for her. 

I even found a horrible sketch I drew of the refreshment stand in its planning stages. It's fun to see your ideas come to life from paper to reality!


Goal achieved. 
Dreams made. 
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Give a kid some cardboard.

All summer my girls have been making cardboard houses. Miniature getaways for their dolls & tiny toys. The tiniest house (in the very last photo) is only 4 inches tall. 
One home came complete with a safety pin chain-link ladder. Another has yarn "ropes" to climb to the top, with encouraging words written along the wall: "If you climb to the top, you're awesome." & then: "You're almost there."
Oodles of  hot glue sticks were harmed in the making of these cardboard houses. Markers, paint, craft foam, magazine cutouts, colored paper, stickers, duct tape...the girls used anything they could get their hands on.
New splotches of permanent paint on the tabletop prove their creative efforts all season long. 
No instructions needed. In fact, no rules allowed.
Without hesitation they create. Invent. Build.
They made magic from scraps.  

Give a kid some cardboard...










Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School: 2014

ME: Ok, girls! Annual "first day of school" photos! Here we go!
*girls slowly put backpacks on*

ZOEY: Cheeeese!
PAZELY: Shinyyyyyyy!
ME: Yeah, you're right Paze. The light is so bright on your face. It's like your body is all normal-like, & then you have this giant glowing orb on the top of your neck. Maybe we should sit on the steps.

PAZELY: Maybe I could just move over to this side.
ME: Nope, that's not working. Your head is still glowing.

ZOEY: Mom! Are my teeth shiny?! Are they glowing?! Look how white my teeth are!
ME: They look awesome, Zoey.
PAZELY: What about my head? Does my head look awesome?
ME: *eye roll* Yes, your head looks awesome, Pazely.

PAZELY: Well, maybe I should stand over there.


ME: Well, if you stand over there, you won't be in the picture.
ZOEY: Your luminous noggin is out of frame, little one. And, somewhat ironically, I currently take the spotlight. 
ba-DUM cha!!

ZOEY: If you were taller, you wouldn't be having this problem right now.
PAZELY: Stop being so mean to me, Zoey! If I wanted to, I could probably throw fireballs at you with my fiery glowing face.

PAZELY: Maybe we should sit on the stairs, mom.
ME: (sarcastically) Great idea, Pazely. We've only got about 5 minutes left, so we need to hustle!

PAZELY: I cannot be bothered with people named "Zoey" right now. She has insulted my head & she must be stopped!

ME: You girls are sitting kind of far apart. Can you squeeze in together?

*both girls scoot together a wee fraction of a tiny bit closer together.*

ME: *sigh* Please, I need you to cooperate.

ZOEY: MOM! Do you realize that there is someone already sitting here?! This is Jenny. She's my imaginary friend. You remember her, don't you?
ME: ZOEY! Scoot over. Now.

ZOEY: I hope you're happy, mom. You just made me kill Jenny.

ZOEY: I can't do this anymore. This is so depressing. 6th grade awaits, mother.

PAZELY: MY turn! 
ME: I like how your hands are on your knees, Pazely.

PAZELY: And, now they're not! Woah...woah...woah! No gravity! My hands are floating!!!

PAZELY: Aaaand, now gravity is back.

PAZELY: And now they're floating again! They're floating!!!! Mom! Look! They're floating!
ME: I see that.

PAZELY: Just kidding, mom! That was just an illusion.
ME: I wondered what that was.

PAZELY: *looks to her left* What is Zoey doing, mom?

ZOEY: I'M LOOKING FOR JENNY! DO YOU SEE HER BACK THERE? DO YOU SEE HER?!

PAZELY: My. Sister. Is. So. Weird. But. What. Is. Weirder. Is. I. Think. I. See. Jenny.

ME: Let's come together as a happy family unit & take one last set of pictures, OK?
Great! 
Aw, that looks so sweet.
Oh, that's funny! Zoey's hair is falling across your forehead, Pazely. It looks like you have blond bangs. haha!

PAZELY: *looks up*

PAZELY: Oh my gosh! I LOVE it! And....I'm pretty sure I have cooties now.

ME: Last picture of the day! This is our "first day of school" JUMPY photo!! 
Woohoo!! 
♫I say JUMPY, you say PHOTO... 
♫JUMPY!!!.....
ZOEY & PAZELY: *silence*
ME: ♫JUMPY!!!...
ZOEY & PAZELY: *silence*

ME: Get ready to jump.....
OK, pause. 
I'm only going to say this because I can't help it: It looks like you're pooping.

ME: 1-2-3....Blast off!!!!

*silence*
ME: Zoey?...Pazely?
Hello?.....Anyone?
..........Jenny???.........
*crickets chirping*


------------------------------------------------------------------------
To view all the First Day of School photo shoots, click HERE.