Dec 30, 2012

The blog in which I made a DIY (18" doll) arm cast.

Found duct tape at the dollar bins at Target this week as they set up for Valentine's Day stuff, so it was pink.  How appropriate.  I knew I could do something with that soon.  Had no idea it would be two days later!  This cast simply slips on, and honestly, is snug enough to not fall off.  If it gets loose, I will cut a seam, and attach velcro, however, I don't foresee it loosening up.  This was too easy to make, and maybe took about 10 minutes to make one cast.
Scrap felt and empty toilet paper roll
Glue it together after making thumb hole

before duct tape

after duct tape

The yellow cast is an American Girl cast that came with the "Get Well" Kit she requested for her birthday.  It does not have a thumb hole to make it a full cast, but it does come with stickers.  Luckily, I have stickers, and will let her decorate this cast and and any others I make.  

I think it looks so real.  She loves it as much as I do, and I can't wait to make more with her to give to friends!  Share the page=share the love!  Please do not sell these directions for the DIY doll cast.  They are my intellectual property, but I would be happy to hear that you used the tutorial to save yourself some money ;o)  

Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! PVC pipe overload...

Six gifts.  Three per child.  One birth of our Savior.  Priceless.  

Our Christmas is magical.  Just hanging out, enjoying the gifts, each other.  That is the gift of Christmas.  The new toys are great, but they are just a small part of our celebration each year.  

Shay wanted a tent she saw in her American Girl catalogue.  She also saw a bed in there she wanted, and of course, a long list of other things that excited her.  However, the camping scene and bed were on top of the list.  I came up with a table and chairs set with my materials I had leftover.  So, after all the little extras I came up with, and with cloth I had from leftover projects, I stayed well below my $100 budget for her.  (Extras were a working campfire, and a lantern, sleeping bag and pillows.)  

Charlie is incredibly hard to shop for.  However, I have learned how to get him excited about something.  Suggest it months in advance.  After I saw the PVC pipe fort/playhouse tutorial on last summer, I knew it would be perfect.  Luckily, he wanted a fort, after the suggestion, and that is what set me thinking up the girl child's gifts.  Thanks!   I was digging though a box I put together for camping, if we should ever need to do it, and found an Eddie Bauer hand crank, LED lantern, with a head lamp, new, still in the box.  That would be perfect to gift him!  Charlie needed a replacement Leapster, and those were a Black Friday deal at $20.  I had to buy two king, flat sheets, and sewed those together for the fort covering.  We found a rope set of light on sale for $7, and now he has light, shelter, and Leapster fun for hours.  (Yes, way under the $100 budget for him too!)  

The stockings were stuffed with sweets, a stuffed sock monkey that is now one of the doll's bedtime lovies, and a friend to all of Charlie's other little friends.  Shay received some extra things for her doll in the stocking, since they were super cheap finds at the craft store this past summer.  (A pair of doll roller blades for a few dollars, as well as a leotard/skirt set and a formal gown with matching gloves and shoes.)  All that was super cheap, and I feel like she deserves a little more, since she is no longer attending dance, and we are still paying for Charlie each month to go to gymnastics.  Charlie didn't notice it, and truth is, she never asks for anything.  This year, she told me that she was not going to ask for anything from Santa Claus, or her elf.  She said that whatever they thought she would like, she would be grateful for.  And truth is, she saw everything and said, "Look!  I got all that I really wanted! The bed is not the same, but I still love it!"  I am so glad I got that on video.  

It reminds me of my hearts' desire to have children.  I had many miscarriages, and it was so painful. My mother likes to remind me of how I used to say that my prayer was to have any child.  Any issue, any sex.  (Secretly, I only wanted boys.  I don't like girl stuff, or dealing with girls in general.)  I found that I had an endocrine disorder during one of the miscarriages, and finally, a solution to how to save my pregnancies.  Charlie was born, and 5 months later, I found out I was preggers again.  We call that shocker, "Shayna."  I never wanted a girl.  And today, as I had realized years ago, the baby was not the same sex as I thought I wanted, but I still love it!"  And I do.  G-d knows what our heart NEEDS.   I a so grateful for the girl in my life.  I relate with Charlie so differently, and feel so abundantly blessed to have the opportunity to have EVERYTHING I have ever imagined for myself.  Thank you family for being there for me.  Merry Christmas! 

All three of the girl migit's gifts. 
Stockings for the migits and furry baby.  
The campfire is built on a blank CD foundation, with rocks and sticks Charlie and I gathered at the cabin last week, and has a cut out under the A-frame in the hole of the CD that the battery operated tea light sits into.  
Just happened to find the Eddie Bauer hand crank lantern and head lamp still in it's box, in the garage!   Made the most complimentary gift to his new tent/fort/playhouse structure.  
The rope light really made this.  I just bought two king size sheets and sewed them together to make one large sheet.  Covers perfectly.  
The lantern looks so great inside the tent!  (The battery operated tea light saved these projects!)  

Dec 22, 2012

The blog in which we got out again and visited an antique mall in the mountains.

On our way back to the cabin today, we decided to stop and meander around this huge antique store, in town.  Shay went with my folks to a flea market in North Carolina to replace part of a charm bracelet they gave her.  We had to go shopping with Charlie for more Christmas presents since he got money from family and we wanted him to pick out what he wanted us to wrap for him to open from them.  Luckily, there was a Walmart about 20 minutes away, so we headed over there.

I don't know what I was thinking when I suggested we stop at the antique mall.  First, I don't like shopping.   Second, I was about two hours over due for my coffee, and Charlie told us he was tired.  He never does that.  Third, I guess I don't know what antiques are, since I found a bunch of things that seemed more freakish than antique.  You decide...

Mnn-boob alert!  Look, I know what this is.  But I can't calm down long enough for inwardly giggling over the boobies.  
First of all, it's a coconut.  Second of all, it's fifty dollars!  Holy cow, people!  I understand  it has glasses, and that it must have cost an arm and a nut to have an opthamologist examine a coconut and fit it for glasses, but come on!  Fifty bucks?  Do you know how many ducks that is?  (If you are not aware of my ducks sales,  find a Friday post that mentions ducks, and it will all make sense to you then.)  

The lamp was nice, until I got the close up...

Monkey screwed the whole thing up.  Was this popular during some specific time period?  If so,  can I assume those people were from another country?

What is this?  Is this code for something?  

Yeah... these look pretty useless.  
Sadly, I knew what this item was, way before I looked on the tag.   Thought of you A.C.!  
Abe Linocoln and Winston Churchill face mugs.  Thought of Uncle Ray.  Just a thought.  I don't like to spend money.  But lest we forget the thought.... 

Oh look!  A rocking hor... I mean, CAMEL!  Weird.  

This IS actually more along the lines of what I thought we would see in an antique mall.  The weirdest part?  This was the only one I found.  Like there was a "run" on these or something.  Puny.  Very puny, in deed.  

Geoff liked this. 

This was actually really cool to me.  So spastic looking compared to what we use now.  

So the raisins are now antiques?  Wasn't that the 80's?  IF so, is that really antique worthy?  Charlie thought they were M&M's.  

Freakish.  And expensive for it's ratio of cost to freak.  

That looked cool, but it had a mute and redial button, so that couldn't be too old either.  

The red eyes on the rabbit made it look demonized.  

What is the specific name of this art?  Whatever it is, I don't like it.  I LOVE IT!  I think it would look so fantastically next to my Lady Liberty lamp.  No?  Well, if you knew Lady Liberty, you would know she is lonely and in need of a friend.  An uglier one than her, at that.  

These monkeys will always be possessed looking to me.  

In high school, I had a boy who gave me trolls.   I asked why he would always give them to me.  He said it was because I collected them.  I then told him I was collecting them since he was giving them to me.  So, he kept giving them to me.    And, I kept collecting them.  (We can keep going, but let me stop here to share a little secret with you.  I NEVER WANTED TO COLLECT THEM.)  My friends and I painted a mural on my purple walls one summer, and the background was a painted brick wall to look like Pink Floyd's "The Wall," and we drew a Grateful Dead skull into it, along with other odds and ends that were relevant to me at that time.  We added a troll for the troll that was trying to woo me with  his plastic pieces of crap.  He was never the wiser.  

$11 for a racist can opener?  It's a steal!  But we managed to keep our hands in our pockets, and our sense of humor, and walked out of the store shaking our heads, and with empty hands.  ;o)  

The blog in which we are in the mountains for a few days.

Today was one of those "cabin fever" days.  We literally had been in the cabin since two nights ago, and finally, weather cleared up enough to make our way into town.  (Into town is about 3 miles away, if that.)  We had impressive rain and wind yesterday, and snow flurries all morning.  Once the sun came out to play, we ventured out.  We ran to drop off the the Redbox movie and get another one, as well as some assorted groceries we needed at the store the Redbox is in.  The real reason for the outing was actually for the year round Christmas store.  It's called "Always Christmas,"  and it is the main store in the building, with a Christian bookstore, jewelry, and cards flanking one side, and a walkthrough to an assorted novelty gift shop and baby gift store on the other walk through.  There is a toy train that runs around the atrium above our heads of the main store, and that is where we spent much of our time.  From Christmas villages and displays, to SnowBabies by Dept. 56, to ornaments and unique decorations, we looked at it all.  Here are some of the things we saw.  And when we finally left, I was slightly confused.  Take a look and see why...

I am not even kidding.  The temperatures the entire day did not reach over 34 degrees Fahrenheit.  We were numb waiting on Mom to take the picture on my phone and her iPod.  

For a fairly spiritual type of business, this kind of shocked me.  It is a wine stopper.  
The backside- literally, of the wine stopper.  
Creepy, right?  This was a full sized table and fake people in the corner of another room in the non Christmas side of the store.  I was not sure how to respond at the moment, so I snapped the photo and here it is.   
Mom saw this and I think she secretly wanted it for herself,  but she talked me into liking it with her.  And now, we have an owl, with dangling legs.  I have named him.  "Dangle."  As in, "Dangle all the way..."  

WTH?  Oh.My. Gosh.  I have not been so frightened since that freakish elf Charlie got last year.  Luckily, that thing was only good for one prank joke on Geoff when he went bowling and I tucked that freakish thing under his side of the bed.  The next best day with him was recently, when I found that his head had fallen off, and I had to find time for a proper burial.  (It was hard to fit him into the garbage since he was sorta' a full sized doll and my bathroom garbage is pretty small. )  
"Dangle" joined the cast this evening, and all four are doing an awesome job of just hanging around the cabin.  

Dec 18, 2012

The blog in which we need to take the time to teach our children safety. Everywhere.

Home alone.  There's a knock at the door.  I am fresh from a shower, but dressed, sans the jeans.  I run to look out the window, and see a car in the drive, and I don't recognize it.  Not one of my friend's mom vans, and wasn't expecting anyone.  Hmm. Then, I throw my jeans on, and the doorbell rings.  I run downstairs and Brody at my heels, I yell, "Who's there?!"

While we do have a peep hole in our front door, it is about a foot and a half too tall for my 5' frame to see through, and now is no time for grabbing a ladder to utilize it.  My head races, and curses the fact that I am too short, and that the hole is too high, and then, the fact that my ladder is at Jenn's house.  I asked her ex-husband to return it because we have two items stuck up high that require the ladder to get them down, and he told me that he would return it this morning, I assumed at the bus stop, but they never showed up.

At that moment, the person on the other side of the door answers- "It's ....."  Right.  And he has my ladder.  Awkward.  Am I the only person that panics when there is a knock at the door?  I don't know why I am like that.  Nothing bad has ever happened.  I assume someone coming to do harm would not knock and then ring the doorbell after no response, but I guess we can not assume anything anymore.  Sad that we are living in such a difficult time.

However, it only reminds me that when someone comes door to door, please be smart.  Don't let them in your home.  Don't open the door if it is a sales person.  Often, people come as door to door salesmen, and just scope out your home to come back at a later time.  Teach your children that they are not to answer the door without a parent there.  My own children got a "knock" at the door this weekend from their elf.  When I stood next to my daughter as she yelled, "Who's there?" there was obviously no answer.  I knew it was safe, and told her that she needed to back up and that I would answer the door since I was an adult.  She was not happy that I chose to do so.  I was never more proud.

Geoff had the opportunity to serve with the radKIDS program last week.  He truly felt empowered from the time with the group, and loved helping.  One night, he came home to tell me how he acted out a scenario with the the class where he knocked on the door and the children answered it.  He was to grab the children quickly, to teach them that it really can happen that quickly.  I had seen this demonstration many times before, and let me tell you- those kids are shaken.  While we are in a safe environment,  the kids are initially shocked by the event.  Then, it dawns on them- their homes are "safe" environments, and it can happen- anywhere.

radKids is a nonprofit organization that is all over the country, but we are super fortunate to have a group of certified radKids instructors here in Cherokee County.  Consider gifting a radKids class this season.  It will not only give your children tools to be safe, but also, you, the parents.  I learned so much from our class, a year ago, February.  As the children get older, the class morphs to teach things in a way that is age appropriate.  After you pay your initial $60, your children may return, annually, at no charge, as a refresher.  The cost of the class merely covers the cost of the supplies, as the instructors are all there on a volunteer basis.  However, no child will be turned away because of finances.  This exact program is incorporated into the physical education program in nearby school systems, such as Gwinnet County schools.

Dec 17, 2012

The blog in which make a D.I.Y. toy doll lantern.

I was wasting time on, and found this project, and it has absolutely NO place to credit.  However, it had three pictures and that made enough sense to me to do it, and then break it down for you guys.  I just so happen to have EVERY single piece I needed.  (I am weird about keeping things around the house, however, I always seem to have something to whip together a DIY project.)
We get these with each purchase of any over the counter, liquid medicines for the kids.   We used to throw them in the sandbox, or in the tubs, but the kids are too old for that stuff, and Shay is the last one on liquid medicines, and we are phasing that out too with chew ables and dissolvables.  
I attempted to sand paper this writing off, but couldn't, so I just painted right over it with my acrylic paint.  
Try as I might with the acetone nail polish remover,  I ended up having to buff off the ink with some sand paper.  I know.  You are as shocked as I was the day I had to purchase nail polish remover.  Don't worry.  It's not mine.  Shay needed something to remove her occasional nail polish.  It's purple.  One of her many favorite colors ;o) Notice the little black dots around the edge of the bottom of the cup?  I liked them.  They got to stay.  

Painted the whole battery tea light because it looked silly otherwise.    Personal preference.
Using a knife, cut a hole in the bottom.  That is where you will put the light bulb through.  
The paint covered well.  
I had to sneak and do this in the closet, since I had a sick migit home today.  (Once I get an idea, I can't help myself.)    Not the prettiest work area to photograph in.  I am considering super gluing the whole thing together, once the paint is dry.

I wanted  a handle, but nothing hard, so I grabbed some black ribbon, and attached it under the painted cap.  That way, the doll can "carry" it on her arm when playing, if it's not lighting up the tent area I created.  I used Super Glue gel to attach all the pieces.
Finished product, in the light, still very bright for a tiny, yet muted light.   (Placed near the acrylic paint bottle for size proportion.) 
In the dark.