January 31, 2011

Guest Post - Mandi of Tidbits from the Tremaynes

So I mentioned that I'm participating in Crafting With the Stars, where I am partnered up with Mandi of Tidbits from the Tremaynes.  She has brilliant ideas and amazing abilities.  She tries to stay under the radar and isn't self-promoting, but I've been following her blog for a long, long time.  She is also hilarious and can quote movies like no one you know. 

I asked her if she'd be willing to share her tutorial for her most recent project from Crafting With the Stars.  She kindly agreed.  As I mentioned before, when she showed me her project I wanted to sneak into her home and steal it.  It's gorgeous.  Alright, enough talk.  Here she is.  Welcome Mandi!

So, let's chat about this craptacular little project o' mine, shall we? A tutorial, if you will?
Get yourself some mirrors from yer dollar store.

Clear them out. Let the register ladies stare at you strangely and then ask you if you're having a huge drug party or something.

Then say, "Yeah." In a monotone. And then stumble towards your car. Because, you know, they look really bored.

Now, you need some wood. Something thick; something that will not bow, 'cause you know, there's mirrors on there and everything, and bowing just won't do. I used a 1/2 inch cheap piece of plywood.

Now, I am showing you the poplar 1/2 in. trim I purchased. If I were doing it over again, I'd buy something fancier, 'cause why the heck not?

Lay out your mirrors and your trim in your rows the way you want them, exactly. I mean, like, tight. That way you can mark the wood and know where to cut your backing piece.

Everyone with me?

Umkay. So you've cut your backing piece to the exact size you need it. What's next? Frame in the mirror with some of your 1/2 in. trim. This means cutting all the corners on 45°'s.

Have I mentioned how bad I hate making frames? Oh. That many times, huh? I always seem to get my frames just not quite perfect.

Note: it is mandatory to slop the wood glue around.

This is really as easy as it looks. Set your mirrors in, and remember: tight against your trim. Each piece of trim you cut, make sure to set mirrors in as you go to ensure that they are straight up and down, and tight. Just like the button on my pants after Christmas. Wood glue your trim down, and move on to the next row.
You know what's the only pain about this little project?

While one row of trim is going to be the long, end to end pieces, the other direction is going to be tons of teensy weensy pieces to cut. I recommend having one piece as your measuring stick for all the other pieces you're going to cut. And ya know? It's not that big a deal when you're in the zone with the saw, right?
Now, stop right there!

*What I Learned the Hard Way!!:

-Just go ahead and paint all your wood beforehand. Save yourself the hassle.

-If, if you really do have your backing piece the perfect size, and if you have your trim in tight against every piece of mirror, you will not, I repeat WILL NOT need liquid nails or any other glue of any kind for your mirrors. Your trim truly will be like a frame holding your mirrors perfectly in place.

Take my word for it--since I attempted to slide the mirrors out to paint it, and they wouldn't budge. And then I turned it over and shook it and nothing moved. I had a blanket underneath to catch them, I swear.
And you are done, baby! Honestly this is a couple hour project.

And you can keep the $699 you would have spent at Pottery Barn for the same dealy-o.

Plus, you got to visit the dollar store, so, score.
Thanks Mandi!  See?  What did I you?  She rocks.  In fact, you can go vote for Round 2 of Crafting With the Stars right now.  I can't tell you which project is hers, but I'm pretty sure you'll vote for it anyway.  The theme is decoupage/modge podge and you can vote for 3 projects.  Click HERE to head over.  But first, feel free to leave Mandi some comment love.
Thanks for dropping in!

January 30, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - little things

I wish I could give all of you who commented on yesterday's post a great big hug.  I was so touched by your comments as they rolled in and they made me so happy on a day when I really needed it.  It helps me to know that we're all in this together.  Being a mom is so wonderful and challenging all at the same time.  Thanks for relating.

This week was a little tough for me, but sometimes tiny little things make everything a bit better.  I have a kind friend who came over and helped us make a snowman.  The boys love her and this cute snowman made me smile a lot this week.

I'm really excited that this little blog is getting a face lift soon.  Someone offered to do this for me and I'm so excited about it.  I worked on getting some photos this week that will be part of it.  This picture is a little sneak peak of what's to come.  More details on all of it later.

Even though I've been having a hard time with this little guy lately, I'm trying to focus on the sweet things he does sometimes.  Yesterday after Baden licked all over the window, Rex noticed it was dirty later in the day and he went and got windex and a towel and cleaned it.  I didn't even mention it or ask him.  I was so proud of him.

Did any little thing make you happy this week?

Thanks for dropping in!

January 29, 2011

Soapbox Saturdays - Mothers

I know it's not Mother's day, but I really wanted to write about motherhood today.  I don't mean to exclude anyone here (those who aren't mothers), but I think many of you readers are mothers and I wanted to tell you how important you are today.  Why?  Because it is SO easy to forget.

You try to clean the house and you get this trailing behind you.  (Yes, he's licking the glass.  Everywhere.)

You try to look nice and they smear their peanut butter fingers all over you.

You try to take a cute picture and all you get is this.

You try to sit down at your computer and you can barely see the screen through all the fingerprints.

You try to make plans and they get sick and their noses suddenly become Niagra Falls.  (I didn't want to post a picture that was too nasty.  Here's a mini-runny nose :)

You try to tell them how much you love them and they say, "I have to go poop!" in return, sprinting to the bathroom.

You try to make a phone call and you can't even hear the person on the other line through the screaming that started exactly when the person you were calling picked up the phone.

You try to snuggle in close and they mention your breath smells.

You try to make a to do list and it becomes their coloring book.

You try to cook a great meal and they only want to play with it.

Well, it's all worth it....because you also get these sweet smiles and giggles and this intense feeling that you would give up anything for them.  It's this fierce, deep, unexplainable love that supersedes everything.

I wanted to share a few quotes that help me when I am focusing too much on the list above.

"Women rock a sobbing child without wondering if today's world is passing them by, because they know they hold tomorrow tightly in their arms.  When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire - or the shaping sounds of lullabies?  Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in Congresses?"  - Neal A. Maxwell

One of my kind readers shared this one with me the other day.  Thanks Jenny!

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautiful tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk's lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my nails from helping weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheek and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." -Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Lastly, here's a little quote from Lincoln.  I love it.

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. - Abraham Lincoln

So, if you're having a tough week and you want to scream and cry and give up, I hope this helps a little.  You are needed and no one can take your place.  You are doing something more important than anything else.  You are a mother.

Thanks for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend.

January 28, 2011

You Roared!

Just one thing before we get started today.  I am not a technological genius by ANY stretch of the imagination.  However, I finally figured out how to make it so you can subscribe to this blog via e-mail.  Several of you have asked me to do this, but I didn't know how.


Scroll down the sidebar on the right and under "Subscribe to I Am Momma" you'll see your options.  Yeah, I feel like I conquered the blogging world.  Those of you who are more technologically gifted are thinking...yeah, that's totally easy to do.  Duh, I could have done it in three seconds.  It takes some of us a bit longer :)

Alright!  It's time for another round of "You Roared."  It's always fun to see what projects all of you have been working on.  Let's take a look:

Erin took inspiration from the tree in the Playroom and made one in her little girls room.  She did a gorgeous job and even made curtains to match.

She even made a girl version for her daughter!  She was really clever and upcycled a shirt to make it.

Amber from Home Works made an amazing version of my sister's Train Table!  Wow. 

Jen from Jenbug's Story printed all the Free Printables and framed them.  That really made me smile.

Jen from Dangerously Domestic printed out the "We Believe" Printable and modge podged it.  Didn't she make it look great?

Next up we have some Upcycled T-shirt Dresses.

Lauren and Michele from Coffee at Three made this cute eco one for a niece.

Liz from Fast Daze made a Christmas version.  Pretty darn cute.

Abbie made the super cool capes for her kids for Christmas.  They look so great.

Speaking of Christmas, we have another cute set of Nativity blocks.  These were made by Sara from Misadventures in Parenting.

Lindsay from Diary of a Crafty Lady made the Inspiration Memo Boards from Burner Covers.  She added bottle cap magnets to look like flowers.  Cute and clever.

Jo from Buga-loo tried out freezer paper stenciling.  Her shirt is SO cute and look at the matching pants she made to go with it! 

Up next are some Upcycled Boy Hats.

Isn't this girl version gorgeous?  Tricia from Leafy Treetop Spot made a few hats.

Barbara made this one for her sweet grandson.

Aleks Handmade made these adorable ones.

Trish made this sweet one for her daughter.

Kari made Kalleen's T-shirt hats.  I am in love with them.  Look at the front and back of this one.

And she did the cute stripe with the checkered fabric and the underside of the brim is the same fabric.  Great detail.  Plus, who wouldn't love those cheeks :)

Rachel from Holy Craft is super speedy and already made Valentine's like yesterday's post!  Go girl!

Lastly, many of you have been working on Making Your Own Printables.

Admitted Fabricaholic made baby milestone printables.  (You have the baby hold the sign of how old they are and take a picture that way each month.)  So fun and colorful!

Christie from A Lemon Squeezy Home made this beautiful printable. 

And that's a wrap.  That's a lot of great work.  Thank you to each of you for sharing your work with me.  Feel free to share some comment love with each other. 

See you tomorrow!

January 27, 2011

Valentine's from Rex

I wanted to share the Valentine's I'm making for Rex to hand out so you'll have time to use the idea if you'd like.  It wasn't too hard, but it's fun and personalized - which I love.  Here they are!  They make me giggle everytime I see them.

Here a close up of the label.

Want to make some?  Here are some easy steps and sneaky tips.

1) I took about 20 photos of Rex with a blank wall behind him.  That gave me 3 good ones to use.

2) I went to Picnik, clicked on collage, and uploaded the 3 pictures of Rex.  I picked the collage that has 4 squares in a line and I made the spacing tight between the pictures.  I made the backround black and adjusted the proportions until I was happy.  Then I clicked "next."

3) I edited the photos a little and switched them to black and white.  I went to "stickers" then "geometric" and used the rectangle to create the white area where I placed the text.  I added the text and saved the file.

4) I printed this one out on my own printer, but it's not the best.  I'll probably print them at Kinko's when I finish the rest.  I imported the picture into Word to make it the right size.  I wanted it to be the same width as the snack bag I was using.

5) I printed it off and cut it out, but I cut it out leaving extra paper accross the top to fold along the back.  It just folds over the baggie and gets stapled on.  Don't buy the fancy clear bags from the party section.  They are crazy expensive and a ziplock works just fine.  You can use the small snack ones or just fold over the top of a sandwich sized one.

There you have it!  Not too hard, but pretty fun.  Now he's ready to hand them out and he's been asking how many days until Valentine's day over and over.  Whoops.  I guess I shouldn't have let him see them so soon.

Thanks for dropping by.  Tomorrow will be a "You Roared" segment, so if you've made something inspired by this blog and haven't shown it to me just send me a picture or a link.  See you tomorrow!

January 26, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Last week's challenge was to write a letter to someone you admire, telling them why you admire them.  How did it go?  I wrote a letter to a lady from church who is always willing to help out with anything.  It made me feel good to point out her amazing qualities that I hadn't taken the time to mention to her before.  I don't know if she even got it yet, but it made me happy to write it.  In fact, I've written a couple more since then.

This week's challenge requires nothing but a little time.  It's simple.  Visit someone elderly.  Maybe you have a sweet elderly neighbor.  Maybe you know a kind, lonely widow.  Maybe you want to go the extra mile and stop by a nursing home.  Ask them who doesn't receive many visitors and drop by that person's room.  That's it.  Here are a couple of words to inspire you.

"Do not forget the hands of the aged; they have touched much of life and have become sensitive and sympathetic."  - Anonymous
"The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person." - Andy Rooney

Now, how did your letter writing go?  I can't wait to hear about it.  See you tomorrow!

January 25, 2011

Organization Tips

Hey everyone!  I'm going to send you on another quick trip today.  I'm over at Emilie Handmade, where Emilie has been doing a month on organization.  This is what my kitchen desk cabinets looked like BEFORE.  Ugh!  Click HERE to see what they look like now and to read some organizational tips I'm sharing.

Thanks for reading.  Just a reminder - if you're participating in Wake Up Wednesday you've got one more day to write your letter to someone you admire.  See you tomorrow!

January 24, 2011

Pimp my Polo and CWTS

Okay before we get started today, I want to clarify that Soapbox Saturday means we all answer READER'S questions.  Some of you thought they were my questions and e-mailed me directly with answers.  Some of you thought they were my questions and therefore thought I was pregnant.  Nope.  Sorry.  Thank you to everyone who pitched in, though.  You all had some amazing answers and it makes me thrilled to see you all helping each other out.

Now, for today's tutorial you'll have to make a quick stop over to the blog Shwin and Shwin.  I'm guesting posting there where they've been having a fun contest called Project Toddler Runway.  There's lots to see.  This week is a boy theme and they asked if I'd whip something up.  So, I've titled my tutorial, "Pimp My Polo."  I'm embellishing a polo shirt and you'll find it right HERE.  Here's a sneak peak.

And you might also want to head over to see the first round of Crafting With the Stars.  The theme is dollar store/thrift and my partner's project is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  It's so cool I want to sneak into her house and steal it.  Really.  Click on the button below to head over.  You can vote for THREE projects.

Thanks for visiting!  See you tomorrow.

January 23, 2011

Sunshine Sunday - jammie jam parties

I love letting my little guys stay in their warm jammies until we have to go someplace.  It makes for some fun, cozy playing.  I stay in mine till I have to go someplace, too :)  See me in this picture? 

I'm the one in the middle here.

Lately Rex has been requesting jam sessions.  I get out the guitar and Baden gets to help me.  He loves holding the pick and trying to strum.

And Rex gets crazy with his harmonica.  It has to be fast music he says.  I made him a harmonica case when he asked this week.  No tutorial for that.  I figure it's not a very common need :)

I still miss music in my life (that's what I did pre-motherhood), but I'm grateful for the chance to share bits of it with my boys.  All I have to do is start a beat and they will dance with me - anytime, any place.  And man, I sure love their moves.

Thanks for reading.  Hope the last bit of your weekend is wonderful.

January 22, 2011

Silhouette Winner and Sharing Saturday - your questions

I am wishing so much that I could give you all a Silhouette.  Some of your entries were hilarious and there is definitely a common theme - Santa just didn't get the memo this year.  I also laughed when I saw some husbands enter the drawing for their wives.  I think it would have been funny if one of them would have won.  Anyhow, we finally have our winner. 

Kasia, if I were you I'd probably need to run to the bathroom before I wet myself.  Yeah, pretty exciting stuff here.  Congrats!

I am seriously sorry you couldn't all win one.  You can still cash in on the promotion if you act quickly.  It ends today.

Now, on to today's post.  It's been a while since we've had a Sharing Saturday and I have missed having them.  So, we're back at it today with a few questions from readers.  Here we go:

1) My husband's bday is coming up and I'd love to make him something from our 2 year old, but I'm having a hard time thinking of something (dumb preggo brain!) His bday is right before Valentines so I'm trying to avoid something too heartsy (since I'll be doing that too I'm sure!). If people have any ideas I'd love to hear it!!!

2) What kind of tricks can I use to get my kids to eat vegetables (or any food they don't like, for that matter)?
Two weeks ago, we decided that our kids (ages 5, 3, & 1) really need to start eating healthier foods. They have always been picky eaters, and in the past, our rule was that if they didn't eat their food, they had a punishment like 10 minutes earlier bedtime, or similar. But we realized that as a result, they were literally never eating healthy things, they were just choosing to take the punishment.
So we decided the new rule was, Eat what's on your plate, or sit at the table until bedtime. Guess what happened? They sat until bedtime every night for probably a week, with no hint of breaking! Then I came up with the idea of threatening to go to the dr. to get "vegetable shots" if they didn't eat. Well, this did it, but what has happened now is that we sit for two hours every night with the kids gagging and spitting out food and crying until they finally manage to (barely) swallow the food down. It's EXHAUSTING, for everyone involved.
And we're not talking about gross, large amounts of food here-we're talking three small pieces of broccoli smothered with cheese, or two baby carrots with ranch dressing, etc.- kid friendly food and portions!
I'm just at a loss! I know that a lot of this a battle of proving "who's the boss", but my kids also seem to literally not be able to make themselves eat a food they don't like! We've talked about all the tricks- taking a drink, dipping in sauce, etc., but it hasn't helped.
What do your readers suggest? Do we just not worry about the veggies, and make sure they take vitamins? Do we keep it up, and hope the kids "break" at some point? Is there some trick that someone has tried?

3) I'd like to do something fun with my husband for valentine's day.  He's not really into v-day and I don't want to spend an hour waiting for a table that weekend just to grab a bite to eat.  What do all of you do for valentine's?  Pretend it doesn't exist?  Plan a creative date? 

Okay ladies.  We need your help.  Please tell us what you know.  Don't be shy.


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