July 26, 2012

Before & After

I picked up this very ugly paper towel and drawer combo from Goodwill a while back. I think it was about a dollar.
With a little oil rubbed bronze spray paint (Rustoleum brand), and some acrylic paint, it now looks like this. I added a few Ikea grundtal metal S hooks off the lower bar to hold our keys.

Much better.

So, this is now our key rack, instead of the old one. We can hide extra "pocket" stuff in the drawers, and shelf stuff we want to grab on the way out the door. We are liking the dollar upgrade very well. 

And, though this re-do is for us, Amy and I have been painting and crafting lots lately for our upcoming garage sale! Yea!! . Preview some items for the sale HERE and here:
My sister is so talented! This looks more like a craft store sale, and well, that's more the lean that our sale will be. In addition to the wonderful ready-to-hang items we'll have out, we will have furniture, baby items, clothing, and electronics! Sure hope you will come check it out!!!!
August 3 & 4th, 9-5pm

July 20, 2012


 There was a great party.
 A dress up party you say?
For how can a kid resist being a superhero for a day?
And Mommy not resist making her little guy into more of a cutie pie?
 Nathan getting ready for the party dressed as "Super Why" from the PBS kids show. It was Daddy's idea to chose this superhero (and I liked it too!). My friend Gina sent me something similar to THIS inspiration, which caused me to create this costume (romper style) from an adult's XL tshirt (on sale at Michael's for $2.00). In my fabric stash I already had the blue knit, the yellow felt, and the velcro for closures on the legs. It took me some labor of course, but only cost me $2.00!
He didn't even seem to mind the cape.... for awhile, at least.

 Now the mask was another story altogether.
 The 10 seconds he had it on were glorious, okay, tolerated by him.
 And then we went to Jordan's superhero birthday bash!
At least I think this was Jordan in his Batman ensemble.
All these wonderful cousins together! The next generation of superheros!
 My "older" nephews weren't as excited to dress up this year for the party, but the week before I took them to Michael's with me and I think I coaxed them into going in costume too. Ben wasn't too hard to persuade, as he already had an iron man helmet from a recent birthday present. Peter, on the other hand, well....it took me a few hours (or was it days?) to talk that big 10 year old into joining the party!
 But, I'm glad he finally did. I think the only reason he gave in was because I told him he could design his own superhero logo and I would make him the shirt. It was a joy to do so too! And what else is a creative Aunt for anyways?!!!! Here is how I interpreted Peter's design....American Hero
Sergeant, or something like that. The jean circle under the star I cut out of a pair of his Dad's old jeans. Cool, huh? I wanted Peter's design to have a hip (as I know it to be) and somewhat vintage looking design. And I wanted him to want to wear the shirt again sometime. Ha. ha.
Ben went as Ironman (the triangle is from Ironman 2). For his shirt I cut out a reserve black t-shirt I had and sewed it into the inside lining of this store bought red shirt. I then chalked & sewed the "chest design" pattern onto the tshirt, and cut out all the black shown areas. The triangles are cut from felt and sewn on too. Simple (well not to make, but design wise). Washable. Wearable. Another joy to make for my wonderful nephew.
The two littles (aka my younger nephew and niece) still fit into their costumes, so no need (yet) to spoil them as well with Aunt-Joy-made costumes. Lilly came as a very cute batgirl, and I'm not sure really who Henry came as, but I know he ended up being a very handsome Buzz Lightyear, Batman, and Spiderman! I hope Nathan enjoys dressing up as much as his cousins do!
(This was Henry at the moment : )! )

 Supergirl power rocks!
I love this picture of my Mom holding Nathan. It just captures all of the joy she has in her heart! And she was right there waiting & excited to hold all the little superheros that came to the party that evening!

Happy 5th Birthday, Jordan! Thank you for sharing all the fun, and your costumes with us!!!!
And your bouncy house was quite fun too!

July 16, 2012

A Day at The Farm

Actually, what is fantastic about living in Ohio is that we have some of the BEST metroparks....in the world....I think. We visit one in particular quite often. They have a lovely working old farmstead. We attended their "down on the farm days" recently. Very fun! There were watermelon seed spitting contests, potato sack races, and live animals everywhere to see and touch! We can't ever leave there without also visiting the penny candy store in the basement of the old red barn. It's just wonderful!

I love getting my baby boy aquainted with all the animals. He loves to explore and point over and over to all of the animals and say, "oohh, ooh."

An extra special treat that day was his cousins visiting the farm with us that day! I know we just live across the street from them, but getting to go on an outing with them was even more fun! Boy does Nathan LOVE his cousins!!!

And I sure do love my niece and nephews too!They are getting so big so fast! : )

  I videoed all the kids taking part in the races. And then, lo and behold, the announcer called forth any adults 16 and over to race. Woohoo! I was excited! I didn't win, but it was a blast for me to race alongside my sister! Those teenagers were just a nose ahead of us and won! Oh, well!

Waiting for their turn to race.

This pod was growing on the tree above, and I don't know quite what it was called, but Ben sure wore it well!

Peter looking every bit of his 10 year old self. I hope he still thinks his Aunt is cool to hang around with for a few more years!

Aww, my sweet, Lilly. I love how you wear Princess dresses everywhere, still love to sit on my lap, and tell me every word of what I should say when we play make believe together. I'll remember our special times forever.

Heading to the candy store, and the play kitchen in the barn.

Watching our little one grow so fast as well. Cherishing every moment. My, how I love being with my family!

July 6, 2012

A Little Sewing

Just finished up and mailed a few projects to a friend. After the last 5 weeks of not getting together together with my sewing machine, I was really missing it! These were her favorite bibs for her daughter, and so I made her more. Some of the fabric is from upcycled garments, and the purple terry cloth is from Ikea. The pattern is Butterick#5220.

An idea sent to me from a friend off of Pinterest: the BAPRON (baby apron). She thought I might like the FREE pattern online, and boy was she right! Thanks,  Jen! They were really easy, and oh, so cute!!!!!

The polka dot fabric is from JoAnns, the white tery from an Ikea towel, and the red and stripped cotton from Ikea as well.

Great tutorial and free pattern to download HERE! Another go-to baby gift from me I'm thinking in the near future!

And I was so excited to make my first-ever baby sleeper for a friend. I had already had this pattern for a few years, and so was excited to actually get to use it. It was pretty simple, and I had fun making it. My serger sure gave those edges such a clean, professional look!

I think I may be making Nathan a few (with legs & feet) for this winter!

And a few months back I had taken an old t-shirt of mine and sized it down for my little tot. Very cute! I think it looks better on him!

And right now, this multicam jacket (the one Daddy just wore while in Afghanistan) is being made into a toddler backpack for our little guy! Oooh....can't wait! Going to go work on it now!

July 4, 2012

Primitive Camping

Ready to leave out

Car was packed. tight. very tight.

A very ready to go camper.

When we got to the metropark site, it was raining very hard....sideways, in fact. So, we waited in the car till the worst of the weather passed. When it was just sprinkling, Steven sacrificially and energetically set up some of our camp gear, while Nathan and I stayed dry in the car. I watched Nathan practice taking the car key in and out of the ignition about a 100x in half an hour : ). He so enjoys the simple things.

When the rain finally stopped, Nathan was excited to start his first camping experience. We reserved a secluded spot, down a long path in the woods. And did I mention its completely free to camp at our metroparks? Yes. VERY cool! You just need to bring enough batteries and water, as they aren't supplied (the outhouse and toilet paper are however : ) )!

Overview of our private site.

Our VERY happy camper!

Nathan getting his first instruction on how to shoot an airsoft gun. (Daddy says: "Nathan with his first HK") We're apparently starting him out very young.. ha ha

And it took only a few minutes for Nathan to discover how fun it was to throw things into the large fire ring.

Steven did most okay ALL of the set-up with such grace, while I watched the little guy, kept him out of too much trouble, and took mounds of short videos of him.

Loving the walkie-talkies....so many buttons!

Bubble fun too.

We had a great first night! We loved our site, we slept very well, but due to inclement weather forcasted for the next few days, we decided to gather it all up and head home the next morning. We were looking forward to having the rest of our family join us that evening for dinner and to camp, but instead, my sister just opened up their house to all of us that evening for  a very lovely cookout. We will be rescheduling our extended campout this fall, and are looking forward to it with excitement (as long as its still not 104 degrees outside then)!

Nathan has the keys out, ready to head home for the day. He is wondering how soon we get to go camping again, though!

After we came home, we cleaned up and then enjoyed "steamy" ice drinks, courtesy of the leftover dry ice in our cooler.

So much fun to drink!

Looks lethal to drink, doesn't it? You should give it a try sometime....or for Halloween. What a cool treat and surprise for the kids!

After our drinks, we went out to have an incredible breakfast at the Pancake House, ran some errands, and then joined my family for a wonderful evening dinner together. We made sure to find a way to make those campfire smores after all!