Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I knew it!!!!!

Hoda and Kathy Lee just announced that a study (Journal of the AMA?) has found that crafting makes you calmer.  :) !!!!!

So much for planning ...


Hello, again!  Not much blogging lately, but there has been an abundance of (as my friend calls it) "the business of life" and volunteering.  There was some crafting.  And, holiday crafting is the best!

This year, we all sat down at the beginning of October to discuss our Halloween plans.  The kids decided that they were too old for trick-or-treating and thus, did not need costumes.  I asked my hubby if he was dressing-up for work (he starting working for the current restaurant chain in Sept., 2011 but didn't dress for the holiday last year).   He thought he would only be working with the construction crew for the location he will be opening at the beginning of the year and wouldn't need a costume.  So, I was off-the-hook - no costume shopping or constructing.  I did buy a bunch of pumpkins and we planned to carve Skylanders characters and One Direction logos.  The pumpkins are still intact.  So, we will be roasting them and cooking some yummy recipes, instead.

Last week, my son was invited to help pass out candy at his friends house and had heard that there is a student costume contest at lunch today.  So, we dug out a packing box from the garage, bought some styrofoam bowls and found acrylic paint.  Easy peasy!  

Of course, if one child has a costume, so must the other.  I bought some knit fabric (I'm soooo thankful it was on sale at JoAnn's) and sewed a "Gangnam Style" outfit.

Hubby has been helping out with a location that is between managers and guess what he brought home last night.  He's lucky that he found something that fit!

What will I wear?  I'm going out to the garage to look for my witch's hat.

Are any of you dressing up for Halloween?  Don't forget your flashlights, glow necklaces and reflector strips tonight.  Have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Crafting holiday gifts

When I was shopping for party shoes for my daughter, I saw these silver sandals.
I thought they were cute and they were discounted to the amazing price of $5.99.  I couldn't pass up the deal.  But, I didn't think the feathers were my daughter's style.  

So, I removed the feathers with my jewelry pliers and added fish hooks ($2.99 at Michael's).
My daughter passed by, as I worked on this.  She liked the feathers more as earrings than as sandal embellishments.   So, these will be holiday gifts for her friends.

I ended up with sixteen pairs of earrings and a pair of sandals.  Not bad for about $10 (we pay 9.25% sales tax in Santa Monica).

Have you begun your holiday gift crafting?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monster Days

We survived!

Have you had those days when every commitment and invitation occurs?  Today was one of those days for our family.  Morning swim practice, reffing a soccer game, soccer game, snack mom, college homecoming, swim meet, friend's Bat Mitzvah and another friend's Bar Mitzvah.  We whittled the list down (skipped homecoming, morning practice and the afternoon swim meet) and squeezed in some fun, low-keyed activities (hanging out with a neighbor kid, stopping by hubby's work to try the new menu and cocktails with some old friends) and a few parent-child connections.  Whew!

Why is it that "When it rains, it pours" is so true?  Or, do we choose to bring out the truth in that statement?  I think today's schedule was my choice.  I'm always trying to give my kids the opportunity to socially develop and seem to push aside my calm and sanity for that opportunity.  Looking at the list of events, I think that choice was OK for today.  We all had a good time and didn't feel the exhaustion until we settled back at home.  Again, whew!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow being catch-up, relaxation and family connections.  Maybe a little crafting, too.  :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Feature Friday

I finished the melted crayon and fabric flower project.  It was pretty easy and I think it turned out to be cute.  

I had seen melted Crayola crayon art on Pintrest and I knew it was something I could do.   Most of the ones I saw had the paper wrappers still attached.  I removed the wrappers, as I used any crayons we had (my kids had at least 6 different brands and many crayons were used).  I did purchase a box of Crayolas, to completely fill the bottom of the canvas.  Another alteration was using acrylic paint for the background.  Without the paper wrappers, I used KrazyGlue (the instructions I saw on Google called for hot glue) to attach the crayons to the canvas.  I turned the canvas upside-down, propped it against a lined (leftover vinyl tablecloth) wall, and melted the crayon with my embossing tool (you can also use a hairdryer -- it just takes longer).

Originally, I had wanted it to look like a meadow against the sky.  After I consulted my resident artist, I added the flowers, using Jessi's instructions at  The only change I made was to not iron the folded fabric, before gathering.  I used a batch of scraps from my daughter and some leftover buttons.  Since I wanted to use all of that scrap batch, I made quite a few and turned some of them into ornaments for our Christmas tree.

Have great weekend and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Not much crafting today

Made a few more for party clothes, instead.  Kinda fun.  Wish the purchases were for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

W-I-P Wednesday

I'm adding fabric flowers to my melted crayon "art", using the scraps from my daughter's embroidery/patchwork project.  I followed Jessi's directions at and they are super easy to understand and execute. 

I'm not sure how many flowers to make.  I'm using all from that batch of scraps. Will that be enough?   How do you know when you have enough?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fun Titles

One thing I really enjoy about BlogtoberFest is seeing how bloggers organize their blog pages and the fun titles they have for some of the days.  The titles make great patterns and I look forward to peeking at their pages on those days. 

I've seen Manic Monday, WIP Wednesday, Feature Friday and Sunday Snippets.  I just stumbled on Manic Monday today -- I think it represents confessions of obsessions.  WIP Wednesday -- what crafter and/or mom doesn' have work-in-progress?  Feature Friday -- I love this adult-version of show-and-tell.  Sunday Snippets -- no words, let the photos do the talking.

Which day titles have you seen in the blog world? 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Snippets

I am inspired by TinnieGirl's Sunday Snippets:  A collection of photos. No need for words. Let the pictures tell your story.


I hope you enjoyed your Sunday.  I did.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Melted Crayon Art

Have you seen melted crayon art?  A friend posted a photo of the rainbow version and I was inspired.  I googled and found a lot of images (sorry about no credits; I screen-short the images and forgot to note the authors).


The crayons are glued onto a painter's canvas and the wax is melted using a hair dryer or an embossing tool, encouraging either a drip or pooling effect. 
Here's what I've done.  I'm hoping to use some of my fabric scraps to make the flowers.  I'll post the finished project soon.
My daughter saw this WIP and has decided that she wants to make one for her room.  She's favoring the rainbow.  I also want to try the rainshower, the hearts and the poppies projects I saw on Google.  So many crafting ideas and so little time.  

Friday, October 5, 2012


We have encouraged our kids to try a variety of activities -- dance, art, soccer, karate, baseball, basketball, lego club, drama, swimming.  And, we have seen their varying degrees of commitment.

My daughter is currently devoting much of her "free" time to swimming.  Competitive Swimming.
She usually swims 15 hours per week (which is enough to qualify her for a waiver from the PE class requirement) and competes every month.  She loves the workouts and rarely misses a practice.

Tonight, her middle school hosted a school dance.  She considered skipping it, to avoid missing a practice.  We encouraged her to re-consider.  Although we are proud of her work ethic and dedication,  we discussed how important it is to develop socially and to have fun with her school friends.  Plus, her brother is a student at the same school and was eager to attend this Hawaiian-themed event (she wasn't going to let him have all the fun).  So, she found the courage to ask to be excused from practice, bought her ticket to the dance, and dug out an outfit from her closet.

Even though they both were excited to go to the dance, you wouldn't believe how chatty they were when I picked them up.  I heard a recap of songs, who showed up, what everyone wore, which teachers chaperoned, what food was served, and how much fun it was (I had to keep my mouth shut and not say, "I told you!").

Here are my questions to you, tonight:
1.  How much do you guide your kids;
2.  how do you find a balance of school, activities, socializing and free time; and
3.  how do you find balance in your life?

Have a fun and relaxing weekend. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

good to remember

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." - the Dalai Lama.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Family Time

Yesterday, I wrote about taking time for myself.  Today, I'm listing the things I enjoy doing with my family:

1.  Singing to Pink, Train, and Lincoln Park;
2.  cooking;
3.  baking;
4.  playing Chinese Checkers, Loaded Questions; and Blokus; 
5.  crafting;
6.  watching YouTube videos (we especially like the U.S. Swim Team lip-syncing to Call Me Maybe and Gangnam Style); 
7.  watching Top Chef, Survivor, and The Great Food Truck Race;
8.  biking along the beach;
9.  playing tennis;
10. watching movies; and
11. trying new restaurants.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A friend recently asked me, "Do you make time for yourself?"  My reply was "Sure, I do things with my kids and I make time to spend with my husband."  Then, she asked me, "Do you know how to take time for YOURSELF?"  Point taken --  much of my "personal" time I spend with others (which I do enjoy), but I don't really take time by myself, solely for myself.

She gave me a gift card to a spa and told me to make an appointment.  I appreciated her generosity, but was also a bit hesitant to accept it, as I also had the same gift card in my wallet (a gift from my kids 7 months before).  Her gift card sat in my wallet for a couple of months too.  But, I'm proud to say I have been to the spa and used her gift card.  It took a while to unwind, to stop thinking about the ever growing list of things-to-do and to read my book.  I understand why the receptionist suggests arriving an hour prior to your first appointment -- I always thought it was to avoid late arrivals, but I used the extra time for ME.  I enjoyed the uninterrupted reading and planning some fun projects.  The instrumental music and void of conversation evolved from uncomfortable to soothing.  I almost wasn't ready to leave for my appointment. 

When my kids were born, many of my friends suggested that moms and dads have weekly dates, to stay connected with each other.  I'm starting to think that I need to also make a date for myself, to stay connected to my interests.  I really enjoy cooking, sewing and knitting for others.  I need to make more time for reading, crafting, sewing and knitting for myself.  Sounds selfish, but I really felt refreshed after my day at the spa, which I think was more about a change of attitude than the effect of the spa treatments.  I can't wait to use that other gift card. 

How do you take time for yourself?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blogtober Fest 2012

It's that time of year again and I'm accepting the challenge -- daily blog posts during the month of October. I realize that my track record suggests otherwise, but I'm still going to give this a my best effort.  I'm always complaining that there aren't enough hours (actually, not enough minutes) that I dedicate to developing or enjoying my interests, but I think that BlogtoberFest will be a great vehicle to change that.
So, what do I envision for this month?  Crafting?  Cooking?  Sewing?  Enjoying my family?  Reading?  Photography?  I'm hoping for a little of each.
Are you interested in joining the challenge?  Check out this page:
Happy BlogtoberFest 2012!