Monday, May 24, 2010

More Lemons to Lemonade

Thanks again for all your kind words and votes for my lemonade stand! It really is pretty exciting to win!

Speaking of Lemonade...

Check out this amazing lemonade stand by Anj of Multi Purpose Wings:
If that doesn't make you want to be 7 again this summer I don't know what would!

What's more, when I wrote to her about her stand she wrote this back:

Honestly it is such a blast to have around. And it teaches my kids about math, money management and saving. Right now they are using the summer lemonade stand income to help pay for their dance classes

People, I really think the Lemonade stand could be the new play kitchen!

Speaking of Lemons to Lemonade... I made a big mistake this month. BIG!! I booked a flight for the wrong date for my cousin's wedding in week! Fortunately, my mom alerted me to the mistake in time for us to fix it, but alas it was a $550 mistake. Needless to say, I was really frustrated and angry with myself for not double, triple, quadruple checking the dates the first time. Now, not only did I have to shell out a buncha money to get a new flight for the both of us, there are extra hotel cost...meals...etc... Money...easy come....easy go. Sigh.

Then today I learned that my lemon of a brain may have made some lemonade after all. Because of my mistake, I am going to get a whole extra day with both my parents, my aunt and uncle and my most importantly my 85 year old "Grandpaw!" In the words of American Express- "priceless."

I am feeling very strongly that this was a "God thing" and I can not wait to make the most of every minute with my family next weekend. Priceless indeed.

Hope your week brings you some grace too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Of Holes and Summer Memories

Recently, this post, A Sandbox for Our Son by Frugal Babe brought back so many happy memories. Basically, the Frugal Babe has made a sand "box" out of a hole in the ground.

My brother and I were the only kids on the block with a sandbox like that. One summer my brother decided to dig a hole to China. Several of the neighborhood kids took their turns digging. I made a huge mud pie bakery that summer and also did a bit of digging. I remember our imaginations running wild with the idea of digging straight through the Earth.

The Big Hole

Finally, one day in late August my dad came through the yard and casually said, "Last week of digging. I am filling in the hole next weekend." Funny how I remember that.

Anyway, what do you do when you know you won't make it to China in just a week? Why you turn your hole into a "hot tub."  Above you see the beginning stages of the "hot tub." We invited our friends and they came over one afternoon for a soak. It was anything but hot, but it was pretty deep. The hole was pretty wide around the top, but all our feet jammed together at the narrow bottom. Sitting chest deep in cold, muddy water seemed like a  fitting way to end the "summer of the hole."

Flash forward nearly twenty years, I casually mentioned growing up in Brighton, NY on an infertility chat room and low and behold, one of the gals happens to be married to one of our former neighbors! It really is a small world.

When we reconnected one of the many memories Steve shared was digging the hole. He couldn't believe our parents let us just dig a giant hole in the backyard. So, I asked my mother about it and her response was something like this, "Why not? It kept you busy! Daddy was able to fill it back in."

While looking for the hole picture, I found this one of the Little cousins  in our grandfather's gravel driveway. Does anyone still have a gravel driveway? It was wonderful. We spent hours playing there.

Playing Trucks in Granpa's Gravel Driveway
I don't know if "kids today" could be entertained for hours digging a hole to China. Are they too sophisticated now? What I do know is that it is nice work if you can get it.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I made the lemonade stand for my secretary's grandkids. On the way out the door today I asked her what she was doing this weekend.

She replied, "Well, I may be working this weekend."


"Depending on the weather, we may start selling lemonade!"

Her two bosses are ready to get started! And I think their loyal employee is just as excited.

That was fun! Thanks for your votes! I can't wait to show and tell about my prize!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

BBQ Hostess Gift

Here's an assortment of random stuff.
A diet Coke can,
a 2" scalloped circle punch,
a hole punch,
one leather shoestring
and some kitchen scissors.

Add a bandanna...

and a bottle of wine...

or barbecue sauce...

and you have a perfectly dressed BBQ hostess gift.

Bolo Tie Wrap How To:

1. Wear gloves and cut open the soda can with your super tough kitchen scissors.

2. Flatten out a section and punch out a scallop. Amazingly, the edges are not too sharp. I wouldn't caress them or anything, but they weren't too sharp to touch or anything.

3. You can add some fancy details by pressing firmly with a pen on the print side of the can. Use a magazine or something  soft underneath it. The indents will show nicely on the plain silver side.

4. Hole punch two holes top and bottom.

5. Wrap your gift in a bandanna.

6. Wrap the shoelace around the neck of the bottle once and then thread it through the top hole, behind the scallop and into the bottom hole-bolo tie style.

There you have it- a western style wrapping on a shoestring budget!

This won't be the last you'll see of punched soda cans around these parts!

I am linking to Frugal Friday on the Shabby Nest.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easy Arranger Giveaway-Winner

 Easy Arranger

Generator   6 Pow

 The radom generator picked #6

she wears flowers said... Love it! I NEED to do the cupcake arrangement!!
Thanks for sharing!

How appropriate- she wears flowers wins the Easy Arranger!
Congrats to Tammy!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Trash to Treasure: Pajama Top Apron

PJ Top to Apron

I found this pajama top at the Goodwill. I loved the fabric right away and knew it would make a terrific apron. I know, there are already a thousand apron tutorials in the big world wide web. Now there's another.

Really though, pajama tops are perfect. Pajamas come in the best prints. While my pajama bottoms are worn thin, my pajama tops are always neglected in favor of a tank top. They get hardly any use. Many pajama tops have big pockets and the bottom is already hemmed. Also, at our So. Cal Goodwill, pajama tops are just a buck.

Quick and Easy Trash to Treasure Pajama Top Apron

A pajama top- the one I used was a medium and it was plenty big enough.
Thread and any other embelishments you like. I used some pom pom trim I had.
One spool of grosgrain ribbon for the ties. Or if you like, you could also use other fabric for the ties. Since making the ties is my least favorite part of making an apron I opted for ribbon.

1. Cut the bottom off the top.
Cutting the Pajama Top
I cut right below the armpits.
2. Add trim to the bottom if you choose. I added some pom-pom trim to the already hemmed bottom.

3. Gather the raw edge top. You can sew a loose basting type stitch and then pull the tread to gather as I did. Or you could pleat it and sew across. I also sewed a tight stitch across my gathers to secure them.
Gathered Skirt
4. Once you have gathered your top edge, measure to see how long the top is. Mine was about 20" long. So I cut a strip about 4" X 20" from one of the sleeves to use as a waistband.

5.Sew the waistband right side facing the wrong side of your gathered edge fabric. I know that is hard to explain, but after you sew the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the fabric, you should be able to fold it up like this:
Waistband Step 3
6. Iron a bit of a hem to the top edge as shown above. Then fold down the waistband so that it now looks correct and matches the front of the apron like this:
Pinning Waistband
7. Pin the waistband in place. Make sure to cover any of the gathering basted stitches. and top stitch it in place close to the edge.

8. Pin the ribbon so that it is centered on the waistband. Then sew it across the waistband. Be sure to sew some extra stitches at either end so it is good and secure.
Ribbon Ties
I like my ties to wrap around and tie in front. Ribbon makes this so easy to do.

9. Trim any loose threads.
 PJ Apron
10. Pose for blog pictures.

How easy was that? Really, steps 9 & 10 are fluff. This is a quick project!

Oh and one last thing, you can still vote for my lemonade stand!
Lemonade Stand

I am sharing this at Reinvented for Trash to Treasure Tuesday!

A Couple of Deals I Wanted To Share You

Hello friends!

Today I want to share a couple of deals with you. Both are from family run businesses. If the internet has done one positive thing, I think it is the rise of small businesses. Especially women owned businesses!

The first is the Quilling For Dummies Kit. It's on sale now at Quilled Creations. Actually, you can get 15% off anything you order if you use the code "EM4K." I know I have mentioned it before, but my 4th grade girls and boys are way into quilling. Also, after a sports injury my colleague's daughter took up quilling while she recovered. It was the perfect distraction. Quilling kits are the perfect "tween" gift!
My First Quilling Students

The second deal is from Ann Clark Cookie Cutters From Vermont. Readers of this blog can get 10% off  until December 31st 2010. The discount code is BLGA23.  They also offer free shipping when you order three or more cookie cutters. Since it's been my tradition to make cookies to coordinate with charity donations I plan on enjoying this discount. 
 Cookies for a Dallas Fan
Theme cookies make great gifts for guys. I made these for a Dallas fan one year. They would have been so much cooler if I had the helmet cookie cutter. I have a few shark fans in my life. Shark cookies would be a good and unexpected gift.

Just for fun, look at these cool promotional cookie cutters they have done. Here is one for Stuart Weitzman. Here is the Michelin Man!

Did you see that my lemonade stand is a finalist in the DIY Club contest this month? You can vote for me #38 here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Please Vote for My Lemonade Stand!

Please excuse this interruption to regular blog posting, but...
Lemonade Stand

My Lemonade Stand is a finalist in this month's DIY Club!
Lemonade Stand Chalkboard
Here it is now that the chalkboard paint has cured.
You can go vote here. It's number 38.
And, if you would like to make one, the complete tutorial is here.

Thanks so much! Have a great week!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DIY Club Tutorial: Make A Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand

I am very excited to have finished my first of hopefully many DIY Club submissions. I squeezed this one in after school yesterday and met the deadline by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin
 DIY Club Challenge! Lemonade Stand
Other than shopping for a few supplies and letting paint dry this is a quick and easy project. In fact, this blog post is taking longer to write than most of the steps in making the lemonade stand!

1- Printer cart/stand- I found mine on craigslist for $5. I notice these things pretty often at Goodwill too. You could also just build a box on wheels.

2- 4' redwood garden stakes - I got mine at HD for about $1.50 each
A piece of thin plywood that is the same size as the front of your cabinet. Many hardware stores will cut plywood for you. Don't forget to check for bargain off cuts in their scrap bin!
Gorilla Glue- The glue of champions!

Gorilla Tape
Chalkboard paint and foam roller
Deco Art Americana Fabric Medium
Deco Art Americana Acrylic in Ebony Black
Assorted screws and a screw driver
Hot glue or a sewing machine
Fabric scraps for banner
Towel ring- (optional) I got mine at Goodwill but it's similar to this.
Cup hooks
pinking shears

1. Sand the edges of your plywood smooth.

2. Paint the plywood with several coats of chalkboard paint. My roll on paint takes three days to cure, thus the text edited photos. I promise to update this post with a chalkboard action shot latter.

3. Pre-drill holes for the redwood garden stakes and screw them into the back of your cart. I used two screws each for extra stability as seen below.
Lemonade Stand Back View

4. Attach cup hooks to the top of each redwood garden stake. These hooks will hold your banner up.

5. While paint is drying, make your banner! I used three triangles of scrap fabric and about a 15" of other fabric for the "string" part.

6. I want potential customers to see this stand from a mile away! So, I painted some friendly lemons on my banner with Ebony Deco  Art Americana acrylic with some Deco Art Americana Fabric Medium mixed in. I just free handed them and used the end of a paintbrush and a pencil eraser to make the dots.
Custom Painted Banner
7. While the banner dries, affix the towel ring to the side of your cart. I used both screws and Gorilla Glue since I feared the cart walls might be quite thin. They look thick, but at certain points they are hollow.
GapGorilla Tape Makes it Better
There was this weird little gap in the ring, so I taped over it with Gorilla Tape and shoved it into the holder. It's nearly invisible and now the ring is much stronger.

8. By now, the fabric banner should be dry, so make the "string" for the banner. I took a 20" scrap and sewed it in half. You could also just use ribbon. Then I trimmed the raw edges with pinking shears.  I measured between my cuphooks for length and sewed a loop to each end like this:
9. Sew or hot glue the triangles to the banner "string."

10. By now the chalkboard should be dry. So predrill and screw it onto the front of your cart. I used Gorilla Glue as well. Now the board is good and flush around all the edges.
Gorilla Glue
The final step is to paint those screws to match the chalkboard.

Touch Up the Screws
Actually, for me the final step was to stage it for blog photos and lament greatly that I was out of real lemons and colorful cups. Sigh.
Updated: Three days later the chalkboard paint is cured. Let the fun begin!
Lemonade Stand Chalkboard
As always, feel free to click on any photo for a better view or ask any questions in the comments.

Thanks to all these lovely ladies and the sponsors for hosting the DIY Club!

Updated: I am a finalist!! You can vote for me here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Challenges



If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I *love* a creative challenge. These are two challenges I plan on participating in. Click on each button for more details.

Since I rent, I can not paint a room for my challenge project. Our apartment is full to the gills with furniture. So, my project is going to be another trash to treasure gift.

I found this baby on Craigslist and picked it up tonight. It's so nice when you find just the right thing at just the right price and close to home. I love the win/win aspect of Craigslist. Anyway, I really hope I can squeeze this special project out in time for the DIY Club deadline -May 13th.

Oh and by the way, It's not a kitchen! (Please read this like Arnold)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

How I Turned A Picture Into An Embroidery Pattern

I really love the Sublime Stitching patterns by Jenny Hart. Her motto is "Not your grandmother's embroidery!" There are so many fun patterns. The flickr group is loaded with eye candy. This Etsy store, Sew Lovely Embroidery, also has wonderful modern designs.

However the other night I had the itch to stitch right then and there. You know how it is when an idea strikes! So, I came up with my own way to convert a picture into an embroidery pattern that was simple enough for me to do.

This pin up cowgirl was my starting photo. I found the picture on Google and uploaded it into Picnik. Then under the "Create" tab I clicked on "effects." Next I chose "pencil sketch." And the result was the photo below.

From there, I clicked on the "Edit" tab and chose "Exposure." I moved both the "Exposure" and "Contrast" settings as far as I could so that it would look like an even simpler drawing.

The result was this. Notice how most of the background is gone now and the details are sharper? This was good, but I knew I wanted it even simpler. So, still in Picnik, I chose the "Create" tab and went to stickers. I used the rectangle under "Geometric"  (and slid the color to white) to cover up the fire and the photographer's name. Then I went to text and added the "Dinner!" Finally, I downloaded it to my computer and printed it out. I was very careful to print it in "mirror image" so that I could use Citra-Solv to transfer my pattern to the fabric.

To do the Citra-Solv transfer I taped my photocopy print side down to my fabric. I used regular old scotch tape. Be sure not to cover any of the design with tape. Then I took a paper towel with a bit of Citra-Solv on it and rubbed it all over the design. Lastly, I burnished the paper by rubbing the entire design really hard with the edge of a spoon.

Embroidered Cowgirl
I had a lot of fun changing up the colors for this design. Let's see? What's next?

Possible Embroidery Pattern
Maybe something for Father's Day. This is from a vintage MG ad.

PS. Raesha- sorry for the spoiler Enjoy the sneak peak!

I am linking this up to DIY DAY!