Monday, January 21, 2013

Butterfly Tree

Lately something has been bugging me. I couldn't figure it out for awhile and when looking at photos of our old house I realized I missed Norah's old room. I spent hours making the tree for her old room and it is the only thing from our old house that I miss. Oh I was so proud of this tree in Norah's first room!

To see how I did the first tree in Norah's old room go here for the trunk, here for the leaves and here for the shelves. Norah turns 2 in February... AHHHHHH when did she get this big!!  And lately she LOVES taking her naps in our spare bedroom bed! When I say loves I mean she refuses to nap in her crib and will only nap in her big girl bed.  She is ready for the bed and the only thing holding her back is me.... This bed was mine growing up and its VERY high!!  Ryan and I just haven't found the time to drop the mattress by taking out the box spring and installing the safety railing on the bed.  Plus I don't want to move her into a room that isn't decorated!!  This is a horrible photo of the spare room but apparently its the best one I have... Since this photo we have actually turned the bed sideways into the nook on the right side.

I realized about a week ago that I REALLY wanted another tree for her room!  And when I get a thought in my mind I just can't get rid of it.  I also knew I wanted to do butterflies this time!  So I did what I always do when I have an idea... I spent a few hours hunting Pinterest for ideas and found this tree decal on Etsy. I loved it but realized the swirling branches would be difficult to do for me... I wanted to keep this simple just like last time. 

Then I found this one and thought it was perfect.  So using a pencil and an eraser I drew my tree using this one as a rough sample.  It took me all of about 15 minutes to draw the tree.  Then using brown craft paint I painted the tree.  Last time I went out and bought a can of wall paint and barely used the can and then left it at the old house... SO to keep things on the cheaper side I just used dollar store brown craft paint. I used less than half of a tube of it too and I love how the tree looks!! 

After drawing the tree I pulled out my butterfly stencil and using different colours of purple dollar store craft paint and a sponge stenciling brush I randomly put butterflies all around my tree.  This maybe took a half hour. When I was finished I took a step back and starred at it for awhile.  I wasn't overly happy with it... something was missing!  So I pulled out some green craft paint and added random leaves by hand all over the tree until I was happy.  So here is the new tree for Norah!

I do still plan on adding some 3D butterflies on the branches and the wall but as for the painting I am finished!! I LOVE this tree!!! I'm SO proud of myself!! You have to remember that I'm an accountant and although I may be a crafty person I CANNOT DRAW OR PAINT if my life depended on it!! When Norah asks me to draw Mickey Mouse she will look at my drawing and shake her head saying "No Mama Wrong!" SO just because you have zero skills doesn't mean you can't create something like this too!! I had to constantly remind myself that trees are not perfect so I really can't make a mistake with this!! 

Just for reference the walls are still a pale yellow, closer to the colour in the original photo of the spare bedroom above.  This photo makes it look beige but its definitely yellow!!  I'm so excited to decorate the rest of her room... now I just have to gather up ideas from Pinterest!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Smorgasbord of Stuff

I would like to start off by saying I had no idea Smorgasbord was an actual word... Who knew spell check would correct my spelling!! Moving on!

I had high hopes of writing these posts before the new year however my little lady had a horrible cold and we spent the holidays sitting on the couch watching Monsters Inc more times then I want to admit!!!!  So this is a post about all of the projects I have been dying to post for some time now!!

At the beginning of December a friend threw a Cookie Exchange Party.  Norah and I were in a sugar coma for weeks afterwards!! But my one friend made these amazing 'cookies' that I HAD to make again!  Mostly because they are SOOOOO simple!!!  Literally they are Ritz Crackers dipped in chocolate... um yep its that simple!!!  I had a bunch of candy cane Hershey Kisses on hand so I melted them up. I don't have a double boiler so I just used 2 small pots I had and put the water in the bottom one... worked just fine for me!

Then I rolled out some wax paper onto a cookie sheet and using a spoon I put a drop of the melted chocolate on the wax paper. Then put the Ritz Cracker on top and squished it around a bit. Then added another drop of the melted chocolate on top of the Ritz Cracker and smeared it around and threw the tray in the fridge so the chocolate could harden. They were DELICIOUS!!!!

Remember back Here when I showed my Quietbook pages.  Well I finally finished it and presented it to Norah on Christmas Eve.  We decided to give it to her then because we were going to church and what better place to play with it!!  Here are the rest of the pages.

I showed this page before.  I sewed a rectangle onto the opposite page to hold all of the dolls clothes. Norah LOVES that the doll has shoes... its her favourite part!

This is the cover of the book.  Norah had these 3 little finger puppets that were in a birthday card from her first birthday that she still loves playing with.  So in the interest of time I sewed another rectangle on and shoved the puppets in the front!

I previously showed the Mr. Potatohead, all I did to make the page was sew on part of Mr. Potatohead leaving the top open so the pieces could be stored inside him. (sorry no pictures) The same went for the flower counting page. You can see those here.

Finally I made a shape page using puffy paint! I traced out some shapes and cut them out of felt. Then using my puffy paint I traced the shape with a corresponding colour onto a page.  Norah has a blast matching the shapes and colours!!

Now onto a fun last minute Christmas Gift that I made for all the little people in our life (ie. babies under 8 months).  At that age Norah LOVED touchy feely books!!  I decided to attempt to make some!  Now mine didn't turn out like I wanted but the babies still love them! 

I made the pages out of sheets of foam (non-toxic too!!) and used pinking sheers to make the edges pretty. 
Then I thought out what I could use... puffy paint was an obvious choice for 'BUMPY'.  Actually this was my favourite page of the entire book!  I used a yellow paint marker for the lettering.

Next up I had some sparkly paper left over from a previous craft.  I had planned to write 'sparkly red circle' however this was a key lesson in what not to do while watching tv... somehow I wrote Bright... OOPS!!!  I think on at least ONE of the books I got it right... Oh well!! Lesson learned!

Next up I knew I wanted to do a 'Soft' page. And since I still had a bunch of felt leftover I pulled out some green and cut an oval!

Finally I had some shiny blue material left from the wings I made for Ryan and I for Halloween and cut a triangle out.  I had some issues gluing it on but eventually it stuck on!

Finally I used a hole punch to punch some holes and tied the whole book together with some ribbon I had on hand.  This project probably took me about 10 minutes per book but the kiddos love them and I couldn't be happier with the result!!! Plus it cost next to nothing to make!!

It is now 2013 and most people are setting out their resolutions.  I have never been one for setting a resolution because I know I won't stick to it.  However this year I am setting a goal of sorts.  My goal is to organize my life... Yes its a broad topic but I have so many things on the go and everything seems to be in shambles.  Organization would be key to making 2013 a fantastic year!  To clarify a bit I have a million areas of the house that are literally a disaster!!  I need to take the time to organize them better so they are functional for us.  For instance, currently I can't even get into our storage/tool zone in the basement because there are a million boxes and tools blocking the way! Next our front hall is a disaster of shoes and coats constantly... I plan to enlist my dad to help us organize that.  Our tiny main bathroom has non-functional storage that I plan to fix up.  The office upstairs needs some serious TLC.  Our laundry room has so much space but nothing is in its place so its a constant pile of junk.  We have a huge shed but have never properly organized it so its bursting with junk!  Life just needs organizing... I have yet to figure out how to juggle work, a little lady and cleaning a house!

With all of that said... we got on our organization plan over the holidays.  Previously Norah's toys were in baskets in her play area... then we were given a toy box which I thought would answer all of our problems.  Nope... I would like to refer to the toy box as the box of 'wherediditgo'.  It wasn't a deep box but Norah couldn't get anything out of it without help and it lead to frustration on her part.  So over the holidays we invested in a toy shelf with baskets.  It has been in the living room now for about a week and I LOVE it!! Norah LOVES it too! She can get all the toys she wants and her books are even in one spot (instead of all over our book shelf) which gives me more room for MY stuff!!

Finally on the organization track, we have a blank wall in the kitchen which we had previously hung a corkboard from a nail that was left by the old owners.  The corkboard was functional but MUCH too low!  When at Ikea a few months ago I came across some awesome organizers for the wall that I loved so I picked them up (I think they were like $15 or something).  We rehung the corkboard higher and put the organizers on the wall. Now all of our bills/paperwork/pens etc that used to sit on the kitchen counter have a proper space for themselves!! I still plan to do something fun with the corkboard I just have to find the time and figure out what I want to do with it!!!