Bird Nest Necklace

I was thinking all day of what I was going to post about.  I’m only 6 days in to my 365 days of posts and I’m already drawing a blank…not a good sign, but then I remembered something I wanted to post about, but couldn’t.  I had made a necklace for my BFF, Sara, but just sent it this week so I had to make sure she had gotten it before I posted it.  I’m sure that Sara is a loyal follower of my blog and I would never want to spoil the surprise.  (We’ll see when Sara actually gets around to posting a comment – she’s a busy girl).

I’m not a jewelry maker.  I have no tools, I don’t know the lingo and intricate things seem to frustrate me.  However, I saw this necklace online while perusing through Pinterest and I have been wanting to try and make one for months.

I had my doubts, but this was surprisingly easy to make and the only thing you really need besides that supplies for the actual necklace is a needlenose pliers and something to cut wire.  I used a splicer because that is all I could find.  Sarah Ortega’s step by step tutorial is right here.

Here is the one I made:

The colors symbolize the months that her 3 beautiful babies were born.


It’s The Most Wonderful Sale Of The Year!

Kamryn doesn’t know the real words to the song – only the ones featured on the car commercial.  She actually laughs at me when I tell her what the lyrics are.  Like it’s absurd that an entire “time” would be wonderful or better than this sale that they sing about.  One more funny anecdote from the mouth of Kamryn…we were watching the news a few days ago and the forecast called for rain.  She yelled out “That’s P.S.!”  Yes, she said “P” instead of “B”.  I realize that I am 100% at fault for her failed attempt at swearing, but she has given me one more thing to giggle about.

And just so you know that Rory is equally crazy, we were at the post office yesterday and as I was placing stamps on my letters, he was getting into an altercation with the garbage can and yelling “Do you want a piece of me?!” and then punching it.  Much to the amusement of the huge line standing behind us.  Rory is a very small 2 year old…he’s still comfortably wearing 18-24 month clothes so it’s really funny to watch people’s reactions to his aggressive behavior.  I do often wonder if some of those onlookers are judging me and my parenting, but I could really care less.  Rory’s a pretty good kid – just a little hyper at times.

In addition to my super awesome parenting that I have been displaying all over San Diego, I have also completed Kamryn’s teacher’s gift.  She has her party today so I was hoping I would get it done in time.  I sent an email to all of the parents in Kamryn’s class asking them to have their child complete the following 3 statements:

1.  Mrs. M is_______
2.  Mrs. M has taught me______
3.  Mrs. M is my favorite teacher because_____

I put all the responses into a word cloud.  I asked that the parents not edit or coach their children’s responses so it would reflect the kids as well as their age.  It turned out so cute!  I really like it and I hope Mrs. Moffat does too!

I almost forgot to take a picture – which is the reason for it sitting in the wrapping paper.

If you would like to make your own word cloud, here is the website:  In addition to the word cloud, I also made that teal colored mat!  It’s just fabric over another mat, but I needed some contrast between the mat and the picture.  I found the tutorial at Delightful Distractions.  It was really easy and turned out nearly perfect for my first attempt.

Worky Work Busy Bee!!

It has been a crazy long time since I have blogged about anything and that is for two reasons.  1) I haven’t had much to say.  2) I have been (p)inspired! 
I have been all over Pinterest for the last couple of months.  If you don’t know what Pinterest is, click here and I’ll see you in a few hours.  Feel free to follow me if you want – I really, truly, only pin things for myself.  I know others will tag their friends on their boards or pins, but not me…I’m a selfish pinner.
Here are the projects I have done in the last month or so – all of which were found on Pinterest.  I will be the first to admit that they didn’t all turn out as I had hoped.  Some were huge failures and turned out rather pathetic and sad.  I am sharing them all!  Without further delay, let’s start off with some candy!
I made Butterfingers and Almond Joys.  Both of which are big favorites of mine.  I don’t have a picture of the Butterfingers.  I wasn’t that impressed with them.  Overall, I’ll give them a “B”, but only because everyone else said they thought they were better than the real candy.  They were too peanut buttery.  I’m going to make them again, but this time, I’m adding powdered sugar to the peanut butter.  Click here for the recipe from Brandy’s Crafts.
Next up, Almond Joys!
Before chocolate.

After chocolate.
 I’ll start by saying this.  I am not a candy maker.  I don’t have the correct tools and although I did take the suggestion of the blogger who posted this recipe and used a meat fork to dip the candy, it still was a pain in the ass.  However, they are covered in chocolate and that was the main objective, so check that off as a win for me.  Personally, I like these a lot better than then Butterfingers, but the general consensus was that they could use more almonds.  I have to agree.  I should have put at least 2 almonds on each one instead of just one, or made the coconut mounds smaller.  Other than that, I think these deserve an “A-“.  Click here for the recipe from Cooking With K.  The only change I made in this recipe was the chocolate.  I used left over semi-sweet chips (about 2 bags worth) and one bag of milk chocolate chips.  It’s just what I had on hand and I think it worked pretty well.  
My next food Pinspiration was this:
Regrowing green onions.
You can ignore the Kleenex sucker ghost and the Elvis ornament.  So basically, you just put the onions back in water after you cut off what you need and they are supposed to start growing again.  They do – almost immediately.  It’s weird, but now I’m looking at this damn glass with onions in it all the time.  Ryan asked me how much money I think I’m saving by doing this.  Yeah…so they cost about $.99 a bunch and I use them about once a month.  And I have noticed that the growing seems to have slowed considerably and the ends are actually looking a bit dry – nothing that I would really want to eat.  However, if you feel like this is something you must try, click here for Baked By Rachel’s directions.

Next up are two projects I mentioned previously:

Paint chip art.

 You can read about my inspiration from The Idea Room here.  Or my original post here.

Yarn Letter

These are all over the place.  I started off with the idea from The Land Of Nod, but also had inspiration from other blogs that I mention in my original post.

My next project gets a big fat “D”.  I would have given it an “F”, but it is actually performing it’s intended duty at this time so I can’t call it a complete failure. 

Magazine bowl with lid.

Separated – the bottom doesn’t look that bad – it’s that lid that is crazy.

I saw this on Saved By Love Creations and thought it was so cute.  Mine did not turn out that way.  I did follow the instructions, but I just didn’t quite get the grasp of how to make it wider without making it equally as tall until about 1/2 way through the lid.  Not to mention, this takes a lot of time and is a little hard on the hands.  Besides being sore, it made my hands really dry.  The bowl is currently housing two Christmas ornaments that my darling children have broken and I need to fix.

I made these on a whim.

Flare pants turned skinny.

 I got these pants at Old Navy a couple of years ago and haven’t worn them for awhile because they really flared at the bottom.  It bothered me and I almost got rid of them until I saw this post from Lucky Design – Devon Lauren.  It’s was so easy.  I used Kamryn’s sidewalk chalk to mark my lines and knocked this little project out in under 30 min.  I will give the finished project a “B” because one leg is uneven and because I actually didn’t make them as skinny as I should have.  I was afraid I would make them too tight and ended up making them too loose, but still acceptable.  I have worn them in public.

One of my better projects was revamping the kid’s table.  It was pretty marked up with crayon, marker, paint, etc and while it definitely didn’t make it unusable, I thought it could use a makeover.

My make-shift painting station.

I seriously had my doubts.

Again, you can find people all over the web who have used chalkboard paint on furniture.  I didn’t find one specifically on a kid’s table like this, but I guarantee, this isn’t unique.  I saw this post on Babble and it got me to quit procrastinating.  I have had the paint for about 4 years.  I was actually going to use it in our playroom in our old house, but never got around to it.

I like making things for Kamryn because she is at the age where everything I make for her she thinks it’s amazing.  She’s always telling me that I’m a good crafter, baker and cooker.  So far be it from me to discourage her encouragement!  I made this little tooth fairy pillow for when Kamryn looses her 1st tooth (and subsequent teeth).  I kind of like it, but it also kind of creeps me out.

Ballerina, tooth fairy.

Is it just me or does the tooth fairly look a little drunk?  Not only does my little fairy look like she is imbibing on some of Grandpa’s cough medicine, but it’s kind of strange where the tooth goes once it has been “lost”.  You put the tooth in the fairy’s mouth.  There is a pocket sewn in there.  My mom made me a tooth shaped pillow when I was little and it had a pocket on the back where you put the tooth.  I kind of wish I would have put a little pocket on the skirt or on the back instead of in the mouth.  Irregardless, if you would like to make a baby tooth eating fairly, you can find the instructions and pattern by Mmm Crafts here.  You will also notice that her version is much cuter than Drunky Fairy above.

And finally, my current project is this blanket.

This is also for Kamryn.  It’s crochet and a star stitch that I found here.  It’s courtesy of Free Vintage Crochet.  They have a ton of different tutorials that I will be trying out in the future. 

So there you have it.  This is what has been occupying my time the last month.  I’m also working on a couple of other projects for holiday gifts.  It’s the first time I have had a deadline in the last 3 years so we’ll see how that works out for me.  I will say this, if it turns out like I hope, you can bet your sweet britches that I’ll have another post up to show off my work!

A Finished Project

I have been starting a lot of projects lately, but have yet to finish one in quite some time.  The last one I successfully completed was the little flower paint chip pictures that I put in Kamryn’s room. 
One thing I have wanted to do for awhile is the yarn covered letters.  I finally bought an “R” and a “K” for about $.50 each last week.  I have a couple of little skeins of yarn that I really couldn’t do anything with so this seemed like a good project to use them.  I also just found my glue gun and it has been all hot and bothered and ready to get it’s glue on.  

Today was the day!  I thought for sure once I plugged in my $4.99 glue gun that I bought about 10 years ago, it wouldn’t work, but that little sucker heated up in record time.  I didn’t take a picture of the before, so here is the after.
I liked the finished product – I even added a little bead bling to the corner.  
It is kind of covering a little inconsistency in the yarn, but I felt like the “K” just needed a lil sumpin’ sumpin’. (I googled that phrase to see how you spell sumpin’.  That was not only the most popular spelling, it’s also a beer that I think I might like.)

So here I was, admiring my yarn letter and while I think it’s OK for my first attempt, it still seemed kind of small and lonely.  It’s only about 8 inches (that’s what she said) so it would look weird hanging on the wall unless I put a bunch of other K’s around it, which is an idea I like, but something I’m not going to do right now.

I had found this “K” on Let Birds Fly and when I scrolled down to the bottom of the post, I saw this.
My Inspiration Photo
This was one of those moments that I swear you probably could have seen the light bulb pop up above my head.  I don’t mean to build this up because I’m sure it’s going to be pretty anticlimactic, but here is the finished product.
“K”, string butterfly with beads and pom-pom.
I thought of putting a picture of Kamryn in there, but I was getting a little lazy and didn’t want to find a suitable picture that would fit.  Plus, I was having way too much fun with my glue gun to just stick a picture on there.  

My Art and Some Stories

I have about 5 different projects going on right now.  I get all of these ideas of things I want to do – mostly things I have seen other people do and then I want to try it.  My problem is that I start all of them at once and usually don’t have all the supplies to finish them or I have to wait for paint to dry or lately, the weather to cooperate.  It has been HOT and actually humid in San Diego the last couple of days – not ideal for painting something outside.

Yesterday I decided to set my sites on something that I could complete, but I didn’t know what it was yet.  I was at Wal-Mart to pick up some coffee filters.  I know what you’re thinking, You go all the way to Wal-Mart just for coffee filters?  On this occasion, I did.  I drop Kamryn off at school at 7:55 and there isn’t much that is open at that time.  I know Target is open, but I hadn’t been to Wal-Mart for awhile and thought I could get some other stuff as well.  As it turns out, Wal-Mart has an awesome craft aisle.  They also sell paint, which means they have paint chips. 

I had pinned some paint chip art a few weeks ago and since then have been chomping at the bit to get my hands on some of the paint chips.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I thought once I had them, I would figure it out.  And figure it out, I did!  I made these….

The best part?  They were 100% free.  The shadow box frames are from IKEA.  They used to be in Kamryn & Rory’s nurseries with Ocean Critters in them:

Lucky for me, the little critters just peeled right off.  There was a little glue residue on the mat with the turtle in it, but see those keys in the upper right corner?  The little discount membership cards that are on the ring make for an excellent, but gentle glue scraper.

After freeing up my frames, I punched the flowers out of the paint chips.  I got the punches from Target a long time ago and I think I paid $.50 for them.  I used regular old computer paper for the background.  I bet that makes true artists cringe, but that is an upgrade from what I used for the ocean critters.  For those, I just flipped over the piece of paper that came with the frame!  I then mapped out where all of the little flowers were going to go.

And glued them into place with the mother of all glues…Elmer’s.  I erased all the lines, but as you can see above, I put little circles where the flower was to go.  I don’t know about you, but I can guarantee that I would have put a drop of glue in a place where I shouldn’t and then I would have made a mess trying to get it off. 

And thus, my finished product. 

My brother and husband were 100% unimpressed with my art to which I told them to kindly “F*%^ right off.” Kamryn, on the other hand told me they were beautiful and that’s all that really matters because they are hanging in her room.

I do believe I also promised a story.  Lately I have had to entice my dear little boy to do things.  If I make it sound exciting, he gets excited and then we can move along on our merry way.  Today I wanted to get the mail without incident.  Here is what went down this morning:
Me:  “Rory, let’s go get the mail!  Maybe there is a surprise in there for you!”
Rory:  “Cheese?”
Me:  “Sure Buddy, maybe there’ll be some cheese in there for you.”
Rory:  “OK Mommy!  Let’s go!”
There was no cheese today and Rory was a little disappointed, but that was soon forgotten when he saw a guy with a mustache doing the landscaping.  He’s all about mustaches right now so Rory crouched down, even though the man was standing, and looked up at him – his head at a slight tilt and just stared and pointed at this guy’s face.  He muttered a low “mustache” – almost like he was in awe.  I just stood there because sometimes it’s more fun for me to watch instead of trying to explain what my 2 year old is doing or why.  I let it go on for a few awkward seconds and then told Rory we had to go.  Luckily the guy didn’t seem to mind a toddler admiring his lip warmer even if he didn’t realize that is what was going on.

Yay For Iron Transfers!

Last month I was invited to attend my first ever Yarn Club.  This is a group of women, many that I have reconnected with after moving back to San Diego, that get together every month and work on crochet or knitting projects.  I actually do know how to crochet.  My mom taught me when I was about 10 or 11.  She taught me the most basic, single crochet stitch and that is all I have attempted to date.  The only thing I have actually finished was a blue and yellow blanket for my hamster, Fuzzhead.  Fuzzhead was the subject of my 7th grade science project and was going to be on display in the school gymnasium so I made him a blanket with my school colors to represent.
Roughly 15 years later, Fuzzhead had long been in hamster heaven, and I was attempting to stop a disgusting habit.  I needed to quit smoking.  I knew if I kept my hands busy, I could go without lighting up a cigarette.  I ran out to the store, bought some yarn and a crochet hook and started making a blanket.  It seemed like my mom could make about 3 or 4 blankets a year without a problem.  I thought I would have this great blanket to snuggle in after about 2 weeks.  Two weeks had passed; I had successfully stopped smoking, and I had crocheted about half of a scarf.  The novelty had worn off again.  I threw all the yarn in a bag and stored it on the top shelf of the closet.  That bag moved with me to 6 different residences and after another 10 years, it finally saw the light of day last month.
Not the original bag.
I’m not that much further along on my “blanket”, but I have surpassed the point of making a scarf.  I will get this blanket done and it may take me another 10 years to do it, but in the process, I have made a couple of other things that I am awfully proud of. 
We were visiting our friends, J & H, in Iowa (H can be found here) and I was discussing the Yarn Club that I was invited to.  J, alerted me to a t-shirt his brother, brother-in-law, friend, or someone else (I quit listening once I heard what the shirt said) had made.  I first asked if I could have the shirt – it never hurts to ask, right?  He politely declined, but said he would send me the graphic.  A couple of weeks later I sat down to make my t-shirt, I noticed that J had a status update on Facebook about having strep and was as sick as he had ever been.  Not wanting to be a pest, I ventured out on my own and came up with this:
Bitches Be Knittin’
The words on the shirt are what I stole from J’s source, but the graphic I found on my own.  I actually typed “bitches be knittin’” into Google Images and found it.  I have been so excited about this shirt for weeks and tonight, I get to wear it to Yarn Club! 
And finally, since I had to buy a whole pack of iron transfers, I decided I needed to make Rory a Honey Badger t-shirt.  If you don’t know about The Honey Badger, crawl out from under your rock and click here.  Rory has been dubbed The Honey Badger by my brother and he continues to live up to his nickname.  
The Honey Badger Don’t Care


Every other day I fight a losing battle with myself.  My workout consists of 30 to 45 minutes of running every other day.  That’s it.  A grand total of, at most, 3 hours a week, yet I will run through just as many excuses not to workout as there are reasons to workout.  These excuses are floating around in my head even as I am changing into my workout gear.
Today I had two main reasons I tried to weasel out of my workout.  This is one:
And this was the other:
Kamryn in a hole.
These may be the two most pathetic reasons not to workout I have ever come up with in my life.  I realize explanations are in order.   Let’s start with that fancy rug.  I know, what you are thinking; “Amy, you must have spent a fortune on that rug, but why would that prevent you from doing your run?”  Well, hold on to your britches…I made that rug!  I know!  It’s amazing.  Are you picking up on the sarcasm?  If not, my blog may not be for you.  So the rug didn’t turn out quite like I expected.  The edges are all crazy and I’m not sure why.  I followed all of the instructions here, but I think my choice of “rag”, old canvas tab curtains, were a bit too grabby and hence my “I can’t workout” excuse.
My hands are raw and my wrists feel like I have been typing nonstop for the last year.  The scenario that played out in my head was this:  I will be running along on the treadmill and suddenly become lightheaded and need to stop or grab onto the bars and I won’t be able to because of the claw like state of my hands.  Have I ever gotten lightheaded while running?  No.  Have I ever had to suddenly stop running for any reason?  Not unless you count the time I jumped off to throw water on Shmoopy as he was about to pee on the floor.  And I have surprisingly, never fallen off the treadmill.  Although I have accidentally pulled the safety key out, abruptly stopping the track and thus throwing my body into the display.  Hilarious, for anyone that would have seen it, but this luckily, was nobody.
I realize the first excuse is pretty lame, but the second reason is kind of legitimate.  We were at the beach yesterday and I dug that hole that Kamryn is buried in.  Digging is hard.   She’s only 4, so really, how big could that hole be?  It’s not big, but I also don’t dig on a daily, weekly, monthly or even an annual basis.  In fact, I believe the last time I used a shovel was when I was 6 months pregnant with Rory and I was shoveling snow.  I woke up this morning with a sore back.  Not sore like I crushed some vertebrae, but more of an “Oh, those are muscles that haven’t been used in awhile” way.
So excuse number two is a bit more justifiable, but I was literally putting my shoes on when I was thinking of that one and I am not allowed to skip my run once I have my workout gear on.  That’s my own rule.  I’m also never allowed to run a shorter distance than I did on my previous run.  I can match it, but never run less.  I don’t know why I make up all these rules for myself.  Maybe it’s to ensure I keep my girlish figure.  Again, insert sarcasm here.  Regardless, my run is complete and I have to give a shout out to Tupac (RIP) for Keep Ya Head Up.  Yeah, I listen to Gangsta Rap when I run – what of it?  Too bad he doesn’t sing a song called Get Off Your Ass In Two Days And Quit Making Excuses.

Didn’t ask for a dime. Two dollars.

I got the crafting bug and I got it bad!  It all started with those Hershey Kiss Roses.  I am so damn proud of them that I keep upping my ante.  Consequently, I have been spending a lot of time on crafting websites.  First off, there are a lot of really talented and creative people out there.  I am not one of them, but I can steal an idea like nobody’s business.  I don’t really steal it, though.  I’ll give credit where credit is due.  Another reason I’m not actually stealing ideas is because I could never replicate the original so I have to improvise in accordance with my skill level.
Here is the latest in my creations:

There isn’t anything difficult about this.  If you have Excel and know how to copy and paste, you can do it.  And actually, the whole issue of crafting has nothing to do with this post other than finding printable money on Tip Junkie today and it giving me the idea to do it.
Yesterday Ryan and I were discussing buying Kamryn a new bike.  I don’t like to just go out and buy toys for the kids.  I think every kid should have a bike, but I feel that it’s too big of an item to go out and buy on a whim so I’m making Kamryn buy it herself with the above chart.
I printed out the money and made up some things that I would like Kamryn to work on.  Those are listed in the “Rewards” column.  The “Consequences” column contains all the things that annoy me on a daily basis. 
I sat her down and we reviewed both columns and how much she could earn or lose if she did them.  Before I was even half way through the Rewards column, I could see the gears starting to turn.  Kamryn, my darling daughter, has been a manipulator since she was about 18 months.  She would stand at the top of the stairs and yell “Me, hug!”  She used to call me, “Me” as in Mommy.  Anyway, that meant she wanted me to go back up to the top of the stairs and give her a hug so she could latch on to my neck like a spider monkey and I would inevitably carry her down the steps so she wouldn’t have to walk.  Of course I wasn’t going to deny my only child a hug and she knew that. 
Kamryn thought that cleaning her room was going to be “really hard”, that “being sassy was in her brain” and she “really was tired a lot”.  I told her that is why we were doing the chart so we could work on them together.  She more or less agreed to my plan and actually earned $2.00 by picking up her puzzle.  Within the hour, she not only lost her $2.00, but now owes me an additional $2.00 for excessive whining about the turkey burgers I made for dinner.
The challenge is on to see who will break first.  Will it be Kamryn who gets so far in the red that she doesn’t see the point of even trying to dig herself out?  Or will it be me who gets sick of trying to keep track of what she actually owes me?  The actual cost of the bike is about $70, but I was going to make her earn $100 to make it a little more challenging.  I thought if she worked for something for a month, it would give her enough appreciation.  However, at this rate, she’ll be asking for a car instead of a bike.

My Proudest Moments

Every once and awhile I do something that I am really proud of.  It’s not everyday or even every month.  Right now I’m averaging about every 2 ½ years.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself more than every 2 ½ years, but it’s for things that I should be doing anyway.  Like having well behaved kids in a restaurant.  It’s similar to that Chris Rock joke:
N-word always want credit for some shit they supposed to do. A n-word will brag about some shit a normal man just does. A n-word will say some shit like, “I take care of my kids.” You’re supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that? “I ain’t never been to jail!” What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having motherfucker! 
Ok, maybe not that extreme, but you get the gist. 
Anyway, if you have made it past the gratuitous swearing, what has sent my pride levels from modest to boastful are Kamryn’s gifts for her preschool teachers.  As of two days ago, I wasn’t even planning on getting them anything, but I found myself at Michael’s this morning loading up a cart with all sorts of supplies.  I was bound and determined to make the best teacher gift ever!  This gift was going to show how appreciative I was to Mrs. K and Mrs. O that they took Kamryn under their wing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon.  They taught her letters, numbers, songs, crafts, manners, etc.  Not to say I didn’t have a hand in any of the above, but they did it consistently. 
It is without further ado, I present to you, Teacher Appreciation Gifts 2011!!
I was looking online for ideas and came across the Hershey Kiss Roses.  I thought they were pretty cute and looked easy enough, but I knew Kamryn wouldn’t be able to make them on her own, although she did help me.  There were a lot of comments from teachers regarding gifts and they did say that they really did like the homemade ones.  And really, what else are they going to say?  “I hope to hell I don’t get another hand drawn picture from a kid.  Bring on the Panera gift cards!”  So while I got started on the roses, Kamryn decorated these ginormous mugs to give them a personal touch.
In case you were wondering about what I was so proud of 2 ½ years ago, it was this:
Kamryn’s 3rd Halloween outfit.  My little Statue of Liberty.  I can’t remember where I got the idea for this (big shock), but I do remember that this was made entirely out of a twin sheet set that I got in the clearance aisle at Target for $3.23.  I had the tissue paper and the rest was made from cut up FedEx envelopes with pieces of the sheet glued to it.  The best part was that no one asked what she was, which to me, indicates a damn good costume. 
Ok, so there is one more Halloween costume that I’m pretty proud of. 
Here’s Rory at his first Halloween all wrapped up in left over medical supplies to create probably the cutest mummy ever.  Unfortunately, not everyone knew what he was supposed to be.  I had to offer the information because I could tell there was some hesitation from the candy givers.  They didn’t know if this was a costume or something that had gone horribly wrong.
I’m going to start shooting for one awesome thing a year!  Starting….NOW!