Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thumbtack Border for Wall Chalkboard

I hung the crowns above the chalkboard wall.  I was going to put molding around the chalkboard.  When I realized the molding I liked would be over $50, I decided to buy silver thumbtacks for 75 cents and used those for a border instead.  Easier and cheaper.  I used the same tacks on the canvas painting for her room.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to paint Diamonds on the Wall

I just felt like this wall was missing something.  So I painted diamonds using leftover gray paint from the lighter two walls.  I love how it turned out!  It was a little trickier to do than I had expected. 
(More after the jump...)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Purple Duvet Cover

I just finished Ella's new duvet cover.  For the back I used the black and white striped flat sheet that came in her sheet set.  (I only use a fitted sheet and comforter on the kids' beds.  If all they have to do is smooth out the duvet, they are more likely to make their beds.)  For the front I cut and pieced together some fabric snatched from my mom's well stocked collection.  Thanks Mom!   An old T-shirt was cut up and used to make the ties.  I hate when the comforter slips down and gets all bunched up inside the cover, so I sewed loops to the inside edge of the comforter.  The T-shirt ties run through the loops to hold the comforter in it's place.
I found the flowers at a clearance sale for 30 cents each.  I was originally going to make some fabric flowers.  However, I don't like to make things that I can buy for less.

Here's a look at Ella's past blankets.

Her first blanket was a crib quilt made by Grandma for her nursery.
When she was graduated to a twin size bed, I made her this duvet cover with the help of Mei Ling (my talented sister-in-law).  The light pink side was actually a cotton shower curtain I found on clearance for under a dollar.  It worked perfect since the shower ring slots functioned as button holes.  The darker fabric with stars was leftover from her nursery curtains.  We made fabric covered buttons to hold it together.

Easy DIY Wall Decor

 I love browsing the scrapbook paper section.  So many colors.  So many designs.  Too bad I'm not into scrapbooking.  I only scrapbook digitally.  But since the pages are too likable to pass up, I made some into wall hangings.
(More on the next page...)

Organizing the Little Stuff

For my kids to actually keep their rooms clean and organized I try to have a place for everything... even the little stuff.  I also have an obsession with putting things in clear jars.  For these, I spray painted the lids and glued on animal figures. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Place for her Art

 Ella has been called the "Tape Master", because she can make anything from and do anything with scotch tape.  Lately she's been decorating her room by taping up her artwork on the wall.  I think her beautiful pictures should be displayed, but not with tape.  Now she can retire her tape and just clip her art to the jute I just strung across her bedroom wall.

How to Transfer an Image with Gel Medium

I decided to create my own art for Ella's wall using an image of her.  

This is the original photo that I started with.

See how I did it on the next page...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Make Your Own Wall Decal

I wanted to paint a key on the side of this shelf.  However, the thought of painting directly on it made me nervous.  I just refinished the shelf and didn't want to paint it again if I didn't like how the key turned out.
(Read more on the next page...)

Freezer Stencil ~ Ballerina Memo Board

I made this board for Ella's room.  She wanted a place to hang her ribbons and other small things.

Hello Scary Giant - Our Battle with Scorpions

When a couple neighbor girls came by today to play with my daughter, they were greeted by this giant scorpion guarding our front door.  They were so brave to ring the doorbell anyway.  This guy is a Giant Hairy Scorpion.  He's as long as a crayon, but this species can grow up to six inches long.  Once I mistook one of these for a lizard, when I saw it down by my nephew's feet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

She Wears Her Name on Her Toes

I love playing nail shop with Ella.  She has the cutest ideas!
We used used a Sally Hansen Nail Art pen to do the graffiti.

Water Balloons ~ Hot Fun on the Trampoline

Sometimes I wish we had a pool.  The kids are always asking to use the hose on the trampoline.  It's so hot and they just want to get wet.  I feel like the mean mom when I look at their sweaty Arizona faces and say it's such a waste of water. 
 "Best Mom ever!"  Those are the words I heard when I appeared in the backyard with a bucket full of water balloons.  Success!  When the fun was over, three buckets full later, it was a easy clean-up since all the little pieces were on the trampoline.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hemp Seeds - Nutritional & Delicious

My new favorite seed: hemp. 
I love the delicious, nutty, almost sweet crunch of hemp seeds.  I've been putting them in everything since my sis mentioned them as a way to boost my protein intake.  Thanks Dawn. 
I get excited when I learn about ways to eat healthier.  Besides being high in protein and fiber, I learned that hemp seeds are special because they contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy life.  There are other seeds (such as flax seeds) that contain all the essential amino acids, however no others have them in such an easily digestible form. 
There are many health benefits to ingesting fatty acids in a the ratio carried only by hemp seeds, such as lowering the risk of some diseases including certain types of cancers.  Other benefits include: decrease in the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, mood improvement in bipolar disorders and optimized development in infants.  Also, I'm super excited to read that Hemp oil has been shown to relieve the symptoms of eczema, which my son has been battling for eight years.  The essential fatty acids in it act as an internal moisturiser for the skin, they can help combat the dryness and cracking of eczema and calm inflammation.  I'm almost willing to do anything to bring relief to his skin.  This is definitely worth the try. 
Other Info about Hemp:
  • Best used for cold or warm dishes where the temperature is kept below the boiling point (212° F).
  • Seeds can be lightly toasted or baked in bread and pastry dough.
  • Recommended amount of hemp oil is 1 tbsp per day.
  • No, you won't get high or fail a drug test.  (Check out: Hemp and Marijuana: Myths & Realities
Nutritional Contents:
Essential Fatty Acids
Vitamin E

Vegan Rice Salad - Two Versions

I love rice salad.  Usually I just cook some brown rice, mix in nutritional yeast and add whatever veggies, nuts and seeds I have in the house.  Then I toss it with my favorite italian dressing.  Yum.  Super easy. Today I made a special spicy version for my hubby.  I mixed his rice with this bang-bang sauce.  I used to make this dish with cold shredded chicken, back in my meat-eating days.

Bang-Bang Sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp finely chopped scallions
1 tsp red chili oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp white sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter, creamed with a little sesame oil

Mix together all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.  

His: Bang-Bang Rice Salad

Mine:  Rice Salad with Italian Dressing

I used these ingredients today:
Brown rice, nutritional yeast, green peppers, cucumbers, green onions, shredded carrots, chopped cabbage, pine nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, bang-bang sauce/italian dressing. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Painting Day - Let the Kids Do It

 Tips for painting with kids:
~ Cover more than enough area so you don't worry about a mess.  Their creativity will suffer if you keep telling them to stop dripping or flinging paint.
~ Mix paint with water and give them a lot of paint.  It's not fun to paint with a half dry brush.
~ Use big brushes.
~ Use a big canvas.  I take photos of their paintings and let them paint over them again and again.
~ Wear paint clothes.  Every artist gets messy.  

Melted Crayons on Canvas


Friday, September 9, 2011

Giant Chalkboard

I was a little concerned that the novelty of a giant chalkboard wall may wear off quickly and the kids would lose interest.  So far that is not the case.  The chalkboard is a hit and has made Ella's unfinished room the house hang-out spot.  The only downfall is that I am constantly cleaning up chalk dust.  I need to order those chalkboard markers I heard about. 

Purple Bed

I recently sold Ella's bed when I was inspired to redo her room.  She's been camping out on the floor, so I  searched and searched and until I finally found her a new bed.  I was looking for something with character and curves.  This Craigslist find was quite beat up but it had potential.  It has become the Purple Bed.   I'll post more pictures when here room is finished.

I got a little excited with my new addiction (spray painting) and painted a bunch of stuff.  Ella's once white table is looking good in purple and blue. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lovin' It Easy Vegan Pizza

Pizza night at our house brings squeals of delight.  Ethan just declared, "There is no one, I mean no one in the whole world who doesn't like pizza.  It's made to order, just the way you like it."  I changed up an old (pre-vegan) recipe we liked and now use whole wheat flour, non-dairy cheese (if any), and organic ingredients.  I use four mini pizza pans so we can each top them the way we like best.  The kids like to add organic soy sausage and a little bit of Veggie Shreds in lieu of cheese.  Jess and I just pile on any veggies we have. 
After they are cooked I sprinkle on chia seeds and nutritional yeast.  Enjoy.

Pizza Crust:
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 tsp. each of rosemary, garlic powder, oregano, basil

Dissolve the yeast in water.  Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix.

Dump onto floured surface.

Knead into a smooth dough.

Roll out and press down onto a greased pizza pan. 

6 oz. can of tomato paste
8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. paprika

Stir together all ingredients and smooth on top of crust.

Add toppings. 

Bake at 450 degrees F for around 12-15 minutes.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Painted Crowns for Ella's Room

I just painted Ella's walls two shades of gray.  I love the gray, but with nothing else in there yet it looks a little sad.  I'm thinking something silver and sparkly is needed.  What 6 year-old princess doesn't love crowns?  First I sprayed them with a hammered silver metallic paint.  Then I added a little purple paint and glitter.  Voila!


These beauties are now awaiting a space in Ella's redecorated room.
This room is turning out to be a challenge.  It's a small space and it has to function as her playroom and her bedroom.  Also, I'm trying to redecorate it on a $200 budget.  I'll have to upcycle, recycle, do whatever I can; but I want her to have a room she loves. 

Money Tally so far:
$13 --chalkboard paint
$40 --gray paint for walls
$ 9  --fabric for curtains (9 yards)
$20 --spray paint
$20 --decorative hanging crowns

That leaves $98 and she doesn't have a bed yet. 

The chalkboard has already been getting good use.  I found the fabric for the curtains on the clearance shelf for just $1/yard!  I sewed two sets, one set shown here and a matching set for the window.  I hung them from ceiling to floor.  I think it makes the 9' ceiling seem even higher and it looks dramatic.  I'm thinking about putting up molding to frame the chalkboard...

Inspired (Ella's Room)

I've been inspired to re-do Ella's room.  I constantly move stuff around and reorganize her things.  But I really want to Re-Do her whole room.  I mean everything.
Before Pictures...

Cousin (dump-out-all-the-toys) Fest
The inspiration pic for her new room. 
I love-love the purple bed, giant chalkboard and mostly neutral colors (and the huge window).