Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby Girl's room wall "mural"

My baby girl's room has a 13 foot wall behind her crib. What on earth do you do with that? I had seen the paper flowers, also the paper butterflies out in blogland, but figured it needed just a little extra something. At first I thought about a cute quote. But, then I saw people turning their pictures into sillhouettes and framing those. I used that as a springboard for this....
So, first I used my super nice neighbor's cricket to cut out LOTS of different size flowers from paper I bought at Michael's (LOVE that store!) and also butterflies (on sparkly white paper). I took a marker and rolled the edges of the flowers in so they would have some dimension.

Then I had my wonderful hubby take a picture of our baby girl walking toward me, then traced the outline on a peice of tracing paper (moving, adding, cuting out what I wanted)

I learned that tracing paper will not work on a projector and didn't care to spend money on projector sheets. So I glued the tracing paper to some scrap paper and cut it out, then taped it to the projector...

And traced it on my MDF board from Home Depot.

Then used another super nice neighbor's scroll saw to cut it out. Because it was so tall, I had to cut it in half. I haven't used one of these since 7th grade shop (where I learned how to get the nice boys to do the projects for me) :) So, I was pleasently surprised when I didn't completely ruin it (it just might have helped that I said a prayer beforehand, "Heavenly Father, I can't afford to buy another MDF board right now, so please bless that I won't royally mess this up, Amen")

I painted it Antique White (I just used Acryllic paint) and cut out paper from the same pad I used for the flowers to resemble the "clothes", which I mod podged on. I changed the jacket material to match the skirt, it just looked better. Then I put ribbon on to distinguish a bit and used the same ribbon for a headband, with one of the smaller flowers and a larger stone/gem thing in the middle. Then I just put a layer of Varnish over all of it for a bit of protection.

My 4-year old got a hold of the camer and took a picture of me :)

I was wracking my brain how to hang up the sillhouette because most screws for stuff are too long and would go right through. Well, I was looking at Walmart (yes, I do shop there) and they had these cool velcro things to hang stuff up with. Perfect! I didn't want to rip all the paint off the wall, so I attached a small sheet of paper with my pushpins (I added more than shown in this photo), then put the velcro together and stuck it on the paper. THEN I stuck the sillhouette on top so the velcro would be lined up perfectly.

Then came the fun part... I used flat topped white pushpins to attatch all the flowers and butterflies (they blended in with the butterflies and were like the "middle" of the flowers) and just kind of started putting them on and stepping back every now and then to make sure the were following the general shape I wanted them.

I couldn't get a pic of the whole wall at once, so hopefully you can see where they overlap. But here's the finished project.....

Here are the link parties I've linked up to:


The DIY Show Off

sew many ways



Beyond The Picket Fence

Bubbly Nature

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remember that male operatic singer in the background of "Moulin Rouge" songs?

Turns out his name is Alessandro Safina. I rented the DVD of Sarah Brightman's 2008 concert titled "Live in Vienna" and had to scoop my jaw off the floor when he started singing. Normally opera singers voices are somewhat annoying because they sound so affected, but there is this incredible tone to his voice, it's so rich and full. Makes my heart all fluttery :) I've been looking up other vids of his performances and I have to say, he does seem a little bit in love with himself; but, if I sounded like this, I would be in love with myself a bit, too. :)

This is the first song they sing (of 2) together called "Canto Della Terra"

Okay, so this music video is super cheesy, but just don't watch. Just listen :) "Luna Tu" (Only You)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dry Erase Calendar

I just used Burlap cut to size (and ironed flat) and used a Sharpie to mark the lines and "Month" and the days of the week. Then hot glued some scrap material to form a border, a brat to attach the paper flowers, stuck it in frame and just write on the glass with dry erase markers. I wish I could paint the frame, but my husband actually likes this frame, so I'll deal. :)
I went back and wrote over the white border so the word "Month" isn't missing the top part, but then my camera battery died *grrrr* oh well. It's not the best thing ever, but it's better than those white boards.
Well, have a fantabulous weekend everyone!

Obama's arrogant overriding of the constitution

No, I do not think President Bush was a perfect President, nor do I agree with every decision he made; I do, however think that he was brutilized by the media, who even flat out lied sometimes, and yet, Obama's anti-American-I-wish-we-were-still-ruled-by-Britain attitude and decisions get a free pass. Not that they are endorsed by the media - they're NOT EVEN MENTIONED. I'm an independent pretty much disgusted with the extremist-run parties on both sides. Will America's politicians ever be able to actually do the right thing? Or, heaven forbid, fix some problems at the root cause, instead of sticking a band-aid over it and patting themselves on the back for avoiding the worst-case-scenario?
Orson Scott Card, a moderate Democrat and enthusiastically detailed history buff, wrote this excellent article on Obama's handling of the bombing of Lybia:

"Number the Stars" book review

Number the StarsNumber the Stars by Lois Lowry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say it's nice to read about people who were courageous and had more than a scrap of humanity during those times. Not there weren't others (obviously there were), but a whole nation who were able to smuggle out almost ALL of their Jewish population under the noses of the Nazi's is inspiring, to say the least! This is a very short and easy read, but I found the friendship between Ellen and Maryanne touching. I really enjoyed it.

View all my reviews

"Princess Bride" book review

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High AdventureThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading Goldman's introduction, I'm very glad he abridged the original novel. I kept picturing Cary Elwes and Robin Wright-Penn (I guess just Robin Wright now) delivering the lines - which, honestly, made it better. The book is funny and clever, but the movie has more charm and charisma. Maybe it's because I saw the movie before having read the book, but I think the movies better (such a classic!)

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This should be mandatory viewing for everyone!

I'm a little behind the times on most things - I just barely saw "Supersize Me" (which came out in, what, 2004?). I haven't had McDonald's in years (the last time was at a birthday party and both my daughter and I were feeling queasy on the way home), so I think their stuff tastes gross anyway, but I think a lot of what Morgan Spurlock discovers also applies to other fast food chains (which I do frequent a little too... frequently).

Basically he goes on a diet of eating Mcd's 3X a day for a month. The only food he can eat has to come from them. The weight gain is expected but still a surprisingly high number, I think it's his cholesterol that shoots up like 200 times what it was before he started, his liver ends up resembling that of an alcoholic's and is close to shutting down. I honestly don't think this is mostly about weight, it's about health. Even if someone is skinny it certainly doesn't guarantee that they're healthy.

What really struck a chord with me, though, was the portion of the film on school lunches and the politics of why our kids are being served processed chemicals for lunch with junk food as a side. Then add in the fact that physical ed is being cut out in many instances. This is the state of our education? That those who are supposed to be teaching our children can't even reason out that physical activity actually stimulates brain activity? The healthier you are physically, the better you are able to focus mentally.

They actually found a charter school that was specifically for troubled kids (you know the ones that get kicked out of all the other schools). Now, they had a police officer who had to break up numerous fights daily. I kid you not - they changed the lunches they serve to come from a company who serves freshly made veggies, made from scratch lasagna, etc and cut out all soda, sugared drinks, and junk food. After the next 2 years of having NO fights, the cop asked why they still had him there! And the kids tried harder academically and did better. Makes you wonder - do YOU know what YOUR kids are being fed for lunch? One girl at the normal schools was getting an order of french fries and milk and said "Well I've got my calcium and my vegetable". Now, maybe she was joking, but there were several kids who only got chips and cookies for lunch.

Do I think this means that we shouldn't EVER eat processed foods or fast food? Maybe in theory, but I know it won't stop me. But I DO think that we should be aware that such chemically processed stuff is NOT good for us and can have harmful side effects, especially in excess.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I want to finish my oatmeal Peanut butter chocolate chip cookie :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Wreath

I didn't take any pictures of putting it together because a) it's hard enough for me to do any projects with the girls awake, let alone trying to also take pictures of it and b) it's pretty self-explanatory.