Sunday, June 26, 2011

At the County Fair--Competitive Exhibits

We had such a good time at the County Fair!!!

And Noodlebug won first place!!! This is his blue painting that he created at the Bay Area Discovery Museum Messy Art class:

And I used a tutorial from HOW DOES SHE? as my inspiration and made a wreath that also took 1st place!  If you follow the link, you'll see mine looks a lot rounder and I arranged the balloons differently.

My husband submitted a photograph and took 6th place:

As an only child, I consider my closest friends family and I am proud to say that my friend Monique swept several categories.  Here is her knitted and felted handbag that won 1st place:
And these are her three little handmade toys that all won prizes:

I'd say my family did pretty well at the Fair this year!!! 

And there is still one more Fair to go!  I'll post more photos of the Fair later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Project Roundup

I finished two projects this past weekend. One was a definite WIN...with a little tweaking. The other....FAIL.  I will try to get photos tonight. 

We're going up for our trip to the Fair on Friday. The whole family entered things in the various contests and I can't wait to see how we did.  Plus, I just love seeing what my neighbors have entered.

Okay, here is the fail:

I made Noodlebug a pair of pants using Dana's tutorial.  Even though her son is older, he is more petite than Noodlebug. I thought I took this into account when I was modifying the pattern but these still came out looking a little tight.

I think the problem may be the rise.  Or maybe it's the fact that he is still wearing Pull-Ups. It just doesn't look right.

I also fixed his outdoor play tent but I don't have a photo yet.  I used this tutorial.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cold Comfort

I am home today with my poor sick Noodlebug. He has some sort of stomach bug.  I'm doing my best to make him feel better and we are doing lots of snuggling.

I recently bought a set of Tovolo Ice Cream Pop molds.

I loved making my own baby food so I thought I would try my hand at making my own popsicles. That way, I know EXACTLY what is going into them.  These molds are about $10 and I like the fact that you don't have to buy popsicle sticks to go with it.  You just reuse the bases that look like ice cream cones!

I just whipped up a batch of blueberry popsicles. Here is what I did:

One container of organic blueberries (about 2.5 cups)
1/3 cup of sugar
about 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
3 TB water

I threw everything in a bowl and used my immersion blender to puree.  I then put a fine mesh strainer on top of small pitcher and pressed the mixture through the strainer to extract the puree and keep out the chunkier pieces.  Then, I just poured the mixture evenly into the four molds.

I just popped them in the freezer and I'll check back in four hours to see how we did. Hopefully, Noodle will feel good enough to try one.  I thought that sucking on a homemade blueberry pop on a hot sick day at home might be comforting. I'll let you know how it turns out!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ideas for Summer Fun

My friend Gary recently recommended this book to me:

I just got my copy yesterday and I am glad I did.  Although Noodlebug is only allowed to watch a very small amount of television (PBS only---15-30 minutes per day), I want to limit it even more this Summer.  I have been looking for ways to get us doing more things as a family and getting outdoors!  This book has some great easy ideas for fun, active outdoor activities for kids and families.  The book groups them by month so you have one activity for every day of the year that is appropriate for the season. I was happy to see that we had already been doing many of the activities listed for June.  It isn't rocket science but if you need some ideas for getting outside with your family, this $10 could be a lifesaver.  Find it here.

I am also a big fan of FAMILY FUN magazine. I always get great craft and activity ideas and I save every issue.  I was excited to see that they have a new 'Badges of Fun' program in the current issue.  You pull out the poster inside the magazine and do the current month's family activity in order to "earn" a badge which you download from the website. You then stick your badge to the poster.  See the first badge above this paragraph. They are going to run the program for ten issues and we have hung our poster on the fridge to keep us motivated.  You can download the poster and find more information here.

And don't forget about the fantastic Summer double-issue of ACTION PACK.  I have been working on modifying some of the activities for Noodlebug and I already have plans to make him a utility belt.

Click on the picture to buy your own copy.  It's a bargain at $6 and I can't wait to see the next issue.

What other resources for fun family activities have you found this Summer?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Win a Great Letterpress Poster!!!

Please ignore the fact that I decided to wear no makeup for this photo and that is why I look like death-warmed-over.  Or maybe like one of the victims of the SISTERS BROTHERS.

I just reviewed this book and was lucky enough to be selected to give away a lovely letterpress signed and numbered poster of the cover. Even if you don't read the book, I think the cover is pretty awesome from a graphic design standpoint. Plus, who doesn't love letterpress? 

Read more about my review and the giveaway here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quick Toddler Duvet/Comforter

(I folded back the edge so you could see the piping)

We converted Noodlebug's bed into a toddler bed back in February.  I have been frustrated by the lack of nice toddler bedding.  I still need to whip up some toddler flat sheets but yesterday I decided I needed to make a toddler-sized comforter/duvet.

I was inspired by this tutorial from Purl Bee.  I started out by making some bias tape which I then turned into homemade piping using some cord I found at JoAnn's.  The material is a heavier weight linen-type material which made it a little difficult to sew as close to the piping as I would have liked.  Still, it came out okay.  I came up short on piping so the bottom of the duvet looks terrible but I can always go back and finish it up later.  Still, I'm happy with it. Not bad for  few hours work!!!

P.S. The elephant was a homemade birthday gift to Noodle from my friend Monique. I am still waiting for her to make me one of my own!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Action Pack 4: The Great Outdoors Issue

I'm so excited!!! The new issue of Whipup's Action Pack is here!  This issue features 60 pages of activities, recipes, games and tutorials for kids (ages 7+) that focus on the Great Outdoors. I love the fact that these activities encourage kids to get outside. And there are plenty of "boy" activities!

You can find the following items in this issue:

- Campfire cooking recipes, Weather science experiments and Outdoor art projects.

- This Action Pack also has a super great section on Boredom busting games for car trips and rainy days. And we know there are plenty of those at holiday time.

- This Action Pack has a lovely big section on crafts: Including detailed instructions on how to make a must-have utility belt and bag , flower press and nature journal to take along on your nature excursions with you, and nature jewels and a woven fly swat that you can make while camping or hiking, from materials you can find along the way.

- This Action Pack also has a whole section on adventure and survival. Including how to make your own fish trap, fishing rod, how to safely light a campfire and detailed illustrations on how to tie seven different knots that just might save your life!

I'm not sure I even know how to safely light a campfire so that will be useful to know!  Even though Noodlebug is too young to do a lot of these activities, I'm stockpiling ideas and I'm sure we can modify some of the ideas to make them age appropriate.

Get your own digital download copy here for the bargain price of $6!

(I'm off to get my own right now!)

Monday, June 6, 2011


I am one of those people who loves to give her opinion. Perhaps I just have a high opinion of my opinion but I love taking surveys and doing product tests. I am really picky about doing product reviews on my blogs outside of book reviews and I only belong to two affiliate programs.  When I recommend something, I want it to mean something.

I was reading  Momma Go Round the other day and she mentioned a new opinon site called Crowdtap where you can take surveys for cash and prizes for you and a charity of your choice along with the opportunity to do product tests.  She mentioned that she has gotten all kinds of clothing for free.  It's free to join so I'm going to give it a shot.  Want to join me?  Go here to sign up!!!  I don't know about you but I love FREE!!!!

Here is how Crowdtap describes itself:

"Crowdtap is a revolutionary social marketing and research platform that enables you to be rewarded for ideating and promoting with leading brands, entertainment properties, non-profits and startups. Earn cash rewards for yourself and charity for taking surveys, sampling new products and promoting your favorite brands."

We'll see what happens!  I'll keep you posted.

Time Flies (Sneak Peek)

This weekend, I worked on my piece for Inspire Co.'s Birthday Treasury Swap.  My partner, KL, has a style that is "Rusty, patina, layered, curiousities." I decided to go with a "Time Flies" theme for my box and used one of these 7gypsies charms as inspiration:

(Image Source)

As I worked, I realized how very "steam punk" my piece is looking so I had to add in a tiny bit of whimsy. It's almost finished and I'll be mailing it out this week. Can't wait to share it with you!!!

In other news, it has been rainy and cold here for days and days. Where is our Summer?  Since we were stuck inside, Noodlebug and I pulled out a game he got for his birthday:

(image source)
 This Life on Earth Bingo game is so cute!!!  Since there were just two of us, I let Noodle pick a board for each of us and then I drew tiles from the box behind my back. I announced the animal or other natural object on the tile and then Noodle and I would look for the corresponding picture on our boards.  He would get so excited when he had one.

"I have a platypus!!!!"

When one board was covered with tiles, we would both shout "BINGO!" and throw up our arms. We played it over and over again.  It was a fun rainy day activity and we avoided the television.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Foot at a Time

One of the wonderful things about having a child is that you are often given the opportunity to see the world through their eyes.  Like many of you, I am always in a rush trying to get everything done. I am constantly juggling being a wife, motherhood, working full-time, church, caring for my mother, serving on a local board and housekeeping.  Everything always feels like I need to RUSH RUSH RUSH! 

Noodlebug and I were downtown last weekend and we were walking briskly to a  local store to exchange something.  He abruptly stopped and said, "One foot at at a time, Mommy!"

At first, I couldn't understand what he was talking about.  We were walking through a small plaza downtown and when I looked down I saw the pattern of rectangles that the pavers made.  Noodlebug was carefully putting one foot in each paver while avoiding the cracks. 

Look closely and you'll see the pavers  (Image Source)

Instead of pulling him along and rushing to get my errands done, I made myself stop and join in on his game.  And we slowly put one foot at a time in each rectangle.  And it was fun.

Thank you, God, for giving me a child who reminds me to stop and smell the roses.  And to put down "one foot at a time."