Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow Day!

Yesterday school was closed due to snow. Damon was excited at first, but then sad when he remembered he would miss his A.R. Party and Thanksgiving feast. He was also a little sad when he didn't get to go out and play in the snow. He was feeling a little sick and needed new boats so I told him he needed to wait until today. This is he and Ellie playing in the first real snow fall of this year, last Saturday. The snow day gave me some extra time to get ready for Thanksgiving.

I have this little "blessing jar" on my table to help us all catch the Thanksgiving spirit.

Next to the jar I have strips of paper and a pen. I like everyone to write something they are grateful for and stick it in the jar. These things range from really sweet to really silly (which I love). I use different colored paper each year to help keep the dates separate and I ask everyone to put their name on it. It is fun to read what people put. Last year Elise and Brady were here so it was fun to remember what we were doing then.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Caught in a bad romance!

Lately I have found myself using products whose warning labels scare me just a little.
After noticing the warning on the front of this glass etching cream I put on a second pair of gloves and banned Damon from the kitchen.

A few days later I decided to make soap. I knew something was up when I went to Lowe's to get Lye (which is no longer labeled Lye on the shelf's because of it's use in Methamphetamines) and the salesperson said, "That's some pretty strong stuff. I don't think you want that to make soap." After Damon found 100% Lye on the label I knew I had the right stuff. (Many people don't realize you must have lye to make soap, because before it processes it is so caustic.) I went home, put on my gloves and covered everything with newspaper once again. Both projects turned out pretty well and I think they would make fun Christmas presents.

I think I etched nearly everything. No piece of glasswear was safe. I put our last name on everything that might leave our house (also great for a wedding gift) It turned out great and was a fast project which always scores extra points with me. Using vinyl would be a little bit easier, but I am all about saving money so I used contact paper. I cut it down to fit on my Cricut cutting mat.

I removed all of the negative spaces and used masking tape to apply the sticker to the glass.

Next it was time to spread the cream on the glass. I found that thicker is better, and it's more important than the length of time you leave the cream on the glass (I assumed longer would be better, but I didn't notice much of a difference. The cream only needs to stay on for 5 min.)

I think it makes everything look cute, and now I won't have to label our dishes with masking tape, that might fall off, when we have potluck activites.
Soap was a little bit more time consuming. You must get a recipe you like and follow it specifically. It seems that, besides being extra careful while handling and measuring the lye, it is most important to mix the lye solution and the oils when the temperatures are nearly the same.

I made a simple castel soap, but I added ground oatmeal and lavendar. It turned out, just, okay. I learned a few things, such as: a little oatmeal goes a long way, pour quickly, don't touch the soap until it hardens (chemical burns are not cool, and after all the care I took while making it, opps!)... I am making soap again this week so I hope mistakes from last time can contribute to better soap this time. I also hope I can keep some enthusiasm for getting my Christmas gifts and planning done early so I can relax in December. I wish the same for each of you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The glue was still hot, but we made it.

I spent so much time looking for Damon's green hat that I only had a few min. to put together a costume for me (Tyler's and Damon's were pretty easy so I guess I thought Princess Peach would be too, but it's clear I was wrong. I still wanted to be a part of the dressing up so I wore it anyway). I didn't have time to sew anything so I grabbed the hot glue gun and a bunch of saftey pins and finished up as we were pulling in to the park. Our trunk wasn't decorated and Damon's hat wasn't green, but we still had lots of fun. And, we didn't run out of candy this year. We spent the rest of the night with family at our house eating food and candy and playing games. We had lots of fun!