Sunday, January 19, 2014

Instagram photo clothesline

I really like some of the Instagram photos I take, but I didn't want them to be trapped on my phone or in cyberspace forever. So I searched Pinterest for some ideas on how to display them.
First, I had to figure out how to print the photos. I assumed it wouldn't be easy since they are square, but I was wrong. I found an App by Pictarine that allows you to send the photos to Walgreens straight from your phone for printing. There are other programs that do this too. I printed 12 photos for less than 5 bucks.
 
I had some string, and some cute mini clothespins that I used for hanging Christmas Cards, so I brought my supplies to my office, which is where I decided to hang the photos.


The nice thing about it is that it is interchangeable so I switch out photos easily whenever I want.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Entryway organization with baskets

Our back entryway becomes a mess in winter. I thought I was organized by keeping a basket for us to toss hats, gloves etc, in and having a tray to set our wet boots in.
 
 But as you can see, the basket overfloweth. And nothing is worse than picking up a mitten only to find out it is wet from melted snow.
 

The entryway isn't very large, so a shelf of some sort wasn't really going to work. I thought hanging baskets from the wall was a nice idea, but I had to find some that didn't stick out too far from the wall.

 Mom and I wandered Hobby Lobby recently and I was about to give up on finding some baskets I liked when we stumbled upon these two on our final pass through the clearance section. They were perfect.
 
I used clear Command strips to mount them to the wall. It only bothers me slightly that the top basket is No. 2 and the bottom is No. 1.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Books

I sort dropped the ball on updating my book reviews on this blog, but in my defense...I just read too many darn books!
But, I am going to post the top books I read this year. These are mostly my 5-star rated books, which means I generally would recommend them to anyone who will listen. I also am throwing in a few 4-star books as honorable mentions. And for what it's worth, I am pretty stingy with my star ratings.
I read 117 books this year, and only 9 received 5 stars.
 
FangirlThe 5th WaveMe Before YouCode Name VerityThirteen Reasons Why
Jellicoe RoadEleanor & ParkHopelessAllegiant
 
 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved this on so many levels. First, she really nailed the twin relationship. And then the whole obsession with a fictional character/book series. Nailed that too. And there's Levi. Sweet, happy go lucky Levi. I will read anything that Rainbow writes. Call me a fangirl ;-)

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
Talk about a page turner.  I hate to call it an alien book. It's more like a post apocalyptic/alien/zombie story. This is going to be the next book I push on all my friends. The only downside is the long wait until #2 comes outs.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
What a beautiful story. It was worth the ugly cry.                  

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wow. Fantastic story. I can't imagine the amount of research that went into this. It was a bit of slow start for me, with all the jargon, but I was quickly hooked and could not put it down. A great story of friendship.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Wow. Just wow. I admit I put off reading this for a while because I thought it would be depressing. But it wasn't. I laughed out loud in some places. But mostly, it just makes you think about how little actions can mean so much to others. The way this story is told is just genius too. This should be required reading for high schoolers.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Wow. Just wow. I have to admit I was a bit confused in the beginning, but when it started to come together, I was hooked. I loved the relationship of Tate, Narnie, Webb, Fitz and Jude. Something very nostalgic about their story. And then Taylor with her enemies, the Townies and Cadets. I think I am going to miss these characters. I love this author. This is the 3rd book I've read of hers, and they are all just so well written.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I think I liked this so much that it hurt. It was heart wrenchingly beautiful.

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Another well written book by Ms. Hoover. I wanted to fly through it, and slow down and savor it at the same time. I loved Sky's voice; it was so real. Strong, but vulnerable. And of course, how can you not love Holder! I'll be thinking about this book for days
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The end of the Divergent trilogy. Controversial ending, and as much as it hurt, she ended it the way she should have. Any other ending wouldn't have stayed true to the characters.

Honorable mentions to:

Finnkin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
I think I've said this before, but I will read anything Melina writes. I'm usually not a fan of fantasy, but this story was such a page turner. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
This is another author who I will read anything they write. I barely even knew what this book was about, but since he wrote it, I was going to read it. It is written in an interesting way, with each chapter being from a different character's POV, many from different time periods, and you don't really know until the end how their stories all inter related.

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
A book about a soldier who has returned home Afghanistan. I really liked the main character's voice because it felt authentic to me.

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi
A story about a girl who makes a mistake that will change her life forever. Such a great book and not a topic you read about everyday.

The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, all by Maggie Steifvater
I will read everything she writes. Everything.  I think Maggie writes the best relationships, and not just romantic relationships.


 

 
 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Superhero Capes

I made the kids superhero capes for Christmas.
I basically sewed a larger version of the baby bibs that I make.



I appliqued an "E" for Elena on one side, and a Harry Potter lightning bolt on the other. Not because she has any idea who Harry Potter is, but because I do and I'm too old to wear a cape, but I'd want a lightning bolt if it was my cape.
 

Emanuel also got an "E" and I used a striped fabric for the opposite side, so I didn't do another applique for him.


 I think they like them!








Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rice filled heat packs

So the dilemma of the year again was what to make for the coworkers for Christmas.
In past years I made an assortment of baked goodies but I really wanted to avoid food items since there is just SO MUCH junk this time of year, and let's face it, nobody is baking anything healthy.
Last year I made spice rubs, but this year I wanted to sew something.
Somehow I came up with the idea for microwavable heating pads.
 
 
I bought some flannel prints when they were on sale, then sewed up some rectangles. I cut my fabric to be 8x18 inches, in case you are wondering about size. Then I divided it into 4 sections and filled with rice, sewing each section closed as I went.

 
I should also mention that I added some lavender essential oils to the rice and let it sit for 24 hrs before I added the rice to the bags.


I gave the doggy prints to those coworkers that have dogs, and the bike print to those that don't.
 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jingle Bell Garland


I bookmarked this project years ago. Long before Pinterest existed. And this year I finally got around to making it. All it entails is crocheting yarn in a chain, and every now and then you add a bell in the mix.

 
I actually strung all the bells on the yarn before I started and then would move one into place when I needed it. It was sort of a pain to do, but it worked.  I just crocheted until I ran out of bells.  I don't even know how long this garland it. It didn't quite make it to the bottom of my small tree, but I don't care. I watched DVRed episodes of Greys Anatomy and New Girl while I made this, so it took 1.5 hours maximum.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Been doing some sewing...

I realize I haven't posted much about my sewing here lately. That is partially because I haven't been sewing a ton, but also because I've been sewing the same old things I always make, which I've shared here before.
Now, I have shared a sleeping mask I made for myself a few years ago, along with some goofy outtakes. If you haven't seen those, you should go check them out and have a good laugh.
But I thought I'd share this recent project. I made this custom order for my aunt, who wanted a sleep mask for every day of the week. I culled my scrap stash for some fun fabrics and came up with these.
 
I've got at least one more recent sewing project coming soon. Maybe. It's a Christmas present, but I'll probably post it here anyways.

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