Friday, October 10, 2008

Decoupaged Jewelry Box

On Saturday, I have a birthday party to go to for a little two-year old girl. I got some materials together from the store, and of course when I was there, I changed my plan a bit. I had originally planned on getting a wooden box to decorate, but when I got to the store, the wooden boxes weren't exactly the right shape and they didn't close all the way. What I did eventually get was one of those lightweight paper mache boxes. I also saw paper for sale so I got some to decorate the sides of the box. I also got some sheets of felt, so that I could line the bottom. For the top of the box I got a picture online of a famous piece of art. The picture I chose is of some ballerinas from a Degas painting. I put it into Phtotoshop and made it the size of the top of the box. I scaled the picture and cropped it, then I played around with the colors a bit. I wanted to personalize it, so I added some layers of text. I chose the colors for the text by picking out colors from the picture. Since I know a little bit of French, I translated some simple sentences and used them to give the box a little something special. It says, "Je suis un danseur!" and "Bijoux" which translated just means, "I am a dancer!" and "Jewelry". I had all that stuff ready and I had even painted the majority of the box, when I realized I could not find my Mod Podge. I ended up using an all purpose white glue mixed with a little water to thin it out. I applied it to both the box and the paper I was going to apply with a paint brush. All I have left to do is seal it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No help to get a house

I am now very pregnant, only about a month to go until my due date. My family has been trying to find a house of our own, since right now we are living with parents. We found a nice affordable house, and wanted to look at it. This should be easy. I've been able to make appointments to see houses before with little effort. Not this time, because the agent wanted us to have a pre-approval letter first before she would even show us the house. I realize she doesn't want to waste her time, but I have never bought a home before and now I'm feeling pressured into getting a loan for a house I haven't even seen. Oh, and there's a time limit too. In the next couple of days the house goes from owner-occupant preferred to the highest bidder wins. I already have a lot going on in my life and sadly, I am going to have to give up on buying this house for now. As a first time home buyer, the last thing I want to do is rush into something.

Monday, October 6, 2008

BPA in bottles and baby food

I know this is not about crafting, but it is something that I am very upset about. There have been a lot of baby bottles, formula containers, canned items, and even baby food jars that have been found to contain BPA. This website, , has a section that you can look up an item or brand to see if a product you use has the chemical in it. I am not really a big political person, but I wrote my governor this week with my concerns about BPA. Luckily there are some companies that are doing something about it, but I don't think it's enough. As a mother, I am worried. There's only so much I can do to protect my kids, and while I would like to buy all organic and fresh food, my income doesn't allow it. Sometimes canned items are neccessary. Don't get me started on monosodium glutamate and high fructose corn syrup. It really is in practically everything. A lot of people in my circle think I'm crazy for not letting my kid have certain foods, but I know it's one of the reasons my daughter is so smart and healthy now. I guess until things change, I'm just going to continue to be the "overprotective" mom. I can live with that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baby Shower

I went to a friend's baby shower this past weekend. As the crafty girl I am, I made sure the gift I gave was fabulous. I crocheted a little baby hat, mittens, booties, and a car seat blanket. My friend is expecting a girl, her second. She already has a little girl just a couple months younger than mine. We are both pregnant again, pretty cool, only this time I'm having a boy. Anyway, I used some left over yarn to make the hat, mittens, and booties. I used two different colors, pink and white. It came out really nice. I also embellished the hat by crocheting a little flower and sewed it on with a tapestry needle. I ran out of the pink and white yarn, so I made the car seat blanket out of a purple yarn, and a variegated purple/yellow yarn. I made everything with the half double crochet stitch. I then edged it all with a pretty feminine edging. Really simple, single crochet, three chains, then another single crochet. It was a hit, everyone loves a handmade gift.

Another thing that I thought was pretty ingenious, if I do say so myself, the car seat blanket has a built-in tie. I just made the blanket about 50 chains, then work up in half double crochet until you get to about 18 inches long. Then do the edging in one of the colors, or both if you like, I only did one though. I then, crocheted 50 chains with both yarns, but to strings of just one color would look nice too. I put a knot in each end of the strand. Then I folded the blanket in half long ways. I rolled the blanket up and chose a spot in the middle of the corner and threaded the yarn chain through. I tied a knot and this is how I tied the blanket up. I think it would work great to hold a pacifier in the car too, but of course should be kept away from the baby. I would suggest it being tied in a bow. If the parent is really uneasy about it, it can be removed really easily, too. I did see another cool baby gift at the shower that was handmade. It was a diaper wipes container that was covered in fabric and decorated with a little ribbon. I don't really know what type of glue would work on fabric and plastic, but it sparked my interest. Don't be surprised if you see one here in a couple of weeks.

Update! Some pics of a car seat blanket I made. This is the one I made for my son.