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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ruby Red Slippers for Wizard of Oz Party

So my darling niece is going to be "Dorothy" for their Wizard of Oz themed birthday party.  I ordered her a costume with the adorable dress, toto in the baskets, hair ribbons, and little red slippers.  Key word being little.  Sydney could get the slippers on, but they were just too small for her foot.  No problem.  Of course, I had already bought slippers for her at Walmart.  They were about $13 and a size 7.  I liked that they had a little heel and bow.  However, they were patan leather.  I wondered if I should sand them first.  I did some research online and talked to a friend who has made these before. The consensus was to spray them with adhesive and dip them on glitter. Great, but I had already bought glittery red spray paint and I wanted to try it.  Here's what I did:
Step 1:  Mask off or stuff the shoe with plastic bags to protect the inside of the shoe. 

Step 2:  Put down a layer of plastic in green.  Put on mask and gloves and spray with spray paint.  I sprayed multiple times.

Step 3:  Spray again.  At this point the shoes looked okay, but there were still places with gaps.  No problem, I don't call myself Glitterartist for nothing. I have a lot of glitter.

Step 4: I let the shoes dry a little.  They were still a little tacky at this point, but I needed to finish them before I lost my mojo.  I carefully removed the plastic from the inside.  I had used two plastic bags in each shoe.  I was surprised at how well they worked.

Step 5:  I gathered up my glue and glitter.  I ended up using Mod Podge in addition of the adhesive.  I did re-stuff the shoes with plastic bags just in case.  I had some Martha Stewart hexagonal glitter, a shaker of red glitter, and a bunch of red glitter glue.  

Step 6:  I sprayed the parts of the shoe that looked white. I did this outside due to the fumes from the spray adhesive. I used two old shoe boxes (we made dioramas in them!) to spray in.  Glitter is very messy.  I just sprayed and dumped the loose shaker of glitter on the white spots.  Repeat as needed. 

Step 7:  I was pretty happy with the shoes, but there were still a few light spots.  I painted on some Mod Podge and then dumped more glitter and then the hexagonal glitter on it.  Wow, they were looking great.

Step 8:  I still had some thin spots so I took the Martha Stewart glitter glue and touched up those spots. I ended up smearing that glue with my fingers and of course, dumping more glitter on it. 

Step 9: Done.  They look great.  Now the trick will be getting Dorothy to wear them!  I was able to wipe out most of the glitter inside.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Letting Go

How much does one person need?  Do I need to keep every document that I've ever created? Every picture that I've ever took?  Every receipt I've ever scanned?  NO!  I really don't.  I have been getting frantic emails from Carbonite that I need to renew.  I looked up my account and realized that I don't need any of it.  My pictures are either printed out, saved to my macbook, or terrible.  My documents are also either saved, printed, or obsolete.  I looked again and saved a few things to my new computer, but the rest I can easily let go.  I looked and I've paid over $300 for Carbonite since 2011.  I needed it before the "cloud" and my photos and videos were saved online.  I pay .99 cents a month for additional Apple storage.  I have about 4000 photos.  I've been going through and deleting hundreds.  It's easy since I am a fairly terrible photographer.

2002 on vacation to Cairo
Since my curriculum changed at school, I no longer need or want 99% of what I "used to do." Do I need photos of my classroom from 2009?  No.  Do I need scavenger hunts from textbooks that we will never use again? I think not.  I did worry about a lot of pictures from my overseas trips being lost.  However, I have scrapbooked all of those trips.  Do I really need to keep hundreds of pictures from Egypt of me standing in front of various tombs and pyramids from 2002?  I have the good pictures printed out or somewhere digital.  I want to let a lot of the past GO.  I have thousands of baby pictures of the kids. Now, there is a new baby.  I need to make room.  It actually feels great to let go of the past.
Sydney, Old Time Photo 2014
Jackie Reb, Old Time Photo 2014

Next, I am going to pitch out a lot of my old magazine clippings.  I used to make collages that I used to paint from in oil. When was the last time I did this? I can't remember.  I do go through stints where I still paint, then I move on to something else.  I really need to go through and put away my art supplies. I need to go through and FINISH projects that I have been working on for years.  It is so easy to set something aside and never finish it.  When I need to, I can work really fast.  I guess somethings that I never finished can probably be thrown away.  Paper is my biggest weakness. I cannot throw away beautiful scraps.  Also, I have tons of stamps that I love and never use.  Some have even fallen behind my shelves.  I guess it is time to dig them out.  I need to get away from this computer and go outside and do some potting. It is too easy to spend the day in front of this computer screen.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Full House

Being sick, I haven't left my house in at least five days.  I became a little restless. I had some clothes to go through and... Well, I don't really know what happened, but I ended up dumping ALL of the clothes in my closets (all in four closets) into my living room.  Yes, it was very ugly. Hangers were everywhere. There were shoes, bags of fabric, blankets, towels, and tons of clothes.

Once I got started, I couldn't stop.  I realized that my bedroom closet is pretty big.  It should not have been jam packed with clothes. For that matter, I shouldn't have THREE other closets also jam packed.   
What was even in the closet?  I packed stuff into this closet when I moved in and never took it out until now. 

The empty space was great. I fantasized about maybe trying to just keep 20 items and wear those all year.  Hmm, that wasn't going to happen.

I keep all my shoes in Jackie's bedroom.  I haven't bought a pair of shoes in probably six months to a year.  Where did all these shoes come from?  Where did all the clothes come from? 
As I looked through the "stuff", I realized that I really didn't buy 90% of the clothes! Most were given to me by other people.  Yep, my mother likes to give me her clothes.  I more that I thought of it, I had clothes from other people, too. Hmm, like 80% of my entire house was stuff from other people.  Did I ever buy a toaster or clothes iron?  Vases, candle holders, picture frames? Was I a sucker? I was taking everyone's junk.
 I called in my mom and brother.  I went through the HOARD in the living room.  I was done. I did get a couple of, "Oh, you can't get rid of that!" type of comments. However, I still bagged a lot of the random clothes that I have never worn, were stained, and didn't fit anymore.   We just bagged everything up and my brother took it directly to Goodwill.  I knew if that stuff hit my garage, it would be there forever.  I had to have it out of the house ASAP.  I also couldn't leave all that stuff in the living room, so I transferred it to Jackie's room. 
I was fight waves of exhaustion as I worked through the pile.  Where did all this stuff come from?  Why did I have clothes in ten sizes? I didn't even buy this stuff why did I have to deal with it now? Clothes were pressed in the closets so tightly, they were all wrinkled.  

I got up this morning and didn't stop until every piece of clothing was organized.  I put skirts and pants (32 pairs) in one closet, shirts and sweaters in another, and my better clothes in my bedroom closet.  I left my scarves and shawls in my art room closet. I do need to refold and organize those. 

Now the challenge will be keeping my closets this way!  I still want to go through and get rid of more shoes and purses. I also told my family not to give me anything.  I really don't want or need anything. No more plates, towels, cups, vases, or any random things.  I don't need it or want it. I'm done and it feel good!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Egg Dyeing

These pictures are from Easter time.  I wanted to dye eggs with my niece and nephew.  I had several types of tie dye kits and some regular old food coloring. The first step before dyeing was to fortify ourselves. When the kids come over, I always try to have their fruits and vegetables. My niece loves cherry tomatoes and my nephew loves peas in the pod.  Kiwi, raspberries, oranges, and basically any kind of fruit is a hit. 

We ended up shopping later at this second hand shop.  Kids found this puppet show thing.  There were lots of puppets around and kids started playing. I've never been big on puppets, but I was thinking I could probably rig one of these things up with cardboard in the future.

As we started to tear up the store, we left. I don't think Syd got the point of the theater thing. Stay behind the curtain!  

Now, back to work!  In my rush to get things set up, I added 1/2 cup too much water to the dyes.  Ugh. The eggs were turning out too light. 

Some of the eggs were foam from Michaels.  The rest were badly hard boiled by yours truly.  This is not something you should rush. I think I cracked some of the eggs before they ever got dyed. 
I used mason jars to soak the eggs. Syd had a set up of glue, glitter, food coloring, and more glitter!

We basically rolled the eggs in the glitter glue and then Syd dropped dye on them! They ended up looking really good. Most of them had a tie-dyed look. 
Jackson was too busy playing with his Lego mini-figures to help us dye.  However, Syd did enough eggs for ten kids.  Afterwards, it was time for a bath! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Home Remedies for Sore Throat/Cold

DAY 1- I got it.  I woke up today with the sore throat/cold that is going around.  I had a dentist appointment that I had to cancel.  I spent the day sleeping and doing a variety of my "home remedies."  Usually, when a family member is sick, I bring over my cure caddy.  I just fill a caddy with whatever remedies I have depending on the illness.

Here's what I do for a sore throat/cold:
*take a motrin or some type of cold medicine
*gargle with salt water: For me, this really works.  I just add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a warm cup of water, gargle, and then spit.
*use a throat spray: I do this if I have to go to work and I can't gargle
*use a menthol rub: I like the J.R. Watkins menthol camphor vapor rub that I got off of Amazon. I also use Vick's vapor rub.  I use put it under my nose.
NOTE: Do not use Vick's on babies.  (See article)

*use a vapor inhaler: I try to stick with a cheaper brand like Top Care.  Cover one nostril and inhale in the other one
*tissues:  I only use Kleenex cool touch brand: they have coconut oil and aloe in them
*cough drops: I use Fisherman's friend cough drops: gross, but they work
*tea-I like the Traditional Medicine brand cold care variety pack: I am mostly sticking with Throat Coat today, but switch to Breathe Deep on occasion. I add honey and sip all day.
*drink a lot of water: I usually drink carbonated water.  However, I just drink drink when I am sick.
*supplements: I used to take Airborne and zinc when I felt a sickness coming on. I no longer do that.  I usually take some sort of multivitamin on a daily basis.  However, I lost faith using a lot of supplements. They never seemed to help much anyway.
*rest: I spent the day in bed drifting in and out of sleep.  
*Blistex: I use a lot of Blister and it is especially helpful during a cold.
*drink orange juice: I used to try to drink oj for the vitamin C when I lived at home. However, I never buy it.  

When I am really sick, I make a special brew.  Warning, it is pretty gross.
Liz's Home Cure
-beef or chicken bouillon cube
-garlic (powder or fresh)
-cayenne peppor (powder)
-boiling cup of water
-ginger (optional) 

I just mix this together and sip on it. I just use what I have on hand.  

If I am still congested and sick, I will boil water and inhale the steam.  Just throw a towel over your head and don't burn your face.  

*netty pot: I would like to try this. If I ever come on a netty pot, I might pick it up.
*hot bath: I often add epson salt to the bath water to detox. 

The best thing about living alone and being home for summer vacation is that I don't have to worry about infecting anyone.  I don't have to leave the house.  

DAY 2: I woke up with the worst sore throat I've ever had at about 7:30 am. I couldn't swallow without clutching my throat. I gargled with salt water which helped. I took 600 mg of Motrin and another cold remedy. The motrin helped. I started sneezing.  By the end of the day, I had a full blown cold.  I didn't sleep at all.  I may have had a low fever.  I drank massive amounts of tea and water.

DAY 3:  Even after the night time cold medicine, I had trouble sleeping. I finally ate a can of Spaghettos with Red Hot at 1 am to open my sinuses.  Every time I tried to sleep, I either started coughing or blowing my nose. It was miserable. I was constantly going to the bathroom. I finally feel asleep, but kept waking up to blow my nose.  

Right now, I feel like I have a head cold. I keep slathering on the Vicks and Blistex.  I keep thinking that I'm so lucky I'm not in school. I'm off the meds right now.  I will just let my body heal itself at this point.  All the cold medicines were making me dizzy and shaky.  

On the upside, I did binge watch Penny Dreadful Season 1 on Showtime  (well, I'm almost through the finale.) I really like the show. I don't know why I never watched it before. 

Days 4/5:  I think this is the longest and worst cold I've ever had.  it just lingers...I ran out of the Alka-selzer daytime cold medicine I was on. I am on the last cup of the night time formula.  I also took a Mucinex because my nose is so stuffed.  I did lose three pounds and completely reorganize all of my clothes. It was weird because I actually became so fatigued while I was working, I had to keep stopping.  Or is this old age? 

I can't smell or taste anything.  I have no appetite. I think I am depressed at this point!  I am basically smearing Vicks and Blistex over my face.  I don't think I can ever drink tea again.  I have been swimming in it. 

Please note: I am not a doctor nor do I have any type of medical training. I don't even watch medical shows anymore. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Iron On Bags and Onesies

My darling niece Sydney has a deep love for Paw Patrol.  One of her favorite characters is Skye.  I ran in Michaels one day after school to pick up JUST ONE THING.  Of course, I came out of the store an hour later and $80 bucks poorer.  However, I did get a lot of stuff to make gifts with.  Also, I had an email for 20% off everything.  I ended up getting a few canvas bags and some printable iron-on sheets.  I also picked up some embroidered letters that you can just iron on.  That's great because my Cricut cutting machine refused to cooperate with my Mac Book Pro.  We were going to see the kids for Memorial Day and I don't like to show up empty handed!
The first step for making the bag was to buy a canvas bag that was ready to design from Michaels.  If it wasn't ready to design, I would have normally washed it.   The second thing I did was search for some images of Skye.  On my Mac, I constantly use COMMAND-SHIFT-4 to do screen captures. These images then go into my Dropbox account and can be found under file.  (On a Windows computer, I use the snipping tool which is a free download on Windows Essentials.) 

Then, I inserted the image into Microsoft Word.  I also added a picture of my sweet girl!  (She's so cute!)  I clicked on the images and then played around with remove background.  I've never really done this before, but I must have watched some You Tube videos on it because it was pretty easy.  You do need to play around with the images to "keep" the parts you want. I did try to use images that had a different colored background to make this a little easier.

I then created a text box and reversed the text. I had to change the orientation to 180 degrees.  I used the STENCIL font. Remember to keep in mind that everything will be reversed in the final image. I played around with the images to make my niece vaguely look like she was with Skye.  I had to use the "send image back" or "bring image forward" to make it work.  Again, it was pretty easy.

I then printed the image onto the printable iron on paper.  You have to use a special setting on the printer.  Even with that setting, the ink colors looked a little strange.   
I was slightly nervous about the iron on process. I have messed this up several times in the past.  One thing I forgot to do was to cut out the images from the iron on paper!  I was able to put a hard covered book under the canvas though, which helped when ironing.  I set my iron on the hottest setting and ironed the sheet for 2 minutes. I used my phone to set the timer.  I then let the iron on set for a while before removing the sheet.  The final project turned out fairly well. For some reason, I don't have a picture of the final product yet, but my niece was happy with the results. 

I then made a Minecraft/Spiderman bag for my nephew.  At that point, I was rushing and stopped taking pictures!

The next project that I rushed through before our Memorial Day project was Charlotte's embroidered onesie. 

I basically just bought this iron on embroidered letters at Michaels.  I played around with different styles.  My sister project the onesies.  Because this was thin cotton, I ended up only ironing about a minute. However, make sure that you iron on both sides.

Here are the final products.  I also made another one that was a flop because the text in the picture wasn't reversed. 

The true test is on these stand up to washing.  I wanted to put her birth date on the back, but I was running short on time.  Plus, the baby is always wrapped in a blanket so I guess no one will see it. 

Wizard of Oz Party Planning

My sister and kids just left this morning. Ha, I just finished cleaning my house.  (I took some breaks in between.)  Sadly, everyone seems to be getting some sort of cold/cough, even the baby.

Since my sister is reading The Wizard of Oz chapter book to the kids, she wanted to change this years party to that theme instead of Over the Rainbow. Since school JUST ended Thursday, I am fine with that.  Aside from creating a Pinterest board, I really haven't done much for the party.  I am also having trouble connecting my Cricut to this computer, so I already decided to just print out invitations.  That should be much quicker.  I'm going to use this page as a planner.

1. Decorations: 
*Yellow Brick Road-We must have one.  My sister is going to make one.
*Pictures from the movie. There are some great pictures and memes online. I could print some of these out and either laminate or frame them.
*I would love a huge cardboard cutout, but they run about $35 each. Too pricey.
*Need at least ONE rainbow and a tornado. I think both can be made out of crepe paper.
*Balloon rainbow arch.  
*Pinata-I didn't see any online.  I could try to make a papier mache hot air balloon.  The only thing is that time is running out. We only have three weeks.
*Legs under house.  I can probably make this.
*Melted witch with hat-Need another a witch's hat.
*PLATES, CUPS, NAPKINS-Using just Dollar Store plates in a rainbow of colors. I really wasn't impressed with things I found online. I would like to buy some of that blue checked ribbon that matches Dorothy's dress.  I'll look around today at Walmart.

2. Costumes:
*The baby can be a munchkin.  Syd has to be Dorothy.  She will be adorable!!!  Jackie could be a money or scarecrow.  The dog has to be the lion.  (Does he already have the costume?)  I, of course, must be the Wicked Witch.  (I had a witch hat.  Where is it?)

*Easy-I'll just get the soundtrack of the movie and put it on an old iPod.  I have one of those little stereos that we can plug in.

4. Food-
*Cupcakes-arranged in a rainbow
Update: My sister is going to call her cake baker to make two cakes for candles and cupcakes. I just will not have time to do this before the party. I need to concentrate on decorating and the balloons.

5. Entertainment
*Put the heart on the tin man
*Maybe something with the Cowardly Lion's courage where the kids get a courage badge
*Drawing a blank right now...

6. Favors for kids
*"For you my pretties"-I did see some cute little baskets online. Or maybe little tin buckets.
Making the favors is always one of my favorite parts of the party.

7. Invitations-
*My sister wants me to go with a simple "Over the Rainbow" invitation printed possible on vellum.  I again Googled a rainbow and removed the background.  I then overlaid the rainbow near to text.  A few years ago, I'd be using my Cricut to make the rainbows, but we are short on time!
UPDATE: I ended up just using Facebook to send family invites.  All you do is set up an event.  It is really fast and easy to do. I still have to make some cards for family that does not have Facebook. 

1. Dorothy costume for Syd/basket/shoes-ordered
2. Jackie costume-ordered
3. Charlotte? onesie?
4. Two witch's hats-ordered
5. Gingham print things
6. Glenna crown
7.Rainbow color balloons
8. Rainbow tablecloths
9. Things for the piƱata