Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ornament swap 2014

    I joined Yarnigras annual ornament swap again this year. I have to say that as usual the ladies out did  themselves again! The theme was a tie and ended up Woodland/Traditional Christmas. Of course I forgot to take photos of the ornies I sent, I went the Traditional Christmas theme and made different snowmen.

Thank You Missy for this intricately hand drawn rustic ornie and for the aromatic icicle. I also kept the moss you packaged them in for a future project.

   I scored a double from Val with the adorable toadstool mini wreath (which gives me an idea for a much bigger one) and the cute snowman name tag. Thanks Sweetie!
   Thank You Kerry for the most adorable,sweetest,makesmehappytolookat gnome. I don't know who to Thank for the wreath, but it is great! It's made from loops of green zippers glued onto a mini circle.

  I see a few more gnomes, toadstools and rustic fun in store for next years Christmas tree.

Chris =]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Hello All,
   I know I haven't been around in a while. I hadn't been much in a mood to write. In October after working with the same Teacher for 14 years, I was out of the blue unceremoniously reassigned to a new classroom.  The good points are:
-  It is still in town. I work for the County, the farthest school site is almost 2hrs away.
- I'm still with preschoolers!! I could have been sent to work with emotionally disturbed high school students. Students who are mostly boys and bigger than me. Eek!
- I know the new Teacher I'm working with now.
So now I'm back on a District school campus and all the fun that entails. =]

  I make it through this week and I will have three weeks off for Winter Break, so I will be getting to my backlog of posts.

Chris =]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

what I made for the zombie swap

   Now that my partner has gotten her package I can show you what I made for the Animated Zombie Swap. Once I saw her list it was a no brainer which movie to choose, Frankenweenie!  I down loaded pictures of Sparky and went to work.
    I found directions for making Sparky on a baking site called sprinklebakes. Instead of gum past I used paper clay and styrofoam balls to build him. Since Sparky is all ready a zombie dog I didn't go overboard on the gore but stuck to the original. His body to head ratio is off, other than that I was pleased with how he turned out.
I didn't take photos of the process because I'm sure the way I built him was not the easiest or correct way to do it.
  Did I ever mention my independent, self sufficient need to not follow directions?

  Sparky didn't make the size requirements so I decided to make another small zombie. This was the perfect opportunity to pull out my Zombie Felites book and have a go at one of the patterns. I chose the bunny because one of my partners favorite colors is pink. Other than enlarging the pattern I followed the instructions exactly. (Yeah Me!! ... The second zombie bunny, not so much). While taking this bunny's photo I used a funny carrot I had made one day with left over paper clay as a prop. After the photo shoot I had a light bulb idea and the sign Eat Your Vegetables was born.

  I've really enjoyed the zombie swap because it pushes me into a crafting area that I don't normally go.

Chris =]

Sunday, September 21, 2014

happy birthday to me, I got a coraline zombie

 This is the third time I have participated in Val's annual zombie swap over at yarnigras swapper spot.  This year the theme was Animated Zombies. We had to list our favorite zombie movies to give our partner an idea of what type of doll we would like. While I like making zombie dolls I don't really watch zombie movies. I thought about it for a while and this was my list; Coraline, the Nightmare Before Christmas, a really, really, really bad B movie that makes me laugh called Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Little Shop of Horrors, while it's not a zombie movie I thought it still kind of fit the theme. 
 Coincidentally my zombie package arrived the day before my birthday. Yippee! 

 This year I was the lucky recipient of one of Debbie's awesome dolls!!

  Isn't Coraline perfect?! She is polymer clay over a wire armature and being very careful I can play with her. Mr L. smiled and shook his head when he walked by and saw me sitting on the floor posing Coraline for her photo shoot. Her outfit is flawless, right down to the dragonfly hair clip.

   I love anything in miniature and the raincoat is a perfect reproduction. Coraline is enjoying a few day of being center stage before her friends come out to play.

  Debbie sent fun Halloween tuck-ins, eyeball bubble gum, halloween photo album, ghost pez dispenser, handmade card and sweet Hello Kitty socks. The grey socks were too cute to wear so I turned them into halloween stuffies using felt on the back. 

Chris =]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

365 reasons to be grateful days 215 to 245

 The best part of August? Ms.L's birthday.  Happy Birthday Sweetpea, I Love You Always.

Chris =]

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

back to school

I love new school supplies
     After four weeks of school I think (fingers crossed) it's safe to say that things are going well (knock on wood). This school year 6 of our 8 students are returning which is wonderful because they know the rules, the routine and us. I can't get over how much they have grown in three months, not just in height but in attitude, they are more confident and talkative.

A Funny:
  While sitting at the lunch table with the kids the Teacher was commenting about one of our students who doesn't go by his first name (we didn't realize it). When she said his first name he was munching on Cheetos staring into space, without looking at anyone he says in a monotone voice " He's not here now". The three of us bust out laughing. 

It's going to be a fun year, I can't wait.

Chris =]

Sunday, August 31, 2014

365 reasons to be grateful - days 184 to 214

I'm all caught up! At least until tomorrow. :)
I didn't take the picture of the sloth and I can't explain why I added it because it's one of those family jokes that is only funny to the three of us. Trust me, we giggle every time we look at it.

Chris =]

365 reasons to be grateful - days 153 to 183

I know I haven't done a great job on posting my photos, but I am keeping up on taking them. Anyway here is June, it feels like such a long time ago.

  I know there are a lot of pictures of frogs. "We" had a lot of fun at school watching the tadpoles grow into frogs.

Chris =]

Friday, August 29, 2014

not so cute any more

Everything started out so normally... I think I might have confused the baby gift with the zombie swap.

Chris =]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

goodbye summer

Goodbye Summer,
 While I have enjoyed each and every day I must leave you tomorrow for I return to work and the children. Even though we knew this day was coming parting is such sweet sorrow, but I will see you again the same time next year.

Until then I remain yours forever...

not my photo
Chris =]

Thursday, July 31, 2014

christmas in a box

  During Ms.L's second year of college she moved into an apartment. I didn't want her to miss feeling the happiness of the holiday by not having any Christmas decorations. In all honesty I was probably missing it for her more than she was. I tend to go a "little" overboard with my Christmas decorating. She had a super tiny place and I knew she wouldn't want the extra clutter. I came up with Christmas in a Box.

  This was version #1, it was a cardboard box I decorated. Recently Ms. Destructo asked me to remake it because it was falling apart. I realize it was just a cardboard box but the poor thing looked like it had been knocked around the block a few times (I still love you sweet pea - swak).
I thought I would show you how I made version #2.
- decorative storage box w/lock clasp
- can of primer spray paint, I like Kilz
- can of spray paint, your choice of color
- carpet remnant
- 8x10 photo of Christmas decorations w/ frame cut to size. I wanted it to feel like home so I used a photo of our Christmas decorated fireplace.
- 12x12 Christmas paper cut to size
- desktop Christmas Tree. Mine is about 12" tall
- miniature ornaments
- Christmas tchotchkes and mini garland.   

I didn't take photos of the first couple of steps.

1. Since the box is going to stand up on one of the short sides Remove the handle and fill in the holes with a little spackle.

2. Spray paint the inside and outside of box with primer, let dry. Then spray paint both again with color of your choice, let dry. I didn't worry too much about painting the areas where the pictures were going.

3. (picture #1)  I needed a frame around the photo to fill in the "wall" of the lid. Measure the height and width and cut a scrap piece of paper to make sure it fit. Using the scrap paper as a pattern cut the black (or whatever color you choose) 12x12 paper to size. 
   I don't really "do math" so this next part I just eyeballed. Lay the photo on the back side of the black paper making adjustments to the placement until it looks even. Mark where all four corners are  (the white lines). Using my big fiskars paper cutter I cut out the center piece. Tape the picture to the back of the frame ** Remember to make the opening at least 1/3" smaller so the picture doesn't just fall through.**
  Using double stick tape, tape to the inside of the lid.

4. (picture #2) The scrap paper pattern also fit the "wall" of the box - Yeah me!! -.  My Christmas paper wasn't so much scrapbook paper as it was wrapping paper that need extra support. Cut another piece of 12x12 paper to the size of the pattern. Cut the Christmas paper a little bigger to allow for a pretty edge. Glue the Christmas paper to the support background. Flip it over and scotch tape the extra to the back.
  Using double stick tape, tape to the inside of the back wall.
Or... skip all that and just cut a piece of 12x12 Christmas scrapbook paper to fit and double stick tape it to the back wall.

5. Now it's time for the decorating! You can't tell but I painted the celling with a popcorn texture, not that it's necessary, I just happen to have a can of it in the garage and thought it was fun to add it to the diorama. The carpet remnant was in the original, and luckily it fit into the new box.
  The garland, angel and mini bows were attached with hot glue.

6. The miniature ornaments I picked up at the local craft store and the beaded garland I made using fishing line and tiny diamond shaped beads.
  The presents are assorted sized pieces of floral foam wrapped in christmas paper. The cat is a LPS toy that I painted to look like our cat Blackjack using enamel paints and the monster in the santa hat is a small picture of our 2010 tree topper. Every year I change the Christmas tree topper and most times it's not traditional.

7. The decorations fit nicely in a wooden tea box and then it and the tree fit snugly into the diorama box and can be stored until Christmas time.
  Scrapbook a cute tag to attach to the front of the box and all done.

Hope you enjoyed it.

Chris =]

Friday, July 18, 2014

365 Reasons to be Grateful: day 122 to 152

HI !! Did you think I left? I could lie to you and say I've been super busy but... the only thing I've been is super lazy. I have been scrapbooking and crafting, making Christmas cards and presents but mostly I read. It's been heavenly!
I'm a little behind posting my monthly Greatful's, here is May:

Chris =]

Thursday, May 1, 2014

356 reasons to be grateful: days 60 to 91

Reasons for being grateful in March:

 I did a nine day color collage that was interrupted when we took a short trip to see Ms. L. I couldn't decide which photo to add from our visit, so I added both. (top row, second collage).

Chris =]

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 backyard - part three

Here we have a few guests,

  A pair of Junco's made a nest in the spider plant, look at those sweet eggs. I can't wait for the babies. It's fun to watch the Mommy as she comes back to the nest, she followed the same routine each time.

 I call this snail The Overachiever. It climbed almost to the top of the screen door before coming back down. I think it got tired and decided to camp out in the middle of the door, who can blame her, she had a great view. She worked so hard to get there we were careful not to knock her off, but she was gone by the next day.

 Sitting in the living room the other afternoon I saw this odd shape on the bay window, when I got closer it was this strange almost crab like looking spider. I think I watch/read too much Sci-Fi because my first thought was it's a craider! Run for the Hills!! (after I take a photo)

  I don't think these two "guests" plan on leaving anytime soon. ;]

Chris =]

Sunday, April 20, 2014

backyard 2014 - part two

   Continuing with the backyard tour...  

  This first set is for my friend Sacha ,she is still in Turkey and needs a "green fix". =]

  I do think I need professional help... I spent this afternoon removing the smaller plants from underneath the trees and bushes along the fence because... all the dead debris on the ground was driving me crazy, it was too messy. So all the small plants had to go, I need to easily rake the debris up and get rid of it.
  I'm going with the story that the plants needed to be moved because they were not getting enough sun.

   I noticed that the blocks on one side of the round planter were crooked and wonky.
Phil O'Dendron has decided to bust out of the planter and grow where it chooses! The thing is there is no bottom to the planter so there was no reason for the roots to escape.

  The top two photos are the wisteria that until last month I didn't realize how big it was because most of it had grown into the neighbors lemon tree searching for more sunlight. The vine was 12 feet long by the time I had finished carefully untangling it. At some point I need to figure out what I'm going to do with it, but for now I am enjoying the lovely smell (and so are the bumble bees).
  The bottom two photos are the first (future) cherry and first strawberries. I'm hoping the extra heat will encourage the cherry tree to bloom like mad.

  This was growing in the backyard when we bought the house. It's a sad looking bush, all long, leggy and not much in the leaf department. If it wasn't for the gorgeous Snowball flowers it would have been mulch. I think I need to transplant it to a spot where it will get more sun or just let it get taller than the Camilla bush it's next too.  For the longest time I didn't try to figure out what it was called I just called it the Snowball Bush, which is the common name. =]

   I'm still amazed at how well the climbing rose is doing. The top photo is the one I posted on Day 1, I took it after I had removed all the dead flowers. The second photo with all the flowers and buds I took the very next day!! (I kid you not, cross my heart).

Chris =]

Monday, April 14, 2014

backyard 2014 - part one

  I decided to do one productive thing while on spring break this week so I got out in the backyard and did some much needed gardening.  All this warm weather we had during winter has played havoc with some of my plants.
  I know, I know... waa, waa, waa it wasn't cold enough, poor baby... I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. But it really has ~ look

  Half my apple tree (it is a 2 in 1) all ready has apples while the other half barely has leaf buds. Usually the two types ~ Anna and Fuji grow and bloom at the same time. I might get a couple of the Anna apples if they ripen before the baby birds are big enough to start eating them. Not that I mind the birds, they are fun to watch. 

  I'm going to have grapes about two months early. My miniature chardonnay grape vine is growing like Audrey 2.  I swear I heard "Feed Me!!" last night. The scary part is the roots have busted through the bottom of the large flower pot and are growing into the ground, Eeek! I'm glad my name's not Seymour.

   One plant that has thrived in the warmer weather is my climbing rose. It has been in the ground for 6 years and even though it is in a protected spot it never really "did" much, but in a matter of months it's doubled in size and the amount of flowers is amazing.

Part two to come...

Chris =]

Sunday, April 13, 2014

zombie swap


Want to join a Zombie Swap?? My friend Val is hosting one over at yarnigras swapper spot. Go check it out. I can't wait to get started.

 Chris =]

Sunday, March 30, 2014

365 reasons to be grateful: days 32 to 59

  My reasons for being grateful in February. 

Just out of curiosity, does it make a difference if there are description for the photos or not?

Chris =]

Sunday, March 2, 2014

365 reasons to be grateful, days 1 to 31

  Working with children (and having one of my own) has taught me that the little things we learn and do are the big things in life. While I have applied that to work I haven't always applied it to my life. I am happy to say that every year I get a little better at it.
  Oh! to have the wisdom I have now when I was younger I wouldn't have wasted so much time on the inconsequential.
In December I stumbled across this site, 365 grateful.  The idea of consciously keeping a record of the daily things that make my life wonderful stuck a cord with me, which surprised me because I'm not one to keep a diary or get "all Zen" with things in my life. I'm more of "If I don't like something, change it" kind of person, the only person responsible for or in charge of my life is Me.
  On January 1 with no thought or planning on what I was going to photograph I started my digital diary. Here is the first month:

   I realize that I am missing a day and that technically the last picture is not my photo, but it makes me smile every time I look at it (and it is my project) so I included it.

Chris =]

Sunday, February 23, 2014

pinterest project 3, 4 and 5

Three pinterst projects ended up coming together very nicely on my new entryway wall that I put together this past weekend.

Project 3:

wall art with junk for coats

  I saw this wall over at  funky junk interiors and love the collage effect she has going on. So I thought on it for awhile and this is my mini version.

   I don't have as big a entry wall but I made it work. I went "shopping" through my craft room and work shop (aka: my corner of the garage) for all my fun junk. The folding chair it is hanging from a bracket I screwed into the wall, I knew I wanted it off the floor. After that I just started nailing things up. The best part is the shelf and little drawer, I can change things as the mood strikes me. Leon the moss ball loves his new spot. I'm sure I'll be puttering around with the wall for awhile.

Project 4:
Over at craftiments I found this longitude and latitude art work with free background image. There is a link to a website that gives your address in longitude and latitude coordinates. Yes, I realize that I spelled longitude wrong, the sad thing is the sign has been hanging on the wall for almost 2 years and this is the first time I or any one else has noticed. The frame I got at a local thrift shop and did a brown wash over the existing color.
P.S.  It's also a  great house warming present.

Project 5:

   This project came about after a friend gave me a large garbage bag full of wine corks. While I'm not much of a drinker I do like the graphicness and color variations of the corks. It's super easy to do. 
- On a large sheet of paper draw your letter or print one from a print shop or word program. Cut out the pattern
-  Trace your pattern onto a piece cardboard or a sheet of luan/chipboard. The advantage of using the cardboard is you don't need a scroll/band saw to cut it. Keep in mind the width and length so you don't end up with odd rows of corks. Cut out the letter.  
- Hot glue the corks a row at a time.
- Hot glue a soda tab as a hanger to the back of the letter.
- All done! =]

Of course I made a cork reindeer.

Chris =]