Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed

How to fit 3 kids in 1 room...
it ain't easy, but boy does it beat a bigger mortgage!

The only way I can get all their clothes to fit is by matching all the outfits together and using one hanger.  Saves a lot of time and since I do a load a day the outfits don't get separated.  One of my favorite organizing tricks for a small closet.  

Each kid gets a color;  Their bins hold socks, undies, pjs, shorts and for the twins their shoes.  Karate Girl has an extra bin on the floor for her boots and then the shoe rack on the door... which also holds Barbie and her closest friends.  ;)
Scarfs and Belts... little girls have so many accessories.
One of the bins has hats, gloves and purses.
She feels so special.  Best part of the
whole room makeover was her
reaction to her 'studio'.  ;) 

Karate Girl is a budding artist.
She needed her own little space...
 so I made her a mini art studio to house
her stuff away from the twins (it has a lock)
and so she can show case her pieces.  :)

Buckets of toys.  One blue for Little Man and just out of shot is a pink one for Blondie.  

All 3 kids currently share the same bed.  Why, because I can't keep them away from each other.  So I just put Little Man's comforter at the foot of the girl's bed so it's sorta unisex.
Okay, not by a long shot, but I tried.  HA!  (I'm not buying new bedding dang it!)
*I bought this 100-year old wrought iron bed over 15-years ago.  I've no plans of getting rid of it for bunk-beds, but I may have to in a few years.  This might be something I'm actually willing to store.  LOVE IT! 
The teddy bear, quilted bear, Cabbage Patch doll and angel are all mine from childhood as is the 30-year old doll house.  (The furniture is stored till the twins are a bit older.)  And of course all the furniture I redid last week is mine from long, long ago.  ;)   

...and what kid's room is complete without the all important Time-Out chair.  ;)
*My grandmother's phone chair from ages ago.

Total project cost me about $100.  
Paint was half of it.  
I told y'all I was cheap!  ;)  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Glazing Furniture by a Dummy

Nope the title isn't a mistake.  I'm a dummy at glazing, but like most dummies I think I have everything figured out and want to share my new found knowledge as soon as possible.  Probably incorrectly but hey, don't blame me... it's just the internet.  ;)

What you'll need... stuff and lots of it.
Kidding!  You need a friend who will provide you with all the supplies.
Seriously... if you don't have a cool friend willing to bring you EVERYTHING you need including something to drink then you'll need all this:

Sand Paper: you can use just paper, a sanding block or my preferred choice a sponge sander (easier to use when you have any detailing in the wood).

Plaster of Paris

Paint:  ranging from white to pale yellow.  *All 3 pieces I did are in 3 different colors.  This process is forgiving!  I even used a satin and a semi-gloss... both worked fine.

Mixing Bucket: anything you can mix the plaster and paint in.


... and of course paint brushes; 3 if possible.  (My 3rd one is currently wet with chalk board paint or I'd show it for ya.)  ;)

First Step:  you'll need something to paint.  No for real.  If you don't then this is useless information.  I mean, it probably is anyway, but I mean really useless.

Second Step: clean it off.  Just wipe it down a bit so it's not nasty.  I'm not the only one with kids.  Don't judge me!

Third Step: lightly sand it unless this is a nude piece.  (I heard you giggle.)  If it's nude you can still buff it up a bit.  ;)

Fourth Step: mix your Plaster of Paris and paint.  My friend mixed up the first batch and gave me the measurements but she forgot to mention there was a dash of magic or possible voodoo so I found one that worked for me and my Muggle skills.

4 Tablespoons of Plaster of Paris
2 Tablespoons of Water
2 Cups of Paint

Mix the Plaster of Paris with Water until the plaster is a smooth liquid.  (If you need to add a little more water just do it a tablespoon at a time.) 
Slowly add it to your paint and mix till well blended.

NOW PAINT FAST!  You have about 20-minutes or so before the plaster sets or you get a clumpy mess that can't be revived with water or paint.  It's its nature, don't fight it.  Just make sure you are ready to paint when you mix the stuff.

Second Coat of Paint: (4b) when the paint dries you can add another coat if you need the coverage.  Since I was covering a dark stain I needed a second coat.  This coat can just be the paint, no plaster of Paris.

Fifth Step: when it's all dry the fun starts.  Now is when you distress the piece.  Get the sanding paper and work the piece over.  Sand the edges, corners, panel edges, anything that would naturally wear with time.  Even the top so it looks like something has rubbed the surface down.  You can't mess up.  And if you do... just don't tell anyone.  That's the secret.!  ;) 

Sixth Step: once you are satisfied with your work wipe the piece down and get the glaze ready.  This is the super duper fun part.  Very lightly dip your brush in the can, wipe it across the edge and even tap the tip on a paper towel till you get the feel of it.  Then on the places that you sanded add the glaze.  Just lightly brush it across following the grain of the wood.  Then hit a few places like where the knobs would be (i.e. grubby hands would come in contact with the wood).

Seventh Step: grab your dry brush and start spreading the glaze.  No rush here, you have time to make it just right.  Again remember to follow the grain of the wood and when working on corners go out from each side.  This is the most forgiving part of the process and where you can decide if you want a light or heavy glaze.  AND if you have a heavy hand and don't like it, use a paper towel to wipe it off, if it's still too dark paint over and begin the last few steps over.  

Eighth Step:  I didn't do, but I'm lazy... don't be lazy.  Clear coat your piece.  I won't give you directions on this because as stated a second ago... I'm lazy and didn't do it.  I will no doubt be painting these pieces again because that's what I do.  :)  

If you like a visual here's a little picture collage that might give you a general idea of the process and how it looks between each.  This is one of the nightstand drawers:

...and as the 4th picture shows, you can even do it with kids around.  ;)

From start to finish this is a half a day project... dry time included.  Unless you have kids.  Then you'll be stopping to make snacks, push away grabby hands that want to help, and cleaning up glaze from your counter, cabinet fronts and where it pooled on the tile below.  *As stated 3 seconds ago it's forgiving.  Paper towel and it's cleaned up.

If you can do it when the kids are away... I'm jealous.  DO IT!!!

If you have any questions don't ask me.  I don't have the answers.  But you can look up better step by step processes on Pinterest.  Better yet ignore all this and go straight to Pinterest.  ;)

This is the dresser through the stages. 

Well Traveled Furniture

February 1st, 1987 my dad tells me he's found the perfect bedroom set.  For years I had a garage sale dresser that my folks must have painted a half a dozen times over the years, a wicker headboard that had seen better days, and plastic night stands that were all the rage in the '80's.

I was now 13 and my parents had decided it was time to buy me a new set.  I was excited!  The idea of something new, just for me, made me dance all the way to the truck.

Then my dad pulled up to a local hardware store where he shows me 'furniture' in a box.  And not big boxes, but flat; "IKEA ain't got nothin' on these" boxes.

"So where's the furniture?"

"We put it together, sand it and stain it."  He sees the look of doubt that only a 13-year old girl can give and continued with; "It'll be fun, we'll do it together."

At this point I probably sagged my shoulders and caught myself before I rolled my eyes.  An eye roll or suggested eye roll would have meant garage sale dresser for another 13-years.

So we loaded up the pieces I wanted; a night stand, a dresser and the splurge... an armoire.  I was starting to get excited.

We go home and my job was to read the directions. He of course doesn't  wait and precedes to put it together. He's good at these things.  It took several days for the staining, sanding and clear coating, but it was worth it.

When it was all done, my mom took me to buy a new bedspread, sheets, curtains and a gallon of peach paint.  My choice.  They gave me brushes, a tray and left the room.  Wha?!  Y'all want me to paint?  That was the first time I painted a room but certainly not the last.

When they sold the house nearly 22-years later it was the only room with painted walls.  It was at the end of a short and dark hallway and it set off a glow in the mornings. I loved it.  *I now can't stand the color... but that's to be expected.  ;)

I was so proud of my new room.  I took excellent care of the furniture and when I got married years later it was all the furniture we had.  But we were young and in love... who cared.  ;)

Skip forward from the day we picked up the bedroom set till now; it's been 26-years.  In that time it traveled from my room, my parents garage, our apartment, our first house, my parents bunkhouse, and now our kid's room.  In the 4-years they've had it, 3 with the twins, it's been used for stuffing little sister in, playing games of 'the floor is lava' and a diving board from bed to bed.

It's not the same furniture I took such good care of.  Kids!  ;)

It was time for an update but with a purpose.  Some pieces were getting loose in the joints, and I knew with 3 kids in 1 room there was going to be some rough housing so I wanted to make sure it was freshened up, but with some 'give'.  If the pine was nicked it wouldn't matter and if paint was chipped no one would notice.

I painted my daughters vanity about 6-years before with white flat paint and did a dry rag of stain across the top, some distressing and the piece has been great ever since.  No 'new' wear noticed.  This was my plan for the rest of their bedroom set.  But a friend had just refinished an old dresser with a glaze finish and I loved it.  So she came by to drop off the stuff... or so I thought.  I mean, the chick had mono for heavens sake.

Nope, she showed up and started sanding the dresser, mixed the Plaster of Paris and started painting.  She showed up the next day to do the glaze and then said she'd come back to do more.  NO!  You've done too much already.  I paid her in Girl Scout cookies... and then she gives me a 31-Gifts Wallet.  WTHeck!  I love this girl! ;)

She did the dresser and 1 drawer, I finished the other 5 and then tackled the nightstand and armoire.  The last piece the most important because it's to become Karate Girl's mini art studio.  I'm excited but that post will have to wait till it's all done and she's seen it.  Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.  <squee!>

Here is the set before:

January 16, 2013

And here is the set now...

January 18, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Homemade Baby Wipes

Ingredients for homemade baby wipes. 
(Per my awesome BFF: Brooke.)

1 roll of select a size paper towels, cut in half (Bounty works great.) 

1 canister with a lid (One with a seal is best to keep the moisture in.) 
2 cups water
2 tbs baby soap/wash
1 tbs Olive Oil or Baby Oil 
2-3 drops Tea Tree Oil or other scented essential oil of your choice

*Mix it all together. Then pour it over the paper towels, let it soak for a while, pull out the cardboard center and start using the wipes from the center of the roll.

I used this while the twins were still in diapers and I loved them.  I did try cheaper paper towels but with poor results.  For me it was less about saving lots of money (because I don't think you really will) but more about using less wipes.  I could use 1 or 2 half towels to a dozen of those cheap tiny wipes.  I never once had a roll dry out either.  The stuff in the boxes or resealable bags dried out all.the.time.

*I keep some of these still in my purse in a Ziploc baggy and use them for everything from sticky hands to car spills.  
Or even eating out and you can't leave the table because you have kids to wrestle... I can wash my hands without worrying the kids will run off to eat the dessert on the neighboring table.  
(Never happened... more than once.)  ;)  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dragon Breath and Bleach

The husband leaves early on Sunday mornings to practice with the band before the first church service.  Which means I get our big ole king size bed to myself for an hour or so.

This morning he neglected to lock the bedroom door. 

From a sound sleep I stir when I feel something fuzzy touch my face, a not so pleasant smell hit my nose and 10 little cold appendages wiggle under my very warm and very cozy legs and neck.  I wake ready to head-butt whoever it is.  (I was having a crazy dream.)  And when I open my eyes Blondie is smiling at me; 

“Mornin’ mama.  I’s hungy.  

I suggested we sleep a little longer.  She slowly stopped talking and her fingers and toes warmed up enough that they no longer chilled me to the bone.  We almost fall back to sleep when Little Man and Karate Girl come busting in to the room asking where daddy is (Same question EVERY week.) and then launched themselves from the ottoman at the foot of the bed, right on top of Blondie and Me. 

They all giggle and wiggle as I moan and groan.  Telling them that one day I’ll electrify the door handle.  My kids of course think this is funny and ask me to do it… today if possible.  Weird kids!  

They finally sorta settle down, all 3 of them finding a way to touch me; Little Man’s hands in my hair, Blondie’s toes pinching my thighs and Karate Girl’s cold feet tucked between my calves; all chatting about something, fussing with each other and telling me in unison how much they love snuggling on Sundays.

Gah!  Don’t make this cute.  It’s not cute.  Cold fingers and toes, dragon breath and the need to dog pile me is not cute.  It’s right up there with having a car crash through your bedroom in the wee hours of the morning.  (A reoccurring nightmare of mine… I told y’all I was slightly off… didn’t I?)

This scene lasts all of 5-minutes, 6 tops.  Blondie announces she has to pee and runs off.  Seconds later I hear her yelling from the bathroom; “Mama, help!  I peed on the floor.”  The other two kids find it funny when I growl and roll out of my very warm, but very crowded bed.  

Sure enough Blondie is standing naked… because that’s how you go to the bathroom at 3… in a puddle of pee. 

I wash her off, get her dressed and then start mopping the bathroom floor with bleach.  Little Man then announces he has to go so I'm helping him as he slips across the wet floor...this is all fun for him.  I dress him and then tell Karate Girl she might as well get dressed too.  

I toss the wet rug, that I had just washed 2 days ago, back in to the washer, clean off the mop, hang it to dry and as I'm walking back through the kitchen I loving look at the coffee pot; "I'll be back friend.  It's my turn to pee and get dressed... but I'll be back."

Dragon breath and bleach; it’s how my Sunday morning started…  

Friday, January 11, 2013

The world is conspiring against me today...

I’m beginning to think it’s a good day to go back to bed. 
Who am I kidding… every day is a good day to go back to bed.
BUT today is special. <sarcastic font>  I didn't hear my alarm go off for over an hour.  When I did I hit snooze another 15-minutes.

That’s a good sign that I need a new alarm clock; one that I can’t so easily ignore or swat at.  Or maybe the one my friend showed me that has a coffee pot attached.  :)

Mother's Day gift?  

Anyway, after my hour and 15-minute snooze fest I tried to catch up and get the kids breakfast on the table before waking them.  I try to do this every morning for my own sanity.  I can avoid the hangry melt downs because they are DYING to eat. 
So I set the food out, woke them up and steered their sleepy heads towards the table where they immediately began fighting.  <sigh>

My dream of reading while they ate… gone… in an instant. 

So I thought to check my Facebook.  That doesn't require silence or too much concentration.  So as I’m skimming over the nights updates and drinking my now lukewarm coffee I see a friend mention our visit today.  Oops, I should get dressed.  (Takes mental note to drink coffee faster.)
Then I notice Little Man still has a snotty nose.  She has a new baby so I begin typing up a message asking if she wants to reschedule.  And then I look at the clock, it’s 7:57 at 8:00 I have a blog scheduled to post for the Secret Subject Swap.

I've not finished it.  CRAP!!! 

I jump off the couch, toss my Kindle and get on the desk top where I stop the schedule and try to think of what to write.  I got nothing.  My apologies now for the last blog.  Two weeks and still I got nothing.  And to top it off my Blogger is not allowing me to upload photos and the links are messed up.

I've checked my settings.  They appear to be fine.  I updated Jave... AGAIN and still photos won't upload.  :(

Did I mention the fighting is still going on.  How can two kids love and hate each other so much?!
Santa brought them boxing gloves.  He’s brilliant!

Anyway, I FINALLY decided (after much harassment from friends and family) to use a different browser.
Gah!  I don't wanna!  But alas... it worked.  Now that I'm on Chrome... it's all there.  Duh!  Why didn't I do this sooner?  <eye roll>

Then as I'm about to reheat my now cold coffee I get a text, "Can I come pick up my jewelry order?"

Oh CRAP!  Something else I haven't finished.

I needed to antique the hand stamped pendants and the kids were still in their pajamas.  I quickly decided that pjs qualified as clothing so it wasn't a big deal.  And thank heavens the two of them put on their best show for her.  (They can be charmers when company is over.  Thank heavens!)

In the end I reheated the same cup of coffee 6 times... and never finished it.

My kids dressed and undressed themselves no less than 4 times each and at one point were running around naked outside.

We picked up Karate Girl from school with the two of them in just undies and shoes.   (Worth it for this beautiful 70 degree January day.)  :)

But I did get Magic Mike from Netflix today.  Now understand... I don't REALLY want to watch it.  <nods head>  I just want to view it for research purposes.  That's all.  You know, to see what the fuss is all about.  Pinky Swear.  ;)

January Secret Subject Swap

My subject this time is, "You've made your resolutions of what you are not going to do or start doing this year; what did you do last year that you are going to keep on doing?"
And it was submitted by: Slacker Mom of 4 (go check her out!)  :)

I like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, but I don’t make them.
I mean in my mind I think I’ll work out more, lose weight and reread the Bible.  So yes, in my mind I plan on doing things, but I try not to put ‘resolution’ anywhere near the ideas.  I don't write them down.  I don't talk about them to friends.  I even avoid the subject with myself.  I know for some it motivates them but for me it’s setting myself up for failure.  And I’m a mom; I experience enough of that without any additional help.  ;)
So as far as continuing a resolution… not happening; unless you consider not making one last year or this year continuing.  Cause in that cause, I’m right on track.  A win!  Yay me!!  ;) 

Don't forget to check out their subjects as well:                                                                        

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Facebook Disclaimer and Warning ;)

For all my new friends, this is my disclaimer and warning:

I am lame.
I do not cuss… much.
I don’t talk politics because I can’t change your mind.
I don’t talk religion because you can't change mine. ;)
I've been married half my life.
I've been a mom a quarter of my life.
I can’t give you advice on either. ;)
Everything else I blog about…