Under Construction Daily

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Amazing Super Productivity

First a cute photo of Biscuit and her adorable, edible red shoes:

My 'baby' sister is graduating in 2 weeks so I wanted to finish her graduation gift today. Randomly I decided to make her a skirt. Here it is:

Then I decided to make a matching purse/tote but first I had to make a practice one. I used an ugly, free canvas tote I got at a conference for the lining. It worked great, I used the existing handles and the canvas gave the bag a nice stiffness:

And the real bag (rather tiny). There is a pocket inside, like the tote above.Then I made a matching dress for Biscuit. Messed up the interfacing and the sizing but it'll work It was a learning experience. I did use some adorable vintage buttons.The dress also has a matching bib. Finally, I made a "taggie" blanket out of super soft fur/fleece. Biscuit has discovered the tags on all her toys and is obsessed with sucking on them.

Pretty soon I need to get going on some HOMEWORK!

Friday, May 26, 2006

HOW TO: What to do with all those baby photos

This is the first in what I would like to be an irregular series of how-to posts. Just in case anyone ever reads this blog and wishes to have some project instructions. Happy crafting...

I've always been one to give homemade gifs for the holidays. Conveniently in 2005 I was on maternity leave for the 2 months leading up to Christmas. I took advantage of the fact that the baby slept a lot and Michaels is a nice walking distance away and I made gifts. I created advents filled with miniature, homemade ornaments for a miniature tree, baby quilts for the grandmothers, dyed and screen printed onesies for all the babies we know and magnets for family and friends.

The magnets took about 1 minute each and they were the biggest hit of all (next year, I will not be gluing together advent calendars!)

Here's how you can turn photo index prints into fabulous gifts.

Take the index print that comes with your photos (the one with all the tiny photos showing the negative number in the corner). If you have old fashioned film, just develop it at Costco or, if you are digital, you can order prints at Costco. Either way, you get an index print. If you aren't a Costco member, check around. Lots of places do it.

Go to Michaels (or some other craft store) and buy fish tank glass beads (you can also buy these at the fish store). They are clear glass, rounded on one side, flat on the other and about 5/8 inch across. Also purchase small round magnets (or tacks) and strong, glass glue (I used E6000 one time and a glue called "Goop" this time).

Have you figured it out yet? If not, here are the instructions:

  1. Cut the photo into a little circle (or oval) the approximate shape and size of your glass bead
  2. put a dab of glue on the bead and squish on the photo (face down)
  3. put a dab of glue on the back of the photo and squish on the magnet (or tack)
  4. allow to dry
  5. wrap in a fancy jewelry box and give to grandparents who will love having a little bald baby face on the fridge.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Don't Hate Me

Do you remember that commercial for, what was it, shampoo? where the woman tosses her hair and says, "don't hate be because I'm beautiful." I always replied to the television set, "trust me, that's not why I hate you right now." How should those sentences be punctuated? Beyond my editing abilities!

Anyway, that's all to say, don't hate me because I married so well. I was reading a momblog from Clubmom (can't find the exact link right now) on the popular topic of what does (or doesn't) your husband do around the house. I decided to make lists of regular household chores completed by Mr. H and me and compare. I have a feeling I've got it pretty good. Here goes:

BTW--our baby will officially be called Biscuit from here on out, that's mostly what she's called at home anyway and I have a weird thing about posting names on the internet

Mr. H
Grocery shopping (85%)
Picking Biscuit up from daycare (95%)
Dishes (20%)
Cooking dinner (30%)
Lawnmowing (100%)
Putting the trash cans on the curb (95%)
Paying bills (70%)
Replacing toilet paper rolls (75%)
Laundry (10%)
Vacuuming (10%)
Random home repairs (100%)

Grocery shopping (15%)
Picking "Biscuit" up from daycare (5%)
Getting "Biscuit" ready in the morning and taking her to daycare (100%)
Making food for Biscuit (100%)
Dishes (80%)
Cooking dinner (30%)
Putting the trash cans on the curb (5%)
Paying bills (30%)
Replacing toilet paper rolls (25%)
Laundry (90%)
Vacuuming (10%)
Cleaning bathrooms (60%)

Cooking dinner (40%)
Daily making of the bed (100%)
Vacuuming (80%)
Cleaning bathrooms (40%)

Not bad, eh? And, on Monday nights when I have class, he buys me dinner and drops it off so I don't go hungry. What a guy!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Whiplash Finale

Week 6 of Whiplash--I made it!
And I finally made the project I wanted to make from the beginning, a onesie quilt. It's colorful, it fits the theme of "colors," right? Our little biscuit is outgrowing the onesies I dyed and screenprinted for her Christmas gift and I love them so I made them into a quilt with a few other special onesies made by friends and family. Here they are this morning:
And here they are now (the following 3 pictures are for my Whiplash! entry--the limit is technically 3):
This quilt brought to you by the 2 hour nap!
And a close up:
I've made a number of t-shirt quilts out of adult shirts but this one might be my favorite. I ran to the store last night to get the backing fabric and interfacing. The shirts are each surrounded by scrap fabric to make a COLORFUL quilt. The whole thing is tied with embroidery floss and top stitched on the edge. It has cotton batting. All in all, it took a few hours and came out great (much better than last week!)

And, in case you saw last week's entry and got a chuckle out of the misfitting t-shirt, an update that Leopold got some new clothes (the secret is stretchy knits from a thrift store sweater!) and is now at his new home with one year old Matthew. Hope he's loved (despite his 70's style vest and weird ascot).

And one last shot of a very sad baby moments before I took her cutest onesie and cut it up.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vegan Lunch Box

So Vegan Lunch Box won a well deserved Bloggie award and I've been hooked ever since. That lady is amazing! Tonight as I was avoiding papers and grinding some bundt cakes I realized that I make a vegan lunch box every day too (if human milk is vegan--still a mental debate). Here it is:
French Green Beans and Carrots with Rice Cereal (and a purple spoon) and milk:

A little low on the milk but that's what formula is for!

And finally, a cute photo from our Mother's Day trip to the Whole Earth Festival

Are you impressed with the number of links I created in this post?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

When Crafts Go Wrong

So, I promised myself I would enter Whiplash!


every week and this is week 5 of 6. I am seriously regretting that promise right now! The theme is "yarn" and I had bunches of ideas and finally settled on trying to make my first ever softie as a gift for my friend's son's first birthday. I had this fabulous brown, wool yarn that I thought would make an amazng lion mane. Sounds cute, huh?

Tip for you: never try to make a softie with no pattern and no clue when you have no time and no patience. You will end up with this:

You can't exactly tell but lion head number 2 looked like an alien so I cut it off with scissors. Lion head number one was an equal disaster. Mr. Lion looked pretty scary with the stuffing just hacked off in a smooth cut like a guilliotine would make.

And yet, since I was hours into this project and had no time to start something new...

Head number three Still no good but I had to quit and get this **** thing done.
I thought clothes might help disguise his freakishly proportioned body, but no, the clothes didn't work any better than the lion. Much too small! (and, I might add, the completely wrong color!)

Lessons learned:

  • Until I can make a stuffed animal with a pattern, I probably shouldn't go it alone
  • When it's Mother's Day weekend and school and work are kicking your *** stick with a SIMPLE project (my yarn art "yart" is sounding much better right now)
  • If you do have a crafting disaster, be sure to post it online so all the really talented crafters will at least have an ego boost
  • If at first you don't succeed, it may be a sign that you should cut your losses!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Yup, I'm a winner. The phone book art brought home the bronze for Whiplash week 4. There were a bunch of good entries (ok, but not as many as last week, thus the win). The theme for week 5 is "yarn." I'm on it...

Off to write a paper.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy Hallway, Happy Home

Umm, this is supposed to be a home renovation blog but it's been disguised as a crafting blog. I'm trying to refocus. It was a very productive weekend (for Mr. H anyway) but randomly all the projects were hallway related.

The hallway when we moved in. Note the ugly light, nasty carpet and boring white paint.

And here's the hallway now. New hardwood floors, yellow paint, a phone in the nook and stuff on the walls (other than dirt).

Just this last weekend, here's what got done in the hall:
I completed my phone book art to finish off the phone nook

Mr. H and Grandpa H installed a whole house fan (here's the in-progress shot, it's done now)

And finally, Grandpa H stuccoed the outside of the previous owner's cat door (still needs paint) . Ok, it's on the outside of the hall and the picture is boring but it's another done project. Not bad!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Phone Book Art

It's week 4 of Whiplash and entries are down for the Chic to Classic theme. This was perfect for me as I received a classic style phone for my nook for Christmas which Mr. H installed for my birthday. It looks and works great but the nook needed a little something more...something chic.

I was inspired to make a piece of art entirely out of phone books so last night I tore up my yellow and white pages. I wove 1 inch strips of white pages into a grid and topped with squares from the yellow pages and the color coded edges of the yellow pages. Can you tell I usually do quilting?

Here it is hanging in the nook. Yes, a bit small but better than nothing. See the "classic" phone? I rather like the whole project and even Mr. H commented that it was neat (although he's still more impressed with his installation).

And now a bit of trivia I picked up in the course of this project:

  • There is a website, phoneart.com. devoted to images of phones. Some guy maintains it, "for fun."
  • The yellow pages are now color coded (see photo below, not part of my Whiplash entry). The orange section is....attorneys! Green is coupons.
  • You can make a custom phone cord of any length using a special tool (that we now own). Again, see photo below of our perfect, 8" phone cord.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Ok, I'm officially overwhelmed. You know that feeling when you have so much to do you don't quite know where to begin so you get stressed so you go into avoidance mode and waste time which gives you less time and just as much to do leading to more stress and it's just a vicious circle.

That's me at work and home these days (so of course I'm taking the time to blog). I started a new class today, only 5 weeks long but 6 hours per week with a lot of reading and 3 group projects. That's on top of two other classes. Then there is the house. A total disaster.

On Wednesday I went around taking "before" pictures (usually I think of this half way through a project) but now whenever we make improvements I'll have a "before" picture. This one is just plain scary, no sugar coating, just a lot of laundry and mess and no decoration. Hope to have an "after" shot SOON.


Ok, I feel better. Now, as Jon Stewart would say, "your moment of zen:"

Have a great weekend! I'll be avoiding real work by working on my Whiplash! project. Theme is "classy to chic."

Monday, May 01, 2006

The List

  • Modify Cal Poly sweatshirt and make matching pants
  • Tote for KL birthday
  • Learn to make softies
  • Submission for art-o-mat
  • Bathroom redo