Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I Spy" Christmas Craft

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be
~The Greatest Love of All sung by Whitney Houston


Can you spy a nutcracker, a Christmas gift, a stocking? How about a red button, a pink heart, and a gingerbread man?

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This Christmas craft is a great introduction and spin to the well-loved I Spy books that kids enjoy.

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I wanted to make something for my toddler to improve her verbal skills and at the same time enhance her fine motor skills. Afterwards, I remembered, "Oh, I have this project that has been sitting in my crafting tote since she was born." (Is it only me, or do you also have projects that have been set aside for a while, then you totally forget that it's been there, only to recall it at the right time?) So bloggy friends, this craft has been 3 years in the making but it only took me an hour and a half to complete the project.

This is how I did it. Have the following materials ready then follow along.

Poly-pellets that can be bought from any crafting store.

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Felt paper - 9"x12" I chose felt paper because of it's texture. Another alternative is fabric or red vinyl.

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Vinyl that will fit in your opening.

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Christmas-sy buttons, or

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other interesting items that you see fit. In this case, I got these erasers at 99 cents store. The possibilities are endless...numbers, googly eyes, shapes, anything to encourage searching and learning.

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Glue, needle, pins, and thread. I had to glue the parts together first before doing a running stitch. (Here's a good explanation about running stitch.)

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Fill with Poly-Pellet beads and buttons.

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Here it it in an almost finished state. Afterwards, I did a blanket stitch on both ends of the rectangle to help prevent the beads from spilling out. Running stitch may cause some gaps where the beads can pass through so to seal it, I capped it off with blanket stitch.(Here's a tutorial of blanket stitch.)

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My little princess surely is glued to her new unfinished toy and it aroused her awareness to all things Christmas-sy.

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My two girls ended up playing together with their conversation going like this:

Princess One: (shaking it, then showing to the young one)Tiggy, can you spy a Santa?
Princess Two: (pointing at the object) Here it is.

Repeat n times for the other items remaining til both are tired talking.

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When they let go of the toy, I glued the Christmas-sy rope.

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And there you have it, my dear friends, the "I Spy" Christmas craft. Just a quick note: for older kids, you may write on an index card the things they can look for.

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Christmas is coming up - sooner than we think! Woo hoo! So excited :D

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If you enjoyed my post, and I hope you did, please leave a comment, or become a follower. Thanks :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What Am I Thankful For?

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

~Anonymous


1. Family and friends. Life is good and life is beautiful because I have goodly parents who raised me up in the best way they know and they can. They taught me that families are important so I decided to have a family of my own and right now, I’m very blessed with the experience of wifehood and motherhood. More than 11 years married, and nine years as a mom – unbeatable experience! Thanks also to my in-laws; we’ve shared and experienced all the birthday and holiday celebrations throughout these years and always look forward to these family events. The camaraderie and spirit of support among all of us are definitely things that our children will cherish and practice as they establish their own families later on. Of which, that I’m sure of. Now, to all of you, my friends – childhood, teenage life, college life, professional life, Church life, internet life – I’m so grateful that I get to know you at some points in my life. This journey has been a pleasant one because of the experiences we all shared.

2. Living in America. I've been living here in the U.S. for more than 10 years and I've been enjoying the freedom of too many choices (for one simple burger, I can go to Carl's if I want the teriyaki kind, to McDonald's if I want a Happy Meal, to EZ Take Out if I want it with fries made with fresh potatoes, etc), excessive freedom of speech (people can say negative things to their officials without the fear of any backlash), and uncurbed self-expression (some men wear long, braided hair, while some women color their hair burgundy with no repercussion from the people they meet), which are balanced out by the people's respect for privacy. I love living here!

3. Asian heritage. My Asian background shaped me up to value extended family ties and give so much respect to older people. This made it easy for me to bring my mother into my family and get integrated with our way of life. Three generations live in my family and I can see how my children value the wisdom and love that my mother extends to us.

4. Library. This one is easy. The library affords me free audio books to listen to, lends me books that Princess One reads for her Advanced Reading tests at school, provides free internet and computer use for whoever needs it, and other fun activities for the little kids like puppet shows, Lego classes, etc.

5. Simple pleasures Ice cream, Kit Kat, iPod, Dove soap. Need I say more?

6. Internet. It makes emailing, facebooking and blogging possible.

7. Good health. Of course, without it, it will be hard, if not impossible, to enjoy the things above.

How about you? What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Princess One's Bedroom - Part 1

Butterflies represent transformation. They evolve from a caterpillar into a beautiful, wondrous being - much like a woman finding her inner goddess; her personal power.

Nicole Graham


My dearest Princess One,

I know it took this long for you to have a bedroom to call your own, but of course, better be late than never. You were so excited on the very first night that we slept in this home because you get to sleep by yourself, even if your room looked this bland - no closet door, dirty white walls, dingy carpet, and unflattering mildew-y smell.

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If I could just bottle up your excitement at that time and play it back over and over again as a reward to our efforts in improving your room, I would have done so. Here's the part when you had to make the crucial decision which color to use after we applied these paint testers. You understandably chose Citron over Pear by Behr, simply because you are fond of bright colors and you wanted that reflected in your room.

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After painting your room, you willingly helped Daddy rip off the old, dusty carpet and brown-spotted underlayment.

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I pulled out innumerable nails afterwards from where the old baseboards used to sit, and picked up tons of them scattered on these planks. I think the contractors just left them there in their haste to finish their work, and I bet these nails are old enough to be your grandma.

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After seemingly undending days of hammering,

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clicking and locking those floors,

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putting those baseboards then painting them,

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we finally reached this beautiful and fulfilling stage. As you can see, your little sister, Princess Two, is doing her quality control inspection and she seemed very satisfied with the results.

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There's more to be done (like putting up your curtains, wall treatment, and of course, the headboard). It may take more time, but we'll eventually get there. I'm learning to take things one day at a time, and I'm grateful you're in this journey with us. Just for now, let's celebrate what we have accomplished so far.

Love ya,
Mommy

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Update: I'm linking with the excellent bloggers below so please click on the images for tons of inspiration and make friends in the process :)

Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her Metamorphosis Monday


Vanessa at Southern In My Heart for her Inspiration Friday!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Favorite Things Party

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold.
~Girls Scout song


I'm joining Melissa's 2010 Favorite Things Party over at 320 Sycamore.

Here are my favorite things for the year:
Number 1 in the list is Dr. Wayne Dyer's Power of Intention audio book which I regularly borrow at the library. And if your library doesn't have it or you want to own it, use one of these Barnes and Noble money-saving coupons.

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Listening to this audio book helped me keep my sanity during the stressful time of buying a house in short sale, which eventually became our home.

Second is this.
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My ipod is so important because at times when I have trouble sleeping, I just put the earbuds in my ears and listen to my ripped audiobooks, then in no time at all, I'm in zzzzz land.

I'm excited to join this linky party because of the opportunity to meet new friends so please leave comments and I'll respond to you. Thanks :D

Project of the Day at PaintIdeas & $250 HomeGoods Gift Card

Count your blessings name them one by one.
~Hymn #241, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Picture me on top of the chair shouting this while pumping fist:

WOO HOO! YAY! My Nightstand Revamp post is the Project of the Day at PaintIdeas in Facebook. (I'm on the site's wall today, or you may check the link on the left side.) How awesome is that? Thank you, Kathy, for featuring my project.

Here's another good news. I just received the $250 HomeGoods gift card from Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch in the mail. (Wanna know how I got it? Please read this post on how I won.) My bloggy friends, I'm sure you know where I'm headed to this weekend ;-)

I really feel so blessed today! Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nightstand Revamp

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
-- New England proverb


Mr. Homemaker has a propensity for keeping all his belongings dating back to his teenage years. After we got married, imagine my surprise to see that he had been keeping (and using, mind you) the very first microwave he bought as a working teenager, his bedroom wall clock, and this beaten up nightstand.

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Since he can't part ways with his beloved nightstand, I decided to honor his wishes by keeping it. Our eldest daughter, Princess One, needed a fun and girlie nightstand to match her personality so what better way to shoot two birds with one stone than revamping Mr. Homemaker's nightstand and giving it to his daughter? So off I go priming her.

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Here's where the fun begins. See these dot labels?

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After painting the areas where I planned to stick the dots with Citron green from Behr, I marked half an inch distance from the edges, then arranged them to where these dots will be placed.

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I felt like a kid having a blast sticking them on top of the nightstand and drawers. When I finished sticking them, I painted the same paint color on top of the dots to seal them and get crisp circles later on.

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I know, it is one hot pink color...and Princess One loves it!

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Here's the fruit of my labors :) Nice and crisp circles! I also applied polyurethane after taking out all the dots.

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Remember those brass handles? I also primed them

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then spray-painted with Metallic Rustoleum. What girl doesn't like shiny and glittery stuff?

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Here she is, my bloggy friends, awaiting her transfer to Princess One's bedroom.

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Here's one more angle to appreciate her new look :P

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I'd like to leave this impression to you before I end this post.

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Update: I finally moved her to Princess One's bedroom and here she is, pretty and functional.

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I hang out here:
The DIY Showoff ~ House in Roses ~ Round Tuit ~ Crafts Keep Me Sane ~ The Girl Creative ~  C.R.A.F.T.  ~ Craft-O-Maniac ~  ~ Skip To My Lou ~ Boogieboard Cottage ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Making The World Cuter  ~ Sumo's Sweet Stuff ~ Knick of Time ~ {T} Coastal Charm ~ Artful Rising ~  Today's Creative Blog ~ Home Stories A 2 Z  ~ Knick of Time ~ Tip Junkie ~ Sugar Bee  ~ Ladybug Blessings ~Not JUST a Housewife ~ My 3 Boybarians ~My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Homework ~ Crayon Freckles {W}Type A ~ Southern Lovely Savvy Southern Style ~ Ginger Snap Crafts ~Sew Much Ado ~ Lil' Luna ~ Fabric Bows and More ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Creations By Kara ~ Someday Crafts ~Seven Thirty Three  ~ {T} Somewhat Simple ~ Beyond The Picket Fence, No Minimalist Here, The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Brambleberry Cottage ~Fireflies and Jellybeans ~Brandy's Crafts ~ House of Hepworths~  Saved By Love Creations ~ {F}At The Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints On The Fridge  ~Simply Designing  ~Chic On A Shoestring Decorating ~ Katherine's Corner ~Simply Sweet Home   ~My Romantic Home ~ A Little Inspiration ~A Little Knick Knack ~ Whipperberry ~ 504 Main ~  French Country Cottage, Shabby Nest ~ Potpourri Friday ~ Remodelaholic, {S} Amanda at Serenity Now, Designer Garden, Be Different...Act Normal ~Funky Junk Interiors ~Tater Tots And Jello ~ Nifty Thrifty Sunday ~ I Heart Naptime ~ ~Flamingo Toes

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mom Cave Linky Results

"Happiness, it is said, is seldom found by those who seek it, and never by those who seek it for themselves." ~F. Emerson Andrews


It has been a happy day for me since Susan from Between Naps On the Parch announced in her post that I won a $250 gift card from HomeGoods because of my mom cave post.

Thank you for the greetings, everyone! I’m looking forward to putting that gift card into good use to update my mom cave. Congratulations to the other winners: Funky Junk Interiors, Prior and La Bella Vie. Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Entryway Organized

“Do or do not... there is no try.”
~Yoda


I did a happy dance and jubilantly glided my way out of Goodwill when I scored this $24.99 treasure. (Target sells this for a whopping $49.99 + CA tax.) However, if you aren't as lucky as I was, Bargain Life's Target coupon codes could make it cheaper. As soon as I loaded her in my Jeep, I knew exactly where her home is.

cubeical

See our entryway? Yep, bare and barren. But just like what Yoda said, I should just do it...not just try, so I committed to completing her ASAP and letting her stay there to function as our console table and hideaway-organizer of our clutter.

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To accomplish this goal, we first have to assemble her. Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy, especially with the help of my young Padawan D-I-Y-er (insert here the Star Wars soundtrack).

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I wasn't digging this backing for the organizer so I bought 5 yellow scrapbooking papers from Joann's to cover all 5 backings.

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I also spray-painted these vases and swan to accesorize my newly-assembled organizer. When we were packing to move, they were already doomed to the trash but I rescued them from such a bad fate. I wanted them to reach their maximum potential of prettifying our space instead of adding them to the landfill. Reuse and embellish are my favorite words as a homemaker on a dime.

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I bought 4 green organizer drawers on sale from Target to serve a multi-purpose function of hiding our mails til I get to sort them, temporary filing of paperworks from the kiddos' school, concealing goody bags during birthday parties before giving them away to the visitors, and other things that I'm too embarrassed to say in the internet.

Ta-dah! And here she is, my bloggy friends.

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She meets our form and functional needs and with that said, I conclude that she's the most useful piece in our living room.

Cost breakdown for the project:
Cubeical Organizer - $24.99
Yellow paper from Joann - $2.95 ($0.59 each)
Green Organizer drawers - $23.00 ($5.75 each)
Spray paint - $4.48
Swan & vases - $0
Total cost: $55.42

I'm linking with the excellent bloggers below so please click on the images for tons of inspiration and make friends in the process :)

Stephanie Lynn for her Under The Table and Dreaming Sunday Showcase Party
UndertheTableandDreaming


Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for her Metamorphosis Monday


Roeshel over at DIY Showoff for her The DIY Show Off Project Parade
The DIY Show Off


Linda over at Coastal Charm for her Nifty Thrify Tuesdays
 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Becca at the Blue Cricket Design for Show and Tell Wednesday
Show and Tell Green


Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence for her Thursday Under $100 Linky Party
Beyond The Picket Fence


Strut Your Stuff at Somewhat Simple
giveaways


Vanessa at Southern In My Heart for her Inspiration Friday!
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