Where’s Sherie?

drummer

These past two weeks have been filled with sick (grainy poop, vomit, and yucky-ness) for our toddler. She caught a virus that’s been going around. She is slowly getting better, meanwhile I’ve been busily trying to get details for her 2nd birthday party completed like her fairy skirt (link), birthday felt crown (link), fairy decor details (link), and food preparation.

Spring is a very busy season for us because along with it being her birthday soon, many of her cousins have birthdays as well. So I’ve been working on various handmade presents that I hope to post soon. Since I’m pretty sure my friends and family don’t visit here often, I’ll share what I’m working on.
Projects/gifts for birthdays:
– Hopscotch game (link)
– XL letter pillows (tutorial will be coming soon hopefully)

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– felt crowns (see link above)
– bean bags ABC

BB zigzag

I swear it felt like I had more but I guess it’s also because it’s times 5. But I’m really excited about finishing each project.

On top of my laundry list of projects to do, I’m also trying to prepare for our flight or trip to Seattle for a mini family reunion! It’s Reina’s first flight and I’m totally nervous. All the other pro flying moms have been through the yelling, screaming before, but I’m trying to prepare as best I can. I do know and accept whatever happens, will happen. I don’t know why but every time I tell someone that I’m planning ahead for things, I get crazy “why would you do that?!” looks, like it’s stupid to be prepared. Whatever! I had a bad week too because some 70 plus year old granny called me stupid at Joann’s because I had to pass through her aisle and she had to move her cart. I really hope I don’t become cranky old.

Okay, that’s where I am this week. The next three weeks will probably be posts like this until things calm down. But have a great weekend!!

Sherie Signature

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Ring Pincushion Tutorial

Back in high school (1997-1998), I took a Home Economics class and learned so much from my teacher. Unfortunately, I can’t remember her name but she was a fiery red headed woman with lots of talent and was very helpful in teaching us the certain skills we needed. One of the lessons I learned from her and I still do to this day, is every time you pass through a door, suck in your tummy muscles. Eventually you do it so much that it becomes natural and you look taller, skinnier, and beautiful. Lol, I don’t know if that was true every time, but I could definitely feel the difference when I got pregnant and I had to force myself to push my tummy out. Its a great habit to start!

Anyway, she also taught us a lot of sewing and one of the projects was this Ring Pincushion. I still have mine from many years back and I love it! So for Valentines Day, I wanted to make this for all my mommy friends because it was both beautiful and functional.

Original is the M&M pattern

Original is the M&M pattern

I searched Pinterest and YouTube for a tutorial to make this and I found some that were a wrist pincushion, some made out of felt, and others. It didn’t suit my need though to make this, so I wanted to share with you this tutorial. It’s probably in a craft book somewhere, but here is how I did it.

Supplies:
– soda bottle cap
– 4 inch circle of fabric of your choice
– needle and embroidery thread
– thin elastic
– hot glue, drill and drill bit, scissors
– stuffing or cotton balls

Supplies

Supplies

1. Cut out your fabric into a 3.5 to 4 inch circle. I started with a 5×5 square and cut from there.

2. Use a gathering stitch on the circle with your needle and thread (make sure the knot is inside). As you start to pull the circle tightly, add a little bit of stuffing at a time until you’ve finished the circle gather and stuffed it full. Make sure to knot well and close off.

4 inch circle cut from 5x5 square.

4 inch circle cut from 5×5 square.

Use gathering stitch

Use gathering stitch. Notice it becomes a Darth Vader cap 🙂

Use gathering stitch and fill in your puff.

Fill in your puff.

3.  Then have your husband or if you are handy, drill two holes into the soda bottle cap.

Drilling holes, I used a 7/64 bit

Drilling holes, I used a 7/64 bit

Make sure the holes are close to the center

Make sure the holes are close to the center

4. Take one end of the elastic, cut it at a sharp angle to create a point. Feed it through one of the holes in the bottle cap. You may have to use your scissors to widen the hole and feed it through. Once you have one side in, make a knot and pull tight. Then test the length to fit your fingers. I start with my thumb and middle finger because those are the ones I like to put them on. Cut the elastic with some extra length. Feed the other end in the hole, make a knot again.

Feed elastic into bottle cap holes.

Feed elastic into bottle cap holes.

Knotted. Elastic ring.

Knotted. Elastic ring.

5. Add hot glue to the inside rim of the bottle cap and the bottom as well. Apply the puff you made in step 2, press and hold for 30 seconds or until glue dries.

Add hot glue to inside rim.

Add hot glue to inside rim.

6. Add pins and start fashioning your Ring Pincushion. Make one or a dozen, they are great gifts too!

Completed Ring Pincushion!

Completed Ring Pincushion!

Hope you have fun trying this tutorial. Please share the ones you make with us here too!

All my best,

Sherie Signature

ABC Playmat Games

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ABC play mats are so much fun in our house at the moment. Our LB is fascinated with letters especially from watching Super Why (a lot). As of now the main game we play is “What Letter is This?” Which she gets about 70% of them right and the ones she doesn’t know she calls them all “double-you”!!

I do try to incorporate colors because of how colorful they are, but she is still interested in letters mostly.

This is her game that she plays and I love that she does it. Kids CAN learn to clean up at a young age! After we lay out all the letters, she gets to take them apart and put them in their bin. As she does this she says the letter out loud. I swear I didn’t force her to do this. But she sees me on a daily basis putting things back and after all, once it’s put back it can be dumped out again. That’s the best part 🙂

Some other games that we are trying and will try in the future is:
– Jump on a letter when it’s called out
– Simple spelling words
– Sounding out letters

I’m sure there are plenty more, but this is our Play for the week. Also I won’t keep this out all week. First reason is because I would have to search for all the pieces at the end of the night and I just don’t want to. Second, if she only gets to play with it a few days in the week, I feel like it holds her interest longer. A lot of moms do the toy rotation and I like it too. My mindset is the toys that have a million pieces should only come out a 2-3 times a week.

Have a happy Wednesday and Play!

Hashtag 40 Bags in 40 Days

It’s about 2:30 am as I’m writing this and I’m still no where sleepy like I should be. I’ve got a million thoughts in my head about projects, ideas, and crafts to do and it doesn’t help that I had a diet coke around 9pm.

So while I’m tossing in bed, checking Facebook (spying), the main thought in my head is decluttering my house. I first saw and heard of #40bagsin40days at whitehouseblackshutters.com

This concept is not new to me and I actually have been slowly doing this throughout my home. Yet having a group of people doing it together as a pact gives me more motivation. Plus I can see other peoples progress, get inspired, and brag about what I got done too! It’s a secret society to get rid of your stuff and I love it!!

I started here at our entrance shoe closet and was motivated to also do the bathroom downstairs.

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Bathroom basket and medicine cabinet:

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It was simple enough. I took out the items I knew I hadn’t used in forever. And I feel mostly I’m at this point in my life where I am ok to let go of things when I really have not used them. My thorns are my crafts and pictures though. I can take 15 pictures of the same pose of my daughter and still not want to delete any of them.

Inside of closet – I realized as I was going through my shoes that I really only wear two pairs of shoes. My jogging shoes and flip-flops (my favorite brand is Cobian). I used to love wearing heels but that was in my single days. Now I can’t stand how my toes and heels hurt.

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Find a start point that won’t take too much time but will still motivate you to continue. My start point was the shoe closet because I wasn’t attached too deeply to anything. Plus we rarely use our closet, other than to pull out shoes for the day. It also stores some outdoor games equipment. We were really into tennis years back and would go once a week. But its slowed down and I still want to get back into it eventually. I did keep our rackets because I do see us playing this sport again. Whereas, we’ve never opened the Smashball in the 6 years we’ve owned it and the yoga mat I know I haven’t used since about almost 10 years back when I used it for a college class.

I made sure to try on the shoes just so I could confirm that I didn’t want them. I paid good money for a lot of them and I’d rather use them if I know I will. Here is my giveaway, sell pile:

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While it’s important to get rid of unused and an over abundance of things, I also feel like something things just need to find new homes. Or if they are seasonal, need to be stored until next season. Here is my keep but move to new location pile:

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Next week I’ll hopefully have tackled more of my kitchen and living room. Fingers crossed!!

Check out the whitehouseblackshutters.com for more tips and to start your decluttering journey!!

Sherie Signature

Easter Basket DIY

Is it bad for me to admit that I don’t want to celebrate EVERY holiday that passes?  I’m really not into St. Patricks this year although I do have Irish ancestors. I painted my nails green and that’s as much as I have done for it to avoid pinches!

But I did start an early Easter project. I got this shimmery gold basket from my Mother in Law a while ago and although its really nice, I wanted it to be safe for little hands in the house. We have other baskets in the house and most are covered but a lot of these tend to have little wood pieces brake off when they are played with.

This is a simple tutorial on lining this basket for Easter (on a daily basis it holds books):

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I started by picking a fabric I really loved and thought went well with the gold basket. I love these hearts and the different colors really pop. I’m also using this pattern for another tutorial in the near future (look out for it!) I roughly measured the fabric using the basket. The inside walls are about 4 inches tall, so I added an inch to be folded over (for a straight edge). The circle is extremely uneven, but it doesn’t matter to me. I made sure that it fit nicely inside and touched all sides of the wall with excess.20140313-173028.jpg

I also wanted to add cushion to the bottom (inside) of the basket, otherwise you can really feel the bony structure. I used extra felt that I had and cut two circles to fit inside the basket. First I traced the basket outside, so there is a little bit of a lip when I put the felt inside. I decided not to glue the felt to the bottom, I’m not sure why. I just didn’t.

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I did hot glue the yellow felt to the heart patterns. I just used a single line of glue all around the edge. I didn’t put any in the center because I didn’t want to have glue lines.20140313-173049.jpg

Then I started to play with the lining around the sides of the basket with the heart pattern. It is a bit tricky especially because I did have excess. But play with it and it should turn out really cute.20140313-173039.jpg

This is our finished basket! I love how it looks especially with the books.

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Hope you enjoyed this simple and quick tutorial. Have a great weekend!

Sherie Signature

Cozi and my Goals in March 2014

Have I shared with you my goals in March? One of them was in my Organization post about Just Doing It! I wanted to make the first of the month important and so I said I would change our bed sheets. That’s totally important! And I accomplished it about near the end of the first week, but I still count it as an accomplished goal!

Besides my millions of to-do lists, shopping lists, and calendar schedules, I try to have goals as well. For this March, my goals have mostly surrounded my daughters 2nd birthday, other relatives birthdays, and a trip to Seattle. The system I have used for the past two years is an app called Cozi. But it is also accessible through my PC and tablet. It truly keeps my life and the things I need to do in order. The other great feature and what even sold my husband on this was that it can be accessed by all family members. That way we both are aware of our schedules, changes made, and can add things to our shopping list with instant notification. There are many other applications that are similar to the Cozi, but out of them all, this is the one that seemed easiest for me to use. Although I grew up with computer technology, I can sometimes get stumped and frustrated with things. I really need something easy for dummies to use!

Cozi Bar

Cozi Bar

This is what the Cozi bar looks like from its online perspective. It’s different on the iPhone and tablet too. I mainly use the Calendar, To Do, and Shopping lists. Contacts I leave blank because I already have all my contacts in my address book and it would be a pain to have to re enter it all in. Meals is a new feature to me and I may start using this more often. Messages and Journal features I’ve tried using in the past but I’m not consistent with them and it doesn’t bother me not to use it. In fact I feel like my To-do list and Calendar are pretty much a journal of my life.

Calendar

Calendar

This is a weekly view of my calendar but it can also switch to a month view, print out, and enter new appointments. It feels very clean and contained which makes my life feel more calm.

To-do lists

To-do lists

I am always checking, editting, adding, deleting, rearranging my to do list. As you can see from the drop-down menu I have several categories of To-do lists. Daily is everything I do on a daily basis. I love how this functions for me. On my Daily I have several sub-categories that are in bold and act as headings. At the top of my Daily is my TO BE DONE list, which is basically goals I have for the month, week, etc. Next heading is WORK IN PROGRESS which is very functional because many times I have large projects or tasks that have a million steps and I’m never complete, but I want to make sure I don’t forget about that task. For example, my daughters birthday invitations that I’m working on is a WORK IN PROGRESS. But I will still list out specific steps that need to be done. See below.

WORK IN PROGRESS
– 2nd Birthday invites

MONDAY
– Cut out Invitation information
– Glue onto card base
– Finish details

After WORK IN PROGRESS, my next header is WEEKLY TASKS, followed by the days of the week. Here though I have them backwards because when you list a new task it enters from the bottom of the list. So Monday would be at the bottom of the list and Sunday at the top. The other great feature of the Cozi is that you can rearrange tasks and headers simply by moving it with your mouse or your finger on your phone up or down the list. At the end of my day, I check the remaining tasks of my list or move them to another day. I know this isn’t ideal, but I seems to always list too many things and there isn’t enough time in the day to do it all. Then I move up the day like MONDAY above SUNDAY. For the next day I will list how I’d like to see my day go but I always know things are able to change and it makes my life easier knowing that if something comes up, its not permanent.

TUESDAY
– Breakfast
– Walk in park
– Vacuum
– Fold Laundry
– Read new book

This list above is just an example. Honestly, I haven’t read a new book in forever it seems. There is just too much social media, pinning, and blogging to be done. I also do write down the obvious things like Breakfast. I am the type of person that likes to see things checked off. I will even list out the steps for doing laundry like sort, start, dry, and fold. I feel like seeing every step helps keep me motivated to keep doing things and to check things off my list. I know, its a bit much. But the good thing is that this is my system and you can do whatever you’d like with yours.

Shopping Lists

Shopping Lists

My shopping list is similar to my to do in that I’ve got a category for each store that I frequent. This makes shopping easy for me at least.

The funny thing is that I sometimes will still take out a scrap piece of paper and write down what I’m doing. I started out planning in a regular planner type all throughout junior and High school. The simple task of writing out to do lists makes me feel like I’m back in school. I’m such a nerd, I know!

Anyway, hope you are inspired to set your monthly goals, check out the Cozi, and get some things checked off your list. If you use a different application, please comment below on why you like your system. Or if you are old fashioned and like the planners, which brand do you like? I’ve been looking at the Erin Condren line, but its still too much for me to justify.

All my Best,

Sherie Signature

Paper Dahlia Wall Decor

When we first moved into our house (3 years ago) the day after we got married, I was very unsure of how to decorate our new home. Most of our art and nice furniture came from my parents because they were moving out of the country and couldn’t take everything with them. In our living room space there is an adjacent wall to our guest room that was so big and empty, the wall was almost crying out it was lonely!

Three years later, I’ve slowly but surely built a wall pattern that fits our needs. In the before picture (below) you’ll see I’ve created a pyramid shape. The clipboards will act to hold larger pieces of lil’ bunnies art, and the smaller frames will hold either pictures or sayings. I painted the forest scene with some girlfriends last year for my birthday at Social Paint Brush. It was so much fun that we did a couple more after that.

1 Bare Top
At the end of last week, I was staring at my wall after putting babes to sleep and while watching my K-drama shows. It looked so bare and again I felt the need to fill it. I started searching Pinterest for inspiration on wall decor. I wanted something that popped, was beautiful to look at, and easy on my budget. Through my search I found these three pins: Pin #1, Pin #2, Pin #3. It was perfect and all three posts are great sources with directions. I will share what I did with mine and the struggles I had along the way.

Supplies as seen in picture:

Color paper, paper cutter/Scissors, glue gun, cardboard, 8 inch circle,pencil

Color paper, paper cutter/Scissors, glue gun, cardboard, 8 inch circle,pencil

Note 1 – At first I tried cutting my 8 inch circle with my circle cutter and didn’t realize until I took it out of the package that it went up to 5 inches. So I used a small desert plate to trace a pattern onto a magazine. I measured the circumference and made adjustments so that it was 8 inches. Then traced the pattern onto the cardboard and cut out.

Measurements and Cones

Measurements and Cones

Note 2 – The hardest part for me was making the cones uniform. I was being a little OCD about them being the same height. But near the end of making the cones, I just tried to make the opening about the same width.

My paper measurements for the cones:
– 20 pieces of light gray, 8 x 5.5 inches
– 20 pcs dark gray, 8 x 5.5
– 20 pcs dark coral/pink, 8 x 5.5
– 15 pcs dark coral/pink, 4 x 6
– 10 pcs light coral/pink, 4 x 6

The number of cones are what I used for my decor, but it may be different depending on your 8 inch circle and how you make your cones. Also it took me a minute to remember how to roll up the cones. Quick Tutorial on Rolling Cones – holding your sheet of paper in a portrait position, I started at the bottom left corner and rolled from bottom left towards upper right. You may have to play with it to get it right, especially to have a wider opening of the mouth.

Light Gray 8 x 5.5 20 pieces

Light Gray 8 x 5.5 20 pieces

Note 3 – I only rolled the cones per layer, laid them out on the cardboard, glued them down, and then started the next set. I wanted to make sure I didn’t make too many cones. I also glued the point of the cone flat so that it would be easier to glue to cardboard.

Dark Gray and Dark Coral 8 x 5.5 20 pieces each

Dark Gray and Dark Coral
8 x 5.5 20 pieces each

Note 4 – After I had my light gray base down, the following layers I would lay out on top before gluing down. I also wanted to make sure I liked the placement and overall look of the petals.

Not glued in yet, testing look of dahlia

Not glued in yet, testing look of dahlia

Finished Paper Dahlia Wall Decor

Finished Paper Dahlia Wall Decor

Note 5 – Before I started the petals, I attached picture command stickers to back of 8 inch circle. I don’t like using a hammer and nail to hang my pictures and art, only because I tend to change things around. The picture above is with all the petals glued down. It was surely a labor and I love how it looks.

Paper Dahlia hung on wall

Paper Dahlia hung on wall

My pyramid is complete!

My pyramid is complete!

My dahlia colors are similar to Love Pomegranate House, but since I have a darker wall, I used the light gray as the base before layering the dark gray. I really love how it turned out. I finished this on Tuesday and that night I kept looking at it and smiling. It makes me happy to make something with things I already have. Hope you can try this craft out. It took me a total of 3-4 days, spending about 2 hours a day (8 hours total). But that’s because I would do a little bit each time.

Have a great weekend!

Sherie Signature