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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DIY: Painted Shirts

DIY Painted Shirts

I LOVE the idea of painting shirts! You can do any color or any design to fit ANYTHING! I gotta give credit to my friend Jodi, because she is the one who taught me how to paint my own shirts! So far I have also used it to decorate a pillow case for Father's day. No pictures of that though!

 Let's get started!

This is what I used:
The cheapest shirts and tanks I could find
Freezer paper
Straight Edge Knife ( I got mine in the scrapbooking section)
Something to cut on like a self healing board or thick cardboard
Stencil to trace on freezer paper (sometimes i free hand, some times I trace, sometimes I print and image from the compute)
Iron
Paint and Paint Brush:  Here you have a few different choices, You can use puffy paint which is a great option. Don't forget the paint brush.
You could use a fabric spray paint- I used a Tulip Brand. I love this but the colors seem limited.
You could also use a regular craft paint and add a fabric medium which makes the paint soft on your shirt. You can find it at any craft store. I actually used all three on the shirts I did this particular day.

So here we go:
The first step is to choose your stencil.
Once you do you need to trace it onto the freezer paper. You will trace your stencil onto the dull side of the freezer paper. The shiny side is the part that will adhere to your shirt. DO NOT TRACE ON THE SHINY SIDE.
Next Cut your stencil out using your straight edge knife.
Place shiny side of freezer paper onto your shirt and Iron. I have never paid attention to my temp settings. You do want to make sure that the edges of the wax paper are secured to the shirt to avoid the paint  bleeding through.
Select you paint method and paint your stencil.

For the shirt below I used craft paint mixed with a textile medium.
Leave your stencil on for a few minutes but remove before the paint is dry. It is a lot harder to remove the stencil when the paint is completely dry.

I usually let my shirts dry over night.

Here are some others:
For this tank, I used spray paint on the star part. I actually laid those glow in the dark stars on top of the shirts so I wouldn't have to cut them out. Since I used fabric spray paint I had to be really careful about covering the rest of the shirt to protect it. I just cut out a large area of freezer paper and ironed it on for protection. It was a really hot day so it only took 15 minutes to dry. Then I let my 11 year old iron on strips of freezer paper for the stripes because she likes to do things herself.
The red is craft paint with a textile medium mixed in.

Here she is, painting away! We used a strip of painter's tape at the end to cove a place that I didn't get freezer paper and it worked great.

 For the shirt below, I did end up tracing all the star shapes onto freezer paper and cutting them out. The bright blue stars were spray painted, the darker ones were puffy painted and the sleeves were craft paint wit a fabric medium. I hot glued the bow on and so far it has survived one wash:) In fact I liked all the shirts better after having gone through the wash. They looked softer somehow.

I made the shirts below at Christmastime using Puffy Paint For the tutorial, click here.


Sadly, this is the only picture I got of the new shirts! Must be my pregnant brain! My son in front of the neighbors house!
Edit: Two more Pictures!!!




It was a pretty great day though!
Remember with DIY: Painted shirts the possibilities are endless. You could do any design for any occasion!
Happy Crafting!
XOXO,
 Amy



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yummy Shrimp Tostadas For Dinner!

Shrimp Tostadas
What's For Dinner?!
I get tired of making the same thing over and over again and I really like quick meals to feed my hungry troops during the week. My husband loves burrito night with beans and meat and sauteed onions, bell peppers and avocado and sour cream and salsa... yum!

But one night I wanted to try a variation.

Yummy Shrimp Tostadas! mmmmmm! I want to eat it again right now! It was so good drizzled with fresh lime juice!

This is how I made them:
I fried my own corn tortillas at medium high heat in canola oil for 1-2 minutes on each side (I filled a large frying pan halfway full of oil and cooked two at a time.) Until they get crsipy. But you can also buy premade crispy tortillas at the store.

I also bout shrimp that had already been cooked. It said to thaw them slowly but I just threw them in a skillet and sauteed them with olive oil, lemon and lime juice and garlic powder until they were warmed up. I took the tails off and they were soooooo good!

I warmed up some refried beans and diced some white onion, bunching onion, cilantro, lettuce and tomatoe, slapped it all together, drissled some fresh lime juice on top and....it was a beautiful moment for my tastebuds. 

So your shopping list might look like this:
Corn Tortillas (and canola oil to cook them in) or Premade Tostada Shells
1 Bag of Precooked Shrimp (or uncooked if you know what you are doing)
1 Can of Refried beans
tomatoes
Bunching onions
1 white onion
Cilantro
lettuce
Lemon and Lime or the Concentrated Juice

This would probably make 6-8. Possibly more. I don't measure... I just do.


 Yum! I need to go make these again right now!
Enjoy your dinner!
xoxo,
Amy

Crafts For Kids! Water Balloon "Slippah" Refashion!

 Water Balloon Flip Flop/Slippah Refashion
Want to fancy up your flip-flops?
Phew! That was so hard to say!!!!
I have never called "slippers" flip flops!
 In Hawaii they are slippers or if you are totally local, "slippahs!"
BeforeI lived in Hawaii, I called them thongs. But the invention of the thong underwear pretty much killed the use of that name in footwear!
So, I called them flip flops for you so you wouldn't think I was talking about house slippers.

Water Balloon Flip Flop Refashion
I just wanted to show you how cute these slippers are! These kept my big girls busy for hours! They started at a church activity and weren't able to finish, so they came home and continued their work.

It is so easy and perfect for summer. My oldest daughter double knotted hers and my second oldest daughter tied her balloons in a single knot as shown above and below.

Isn't it a cute wearable craft! If you want to keep some little hands busy, the Water Balloon Slipper Refashion might be something for you to try!
XOXO,
Amy

For This Child...

In December I had a little grown up tantrum that took the form of a spray painted front door. It was quite a comical adventure that stemmed from the deep seeded need for change.

I know that lots of people struggle with infertility and my story is nothing compared to theirs. In fact one of my dearest friends, Ashley and her husband are on their journey through adoption. They were able to have one beautiful child without a hitch and have been trying to add to their family for six years with no luck. They started the adoption process earlier this year and are crossing their fingers that a baby will soon be nestled in their arms.  Maybe you can help them grow their family. You can learn about them here.

For me, it was only two years. Only seems a relative term. It was a very long two years and every month was so very, very disappointing. Hence the crazy spray paint incident.

Well, a reader named Maria left me big buckets of baby dust in her comments and I can happily say, that I am 24 weeks pregnant as of yesterday.

When that little stick finally showed positive, I ran to my bedside, burst into tears and offered a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father.

You see my husband and I decided that this was the last try. We already have a beautiful family and the heartbreak each month was becoming unbearable. We had decided that if we weren't pregnant this month we would cut our losses and be thankful for what we had.

The interesting thing is that four days before that little stick tested positive, another little stick had tested negative. My period had been late and I was sure that this was the time I was pregnant. But then that negative little symbol reared it's ugly head and I knew we were done.

I was sad.

Sad I wasn't pregnant. Sad we were done trying. But we had decided we were done and that was that. Four days later I had still not had my period so I retested.

I have heard that a positive test result can never be wrong. But I have also heard that a negative test result CAN be wrong.

I waited the full minute before I looked at that little stick that seemed to contain so much of my hope. And guess what... I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to keep staring at it. All. Day. Long. Yep. I left it in the bathroom because I had to keep reassuring myself that it was really true.




The little tiny stick showed a little plus sign in it's window.
I was growing a baby.

Pure Joy.

Today at church we were studying about the kind of women that Ruth and Hannah were. A verse of scripture jumped out to me and I gave a silent thank you to my Heavenly Father once again.

The verse read:

Tonight I go to bed with my heart full.
It has been awhile since I have lived in baby land and I am happy to be headed there again.

If  your heart is aching like mine was, I pray that your petition will also be answered.

xoxo,
 Amy


Monday, March 31, 2014

In the Thick of It: A Stoy of Motherhood Survival.


Hello, my beautiful readers! This is the article in full that I wrote for my sister-in-laws blog,  
If you haven"t read it on her blog, now you can see it in full length here. Enjoy the ride!!
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I have seen a toe get chopped off.
I have had someone flip my eyelid inside out.
I have seen gums scraped away from teeth.
I have been head butted in the mouth.
I have witnessed someone attempt to fly only to slam into a wall with disappointment.
I have bandaged bloody wounds.
I have wrestled people into the bathtub.
I have been vomited on.
I have seen a patient receive too much morphine and almost die.

What am I? A nurse? A nurse at a loony bin?

Nope.

I am a mom.
A mother to four children, ages 10, 8, 6 and 3.
All of those things happened with my children. I saw a quote that says, “having a two year old is like using a blender without a lid.” I think having a child of any age is like that.

This is the thing though.
I also have perspective.
I know kids grow up.
I know that it happens quite quickly. 
I don't have any babies anymore and sometimes that makes me sad.
Sarah mention in a post that she was sick of seeing moms of five post pictures of their perfect houses, etc, but I also know why moms of five kids don’t often talk about the pitfalls and disasters of motherhood. It is because no matter how neck deep you feel in the beautiful {or ugly} chaos that comes from having tiny kids, is that it doesn’t last.

Tiny is fleeting.

Even though it feels like forever.

 I remember when my oldest daughter was born.
Life was great until she was one. Then we moved to an isolated location where I knew no one.
I remember being alone a lot. 
I remember when one single day felt like it was at least a week long. 
I remember boredom and loneliness.

But I want to offer you hope.

You won’t always be changing diapers and cleaning up vomit.
You won’t always be cleaning up crayon on the walls.
You won’t always suffer sleepless nights.
You won't always be worried about your child trying to swallow small items they find on the floor.
You won’t always dread travel with an unpredictable pint sized human.
Your child won’t always cry at the most inopportune of moments.

 Kids grow up and eventually there are other things to occupy your mind with. Sure kid number three peed the bed for the fourth night in a row, but your oldest daughter is also being chased around the school yard by two boys that have a crush on her and she doesn’t know how to tell one that she likes him more than the other.

Sure your forth child threw the biggest temper tantrum you have ever seen, but your other child just won a major school sporting event. You never dreamed you could be filled with so much pride.

Sure your daughter just cut half her toe off, but then you pass by a bedroom that your other three kids are in and you over hear them saying a prayer asking God to help their baby sister get better. Their unity and faith is overwhelming and comforting to you.

I think one reason moms with young children get frustrated is because we find ourselves in less than ideal situations quite often and we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let me assure you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 I adopted this mantra long ago when I felt myself despairing that I would never sleep through the night again.

“This too shall pass.”

I found it so comforting knowing that I was not in a permanent situation even though it felt written-in-stone-kind of permanent.

When you find yourself despairing your post pregnancy body, your sleepless nights, your messy house, your half dyed hair that you are hoping passes for the ombre style, your blown out diapers, your child who loves to go wild at all the wrong moments, say this and see if it helps. Say it and believe it.

“This too shall pass.”

Because along with the all the bad,

I have seen more love than I ever knew could exist.
I have cried for some unexplained reason while watching my children participate in a talent show.
I was filled with pride as my son made his first touch down.
I was just as nervous as my daughter was as she took second place in her school’s talent show.
I have conspired with my husband about how to keep boys away from my oldest daughter and convinced said husband that it was still okay for her to  wear a bathing suit while swimming and that a wet suit wasn’t necessary to keep her fully covered.
I have dried tears when a friend said something hurtful to my daughter at school.
I have witnessed the most sacred and tender moments with my children and between my children.
My house is rarely clean, but it is filled with love and hope.

When you feel overwhelmed, remember: Tiny is fleeting. This too shall pass.

Good Luck out there, while you are in the thick of it!
Amy 
 amyscraftbucket.blogspot.com

The Vital Role of Wife and Mother

“Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God and true happiness. One of Satan’s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. This is an attack at the very heart of God’s plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support. Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, nor can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home.” Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74.

For another great read check this site out:


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Real Stories From Real Moms!

The best thing about talking to other moms is the shared experiences and stories. You know the kind that make you laugh and cry and sigh immense styles of relief when you realize that you are not a lone in your struggles.

Well, my sister-in-law Sarah, of "Better of Wed" is uniting the moms of the world by sharing real life stories every week. I feel honored to be the first to kick of this exciting new adventure.
You can find my article here, I think I will title it,
 "In the Thick of It!"

Here is an excert:
"I have seen a toe get chopped off.
I have had someone flip my eyelid inside out.
I have seen gums scraped away from teeth.
I have been head butted in the mouth.
I have witnessed someone attempt to fly only to slam into a wall with disappointment.
I have bandaged bloody wounds.
I have wrestled people into the bathtub.
I have been vomited on.
I have seen a patient receive too much morphine and almost die.
What am I? A nurse? A nurse at a loony bin?
Nope.
I am a mom". 
 
Visit Better of Wed to read more. I hope you will!
 
xoxo,
 Amy

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just A Mom

"Wow, that sure is a lot of food you have here. How long will it last you?"
"About a week, maybe a week and a half."
"You must have a big family."
"My husband and I have 4 children."
"Four! What does he do?"
"He is a teacher at the high school."
"Well I assume you don't work."
"No. I just stay at home."

This is a conversation I had a t the grocery store this week. No clerk has ever commented on the amount of groceries I buy. Ever. In fact this was a relatively light shopping trip comparatively.
But it bugged me.

"No, I just stay at home." 

Saying that stings. Every. Time.
I always want to to qualify my position by saying, but I am also a photographer. Or I also make and sell crafts to help make ends meet. But it just feels fake.

Every time I fill out a form and it asks my occupation, I cringe inwardly. "Housewife." Yuck. Why does that bug me? I have started putting things down instead like "Child Development Specialist" or "Life Facilitator."


I don't know why it bugs me. I chose to stay home. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I quit my job as a teacher because it was important to me to raise my children. I wanted to be there for every minute of every moment. And I am so happy with my decision.

My dad died when I was nine. This taught me an invaluable lesson.

You don't get unlimited time.

I want as much time as I can get.
 I will go back to work later.
So why, if I am happy with my decision, do I feel bad when I say I am just a mom? Do I feel like I am not contributing to society? Do I feel unintelligent? Do I feel like I have no ambition? Do I feel like I am wasting my talents?
 I don't feel this way.
Does Society?
 Maybe.

To answer my questions:
Do I feel like I am not contributing to society? I feel like the best way I can contribute to society right now is by raising respectful children who know how to work and have a strong moral sense. They our the future of our society.
Do I feel unintelligent? Not a bit. I have to inform myself on so many issues. From politics, to education to sleep techniques to food health, vaccinations, gardening, etc. I feel like I am a quite intelligent lady.  Being a mother has stretched my talents and abilities and capabilities in ways that never ever would have happened.
 Do I feel like I have no ambition? I have plenty of ambition. It is just that my goals have changed.
Do I feel like I am wasting my talents? No, in fact I feel like I have developed an arsenal of new talents.
 .

I found this quote today.

“Beware of the subtle ways Satan employs to take you from the plan of God and true happiness. 
One of Satan’s most effective approaches is to demean the role of wife and mother in the home. 
This is an attack at the very heart of God’s plan to foster love between husband and wife and to nurture children in an atmosphere of understanding, peace, appreciation, and support.
 Much of the violence that is rampant in the world today is the harvest of weakened homes. Government and social plans will not effectively correct that, nor can the best efforts of schools and churches fully compensate for the absence of the tender care of a compassionate mother and wife in the home.”  
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74.


 I also found this:
source
 What is a stay-at-home Mom's worth?


I think what I need to remember is that society doesn't always place value on the correct things.
I think it also means that I need to have faith in my own conviction and not wait to be validated by someone else.
 I made this decision for me and I need to remember that I wasn't trying to impress anyone when I made the decision.
 I need to remember that woman are hard on themselves in general. We always want to be prettier or younger or thinner or smarter or craftier or whatever. We need to be more accepting of ourselves. When we can accept ourselves for who we are we can be more accepting of others. Why? Because we are no longer comparing our bests to any body else's best.

Tied Ribbon: Motherhood Printable
Source

Now please don't take this to mean that I think less of working moms. I don't. We all have our own choices to make and I respect that. We all do what we need to do. We all do what works for us. I make no judgements. I think all moms are wonderful and we are in dire need of support from one another.
 Lots of support and no judgment.

  I was talking to a friends about this. She happens to be a working mom and she said, "Wow, I thought people always looked down on me for not staying home with my kids."
 Sad, right?
We moms need to support each other.
All moms are awesome.
Thomas S. Monson says,
 “Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to give us birth, 
deserves our undying gratitude.”

Moms are important and we need to think of ourselves that way. 

I had the flu right before Christmas. I was scheduled to do a million things and I simply could not get out of bed. It takes a lot to get me off of my feet, but this flu knocked me for a loop.
My husband had to pick up the slack, bless his heart and did his best to help with all the things I had committed to do. After three days of my illness my husband said, "Man when you are sick, it feels like a government shut down. Nothing runs the way it is supposed to!"

To me that was a huge compliment. Mothers move mountains. Often on a daily basis.


I want to share this story I found because I think it is beautiful.

"The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever."

"One young mother wrote to me recently that she felt like the world expected her to teach her children reading, writing, interior design, Latin, calculus, and the Internet—all before the baby said something terribly ordinary, like “goo goo.” She worried because she felt she didn’t measure up or somehow wasn’t going to be able to be equal to the task, the mental investment, the spiritual and emotional exertion, the long-night, long-day, stretched-to-the-limit demands that sometimes are required in trying to be and wanting to be the mother God hopes she will be.

But one thing, she said, keeps her going. I quote: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that my motherhood is an eternal partnership with Him.”

Mothers, cherish that role that is so uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are, better than you are, and better than you have ever been. And if, for whatever reason, you are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you. Know that in faith things will be made right in spite of you, or more correctly, because of you. We thank all of you, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God.

May I say to mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are magnificent. You are doing terrifically well. The very fact that you have been given such a responsibility is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Rely on Him. Rely on Him heavily. Rely on Him forever. And “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.”
By Jeffrey R. Holland. Source


I am not Just a mom. You are not just a mom.