Gingerly Made: August 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Headband Holder

Last week I wrapped an empty Lysol container with scrapbook paper and made a Travel Trash Bag Holder. It's great for keeping grocery bags in the car for use as trash bags.

This week, I've wrapped an empty oatmeal container to make a headband holder.

Inspiration from The Gaines Gang. She used fabric and hot glued it and added a cute ribbon on the top.

But, I found that paper works just fine too. I also left the lid undecorated to makes it easier to remove. The open inside of the canister is a great place to store hairbrushes and combs. And if I leave the lid off, I can put some of Caitlin's hair bows around the top.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

UPrinting Giveaway Update

For those of you interested in entering the UPrinting Letterhead Giveaway, I am so sorry for totally forgetting to add how you can win in the post. I blame it on pregnancy brain. It's a good excuse anyway. Right?

Anyway, I have updated the post and you can link to it above. But it's super easy - either subscribe via GFC and/or add a comment letting me know why you would like to win. Just please do not put your comments on this post. They will not be counted.

Thanks and so sorry again for my absentee brain. :)

Homemade Play Dough

Is there a toddler out there who doesn't like playing with play dough?? Caitlin loves squishing and shaping it as best as she can. She also loves the time we have together while playing with playdough. I make little buses and we sing 'Wheels on the Bus' and other creations to go with songs. She also really likes me to try and make animals like elephants and butterflies.

I have tried making homemade play dough before, and while it was ok, it just wasn't the fun silky texture we have all come to know and love. Homemade is so much cheaper and, I think, more fun. This time, I found a new recipe on Art Nest. You have to cook it on the stove, but it's so worth it once it's done. It has a great texture and doesn't need to be refrigerated (like some previous recipes) just put in an air-tight container.

Do you make your own playdough? What other kid crafts do you do with your toddlers at home? I'm always looking for more ideas!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UPringting Giveaway: 500 Letterhead is an online printing source for practically all your printing needs. They print and help you design everything from business printing such as envelope printing and letterhead printing to a plethora of home & family printing needs like greeting cards and invitations. Their printing services seem to include just about anything you could think of!

And they have graciously offered to give one of you 500 pieces of letterhead!
Prize Details:
  • 500 pcs. Letterheads for One (1) winner
  • 5.5” x 8.5"
  • 70lb Offset
  • Front Only Printing
  • 4 Business Days Print Turnaround Time
  • *Free Shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive letterhead printing service by hosting. Letterhead design and envelope printing is also available. Please visit for more details.
Enter to Win:
There are two ways to enter this contest.
  1. Follow me on GFC and let me know that you did or already do.
  2. Leave a comment letting me know why you'd like to win
It's that easy. Good luck!!
This giveaway is open until Monday, September 5 at 9:00 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen using I will email the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen. I will post the winner when the selection has been made and confirmed by the recipient.

Wordless Wednesday: Laughing Butterfly

Monday, August 22, 2011

Travel Trash Bag Holder

Try as hard and I might, I still seem to come home with the occasional plastic grocery bag. Not wanting to just toss them into the recycling bin, I save them. I line my bathroom trashcans with them and whatever other uses come up.

The other day I found an old Lysol wipes container in my cleaning supply closet and knew exactly how I wanted to reuse it once the wipes were gone. I wanted to make a cute travel trash bag holder.

All you need to make one is:
  • Antibacterial wipe container
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pen or pencil
Take the old label off the container and use it as a pattern for measuring your scrapbook paper. Mark the size with your pen/pencil. My paper was not long enough to wrap completely around the container, so I just used a smaller strip of the same paper to cover the gap in the back. If you can, line up your pattern to make it less noticeable.

Glue the back of the paper and wrap it around the container.

Stuff full of old grocery bags. Put in your car.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Piano Bench Reupholster

Awhile back, I found an old 1942 piano on craigslist. Considering its age, it was in pretty decent condition. There are some chips in a few keys (easily fixed) and needed tuning (what piano doesn't). After having someone come out to tune the piano he also told me I would eventually have to have the entire action replaced. But honestly, for what I paid for this piano, the repairs aren't going to be a major set back. I would like to restore the whole thing over time from the mechanics to the wood. But that's just a dream for now.

For now, it's in tune and plays nicely. I really enjoy practicing. It gives me a break from a stressful day. However I hate looking at the horrible piano bench that came with it. It works, but whoever put that dreadful cat tapestry on it was seriously lacking in judgment.

So, I went to JoAnn's and found some faux leather material on sale for $6 and snatched it up.

But before I could even begin, things started to go wrong on what was supposed to be a simple and quick project. As I moved the bench over to take a picture and show you this ugly cat fabric, the leg fell off. So glad I wasn't trying to sit on it!

So I waited for the weekend and had hubs fix the leg for me. Then we finally got going. We took the hinges off the seat and pulled the awful cats off the bench making sure to remove all of the old staples. We could pull most of the fabric and staples off with the fabric, but had to use pliers on a few stubborn ones.

Next, I used the old fabric as a guide to cut out the right amount of the faux leather. I did add a few extra inches all the way around to give myself some leeway since this was the first time I upholstered something.

Then, I used the old green cushion as a pattern for the batting. I could have kept with just the old cushion from before, but wanted a little extra comfy cushion for my tushion. I stacked up all the cushions and wood bench seat on my fabric and began stapling in place.

Once elbow deep in the project, we realized our staple gun was worthless. We couldn't get it to shoot staples. Kind of a critical point to being a staple gun. So, we had to go shopping for another. Ugh.

First we (and I say we b/c I had hubs helping me at the beginning, but then I finished up on my own) stapled down one side. Then on the second side, pulled, pulled, pulled to make sure it was tight enough.

We had to trim the corners so when we folded the fabric down it wouldn't be too thick to staple.

Finally, I trimmed off the excess fabric and reattached the hinges.

It's not perfect. I wish we had pulled and tugged a little more just to make it a little bit tighter and smoother on the corners. But, for the first time reupholstering something, I think it looks great! Much better without having to sit on those cat faces.

And for those wondering, I am not a cat hater, in fact, I miss my poor dear Boogie. I just don't like them printed on fabric.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Knotted Headband

I'm not a big headband person. At least not on me even though it seems to be in right now. But this one was so cute, I couldn't resist. I found this really quick and easy crochet project on You Seriously Made That!? And also, the t-shirt yarn version over at Sugarbee - Craft Edition.

The ribbon allows it to fit any size. Both me and my two year old can wear it comfortably. Check out the tutorials above. They do a great job of explaining how to make it. I think I may make more for gifts.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fall Crop

Our garden is petering out. The squash and zucchini have been long gone thanks to pests, the corn didn't turn out that well (I think we picked it too late b/c it wasn't sweet at all), and the hot, dry weather has taken it's toll on our green beans. Our tomatoes and okra are still doing really well.

Wanting to get more out of our garden this year, we have planted some fall crop seeds. So far we planted broccoli and a turnip and mustard green mix. We have plans to plant carrots as soon as we pull up the peppers which are also almost done.

Also Eric has ordered more blueberry plants. You might remember we tried those once before and the pitiful little things died. So, we are going to try planting some again and give them all fall and winter to make strong roots before next spring and summer hit and they have to then focus their energy on leaves and berries. Hopefully, that will help.

Are any of you planting a fall garden? What are you planting?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Haircut

Caitlin is now 2 years old and 4 months. I love her buttery blonde locks and up until now had never cut them. We just pull her hair back into a little pony tail to keep her from getting food and whatever else out of it. But lately it's just gotten a little too long. So, I caved and we took her for her first hair cut. Nothing dramatic. Just a little trim.

Can I just say that I'm so proud of my little girl! She didn't cry. In fact, I think she was excited about it. The only hiccup was that she kept turning her head trying to look all around and take everything in. Eventually, the stylist just had her stand up because it was easier to keep up with her trying to see things.

Before going in: Does she look excited to you?

Sitting in the chair trying to be still:

And sadly, I don't have an after shot because we forgot our camera and actually left it at the salon. Oops. We didn't realize it either until after they had closed and were closed on Sunday, so I had to go back on Monday to pick it up. And well, after that, I just haven't bothered to get an after shot.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dresser Refinish

The only piece of furniture we needed for the new baby room was a dresser. Caitlin is still using hers. I really didn't want to buy a new one, so I decided to try my first furniture remodel. We found this old hunk of junk on craigslist for $20. I thought it was solid wood by the picture, but it's not. It's actually pressed board. That's ok though. I figured I would try it out anyway. I mean, how much worse could I make it look?

Here's the before:

And after painting it white, then lavender, distressing a little, and adding some new hardware.

I'm really happy with how it turned out! Plus, we painted the walls and added that cute little mirror above. Her room isn't finished yet. I'd like to add some curtains because it does get pretty sunny in that room, but I'm honestly not too fussed about that. We don't have curtains in most rooms of our house - just blinds. It's starting to feel like we are at least a little bit prepared for the baby's arrival.

Linked Up to:
Show Me What You Got on the Not Just a Housewife Blog and
Take a Look Tuesday on the Sugar Bee Craft Edition Blog.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today is Eric's and my 8th anniversary. Some days it seems like we have been together forever and other days only a short, short time. In risking boring some of you readers, I just want to take today's post and say a few things about my husband. (Don't worry, I'll be brief. I know you'd rather focus on your own hubbies instead of mine.)

I really and truly appreciate the man that he is. Eric is super patient with me. He lets me be who I am. He doesn't highlight my faults. He encourages me to do and try things that make me happy (assuming that it works within our budget, that we both set, of course.) He cares about things and people. Now, I know that's not a super manly thing to say about your husband. But really, do you want a man that's cold, calloused, and unaffected? He's passionate. Sometimes his excitement over a particular subject matter wears me out, but he is willing to listen to me ramble on about craft projects, books I am currently reading, or whatever else strikes my fancy. I should be more willing to listen to the things that he gets excited about too.

I am so appreciative of my husband. More than he probably realizes. I love the 8 years of marriage and 11 years of togetherness that we've had and I'm looking forward to another 38 years and more.

Monday, August 1, 2011

26 Weeks

Today marks 26 weeks of pregnancy. Wow! I can't believe we are already in the third trimester. (And no, that's not me in the picture.) And yet, it still feels like a long time before we can expect our newest little girl. I've been telling Eric that we need to get started preparing for her arrival and for him too, it seems like we have loads of time. That is until we start thinking in real numbers. She will be here in just 3 months.

I mean, neither of us have felt rushed to get things ready because we already have most things that we need. We are using the same baby things that we used with Caitlin. But, there are always some things that just need to be done and prepared for before a little ones welcome into this world.

This past week we have painted her room. But I think what makes me feel the most excited and makes me realize how soon she is coming is that we started buying some diapers. I know, that seems so silly; don't judge me. But something about getting new cloth diapers has gotten me really excited about our new baby coming.

I found a store nearby that actually carried cloth diapers. That's great because it means I don't have to order online and pay shipping. It also meant that I could go and ask someone about different styles of cloth that I hadn't used before. I learned about some really cool brands and even a local (I think) work-from-home-mom company. Previously we used pocket diapers and I will still use those, but I also found out how easy it is to use a simple insert. I'm still a little uncertain about using cloth that requires snappies, but only for babysitters and nurseries. We are the only family that I know of in our church who cloth diapers and not all of our nursery workers are familiar with using cloth. So, for that reason I want to keep with the absolute simplest cloth systems.

Some of you might be wondering why we really needed to get new cloth diapers since we used them with Caitlin. But we didn't start cloth diapering Caitlin until she was about six months old. We didn't have any little bitty ones. And the ones Caitlin used have gotten stretched out so they definitely wouldn't work for a newborn. We'll keep those for later on.

So here we are in the third trimester. Getting ready and counting down!
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