March 29, 2012

Organizing Card Games

My family loves games, but my husband's family really loves playing games.  Every time we get together we play games.  Board games or card games, it doesn't matter, as long as we are together and having fun!  I learned this little organizing tip from my mother-in-law.  She keeps all of her card games in a small plastic storage tub!  Brilliant!  Its perfect, whenever we want to play a game we know right where they are, all the cards are in their boxes (no need for counting), she even keeps paper and pens/pencils in the box for keeping score.  She brings the game box to relatives' houses, camping trips, and anywhere we might want to play a game.  So after all of these years I finally started my own game box.
Mine is still a work in progress, but you get the idea!  I like everything to have a place, and now even our cards do!
*By the way I love plastic storage containers, all sizes, especially the big ones.  I even ask for them for Christmas!  They have so many uses.  I store seasonal decorations, out of season clothes, old toys that we still want to keep, books, and so much more.  I love it because I can label each box, things are in there place, and the items in the box are protected from water, dust, and bugs.  They are a great way to get organized!

March 24, 2012

New eye make up remover (even for waterproof mascara)!

In my post Makeup Remover and Shower Cleaner, I gave a recipe for a make up remover, and I mentioned that I was going to add more olive oil to it.  I added enough oil to make the total amount 1/4 tsp.  I got the same results, the eyeliner came off great but the majority of the mascara stayed.  I think this recipe is a little to watery.  I wear waterproof mascara, so I need something a little stronger.  So I searched the internet for other make up remover recipes.  I didn't really find much.  Some people said they used just oil, while others said they used just baby shampoo.  So I got to thinking what if I just made my own recipe with more oil and shampoo and less water.  So I did and I think it works great!
I had a 3 fl. oz. travel container with a flip top lid that I used to store my make up remover.  I added 1 oz.( 2 Tbsp.) olive oil, 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) baby shampoo (tear free), and 1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) water.  Shake it up and you are good to go!  I tested it on my arm, I put eyeliner and mascara on my arm, let them dry, then used the make up remover to remover them.  And what do you know, they both came off much easier and cleaner than the other remover.  The real test of course is how well does it come off your eyes.  I have been using it for the past couple of days and it does the job.  I'm very excited that I found something that is quick and easy to remove even waterproof mascara!  Hope this works for you as well as it did for me!

Materials you need!
Finished product!

March 19, 2012

House Warming Gift

Here is another idea for the Custom V&P Painting, a house warming gift!  My friends were building a new house so my husband had a great idea to have their 2 children each draw a picture of their new home!   Here is their drawings and the finished paintings.

    Annaliese age 9

Child's actual drawing
Finished Custom V&P painting

Will age 6
Child's actual drawing
Finished Custom V&P painting

My friends loved them!  The mother said "You brought their drawing to life."  

The custom V&P paintings are such a great gift idea!  If you are interested in purchasing a Custom V&P painting click on the link below.  We can start bringing your child's artwork to life!

March 17, 2012

Roman Shades

I decided that I wanted Roman shades in a couple of rooms in my house.  Well I wasn't about to buy them, they can be so expensive, and you know how we like to save money.  So I got the brilliant idea to make Roman shades.  So I searched online to find the quickest and easiest way to make Roman shades, and I think I found it.  Little Green Notebook has a great DIY for making roman shades out of mini blinds.   It has easy to follow directions and there is no sewing involved!  If you want to make the Roman shades click on the Little Green Notebook link above.  I'm going to show you a couple of Roman shades that I made and give a few tips that I learned from making them.  Now remember this was my first time making the shades, so they aren't perfect!

These were the first shades I made,  I'm not the best at measuring things or cutting things straight.  So my first tip would be have someone help you with measuring and cutting if your anything like me.  My wonderful husband helped my with the other shades!

For these shades I lined them with room darkening fabric.  I recommend using the room darkening fabric for rooms such as the bathroom or a bedroom.

Again I used the room darkening fabric for these shades as well.  As you can see, the Roman shades fit perfectly into a window, when measured and cut correctly, and look really cute!
On the Little Green Notebook site she suggests using fabric glue and not hot glue.  I used fabric glue and it did a great job, especially on the white shades I made (the first pictures).  Those shades rarely get used so there isn't much wear and tear on them.  They other shades, however, are used daily.  They are pulled up in the morning and down at night, so needless to say, the glue isn't holding up so well.   I know she says not to use hot glue but I needed a quick fix for the fabric that is not glued to the mini blinds anymore.  We'll see how the hot glue holds up.  What I suggest doing is sewing the fabric to the mini blinds.  Just one vertical stitch on both sides of the shade where the fabric is folded over.  I did not do this to my shades and I wish I did.  My sister made some and she sewed the fabric the the mini blinds and they seem to be staying together just fine.  Now if you decide to sew your fabric to your mini blinds make sure you get the cheap plastic mini blinds and not the metals ones.  I got my mini blinds at Walmart, they can range anywhere from $5-$15 depending on the size of your window.  Also use a strong needle that will sew through the thin plastic.
If you use the room darkening fabric, you might want to sew it to your printed fabric, that way it will hold together better than gluing it.  Just make sure you leave the bottom open (meaning sew the left side, top, and right side) that way you won't get an air bubble in between printed fabric and the room darkening fabric.  I didn't do this so I have an air bubble in my shades and they don't lay very smooth.
I think those are all of my tips I hope this is helpful!  Let us know if you tried making your own Roman shades!

March 12, 2012

Dryer Sheets for Dusting

Here is a quick household tip I got from my mom.  She takes dryer sheets that have already been used and uses them to dust.  I thought that is silly just get out your dust cloth and dust spray.  But the dryer sheets really do work.  Its great for a quick dust job.  Now it won't give you a perfect polished furniture look, but it does pick up the dust.  After my mom does laundry, she saves the used dryer sheets and stores them under the kitchen sink, and when she needs a quick dust she grabs one and goes.  Its that easy and your getting another use out of the dryer sheet!  Also its great for kids to use, they can help do the dusting too!

March 8, 2012


These are cute little rings I made too, another crowd pleaser : )  Myka made the ones on the left and I made the ones on the right.

Dangling Hair Clips

I figured that girls are crazy about thing hanging in their hair right now, so I created Dangling Hair Clips, my daughter's favorite.   Of course the pink ones sold first.

Hair Flowers

Well, I saw some flowers made from T-shirts on Pinterest and decided to make my own version of them.  We (merrellgirls) sold them at my schools Christmas Bazaar and the kids seemed to really like them.  These are the original hair clips, they are the size of a golf ball to the size of a tennis ball.

March 5, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am not a big fan of oatmeal raisin cookies (I don't like raisins in things).  If you're going to have a cookie it should have chocolate in it!  When I found this  Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe on the back of my flour bag I knew I had to try it.
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used half of a bag plus a little extra!)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I did not put the walnuts in mine, not a fan of nuts in cookies)
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
1.  In a large bowl, mix brown sugar and butter until blended.  Beat in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.  Mix in oats, flour, and baking soda; stir in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (optional).
2.  Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
3.  Bake 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Once cookies are cooled, store in an air tight container.
I bake my cookies for 1-2 minutes less than what it says, I like my cookies soft and a bit gooey.
Here they are:
Now doesn't that just make you want to bake some cookies right now.  They are so yummy, enjoy!

March 3, 2012

Refashion Baby One-Piece Outfit

My little cutie is always outgrowing her one-piece outfits before she gets to wear them very much.  I don't know if she is super long or if they just don't make them very long.  But they usually end up either all "capri style" or I can't even snap them at the bottom.  Both versions are not so cute!  So, I thought I would do a quick and easy fix and turn it into a shirt.  It is super easy sewing for a beginning sewer!
Here is the cute one-piece outfit my friend gave me after her little ones outgrew it.
Here is what I did:
I just held up the outfit to my daughter and marked it where I wanted the bottom of the shirt to be.  Be sure to allow an extra 3/4 to 1 inch for the hem.  Once you have your line marked cut the bottom part off (you can save it to make hair accessories or embellish the shirt with flowers or ruffles later). If you are using a jersey knit (like a t-shirt material) you could just stop there and keep the edges raw.  I wanted mine to look a little more finished so folded a hem and sewed up the bottom. That's it!  Now you have a new cute shirt for your little cutie!
*I also decided to use a double needle to give it a more professional look that lays down nicely.  If you haven't used a double needle you should try it for sewing jersey knits and other fabrics, you will really like the results! This site gives a great tutorial and tips for using the double needle, Make it and Love it!   Give it a try, you won't be sorry!

March 2, 2012

Reuse Old Candles

I light candles all the time.  They smell great and I think they help warm our drafty house.  When the wicks burn out and there is still a lot of wax left in the jar I hate to throw the candles away.  So I usually use those candles for my candle warmer, they still smell great but I don't get the extra heat.  Then I got the idea to put a new wick in my old candles.  Its a pretty simple idea, I know, I just love the fact that I get more use out of my candles.

Heres what I did:
Get an old candle (one with the wick burnt out).  Remove the old wick and silver base it is attached to.  If you cannot remove the wick and base wait until the candle is somewhat melted, it will be much easier to remove.
This candle is so full of wax because I would use this candle on my candle warmer and add wax from other candles to it.  I would take candles that sit on a candle plate and when their wick burnt out I would add it to my candle warmer candle.  If you do this make sure you take the sticker off the bottom of the candle and any remaining wick out of the candle.  Also try to use similar smelling candles.
Melt the candle on a candle warmer until the center of the candle is melted all the way through to the bottom.
Buy a candle wick at a craft store.  I got mine at Hobby Lobby but I'm sure you can purchase it at any craft store.  Take the wick and stick it into the melted candle.  I did not use another metal base to attach the wick to.  I didn't have one and I figured just sticking the wick in would be fine.  Try to get the wick to reach the bottom of the jar.  Use a pencil or pen to wrap the wick around and balance the pencil/pen on top of the jar.  Try to place the pencil/pen so that the wick is in the center of the candle.
Let the candle cool.  When the candle has completely harden take a wick cutter or scissors and cut the wick to 1/4".  Then light your candle and enjoy an extra use of your old candles!