Goodwill Sewing Table: Before and After!
Saturday, August 27, 2011

We now have a sewing table and crafting corner in our bedroom! (I say "we" because my husband is of course free to use my girly yellow and blue desk anytime he cares to.  Which will likely be never.)

(I have to preface these pictures with my annoyance that the camera on my iPhone is the best camera in my possession at the moment. My lovely little beautified table did not photograph very well at all.  Boo.  But it's super, super cute in real life.)

Before, in the corner at Goodwill with a $20 price tag:


And before at home, being used for it's intended purpose but still ugly:


So my friend Jennifer acted as my crafting Yoda, going with me to Lowes to show me the right kinda paint to buy for this laminate monstrosity.  (Valspar brand, with primer. Only took two coats using a small roller and brush, and it worked perfectly!  Anytime I've tried to paint laminate in the past it's peeled off, but the Valspar with primer is amazing.)  We painted it white and decided to adhere a patchwork of scrapbook paper to the top.  Here it is in mid-beautification:



Once the paper was adhered, I stretched a piece of vinyl over the top to make a more durable workspace.  I also made a coordinating sewing machine cover, and recovered/painted an old lamp.  From ugly to pretty and fun for around 50 bucks.  I love it.





My friend Jennifer went all out and pretty-fied the storage area underneath by modge-podging the shelves with paper.  Lovely.  And something I never would have bothered with on my own, so it's an extra special bonus:



Yay!  And if you're ever at my home, expect me to bring you in and show you this beauty in real life.  The pictures just don't fully bring it's cheerfulness to life! 



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A big, big day!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yesterday was a big day.  A monumental day. Felt that way to me anyway....because all three of my babies are now school age!  We have lots of learning to do together, with the help of some fabulous teachers and a terrific school that I'm proud to send them to.  Looking forward to an amazing school year!

Dylan - 2nd
Lauryn - Kinder (crazy, right?!?!)
Ryan - 4th

The first day of school was really all about Miss Lauryn.  The boys were so excited for her.  And she has been giggling with delight all summer at any mention of school.  I'm so blessed she was excited to be there.  If she would have been upset or acted like she didn't wanna go....I may have scooped her up and taken her right back home with me.  I was sorta fighting that urge anyway.




Getting some last minute advice from big brother.  Ryan told her, "Listen to the teacher.  Work hard.  Don't talk when it's time to listen." And then Dylan offered, "And no matter what, never take an octopus to class."  That boy.

Dylan helping with the backpack hang-up.  Serious business, as she has looked forward to having her own cubbie and hook for some time.  Some other kid had hung his pack under Lauryn's name tag. Egregious! She promptly removed it to another hook.

Ready to go! 

The pictures at the school are kinda fuzzy.  Mom might have been a little anxious and unable to keep a steady hand.  But I did hold it together until I got out of the building, and didn't start the ugly cry until I got to the van.  Win.

Here's a little video of us walking (and Lauryn skipping) in for the first day:










the go-to site for recipes, projects, crafts
Friday, August 19, 2011





Are you on Pinterest?  It's super fun.  Find me here:  www.pinterest.com/starrcliff

It's my favorite place to find recipes, craft projects, home decor ideas..really the list is endless! It's replacesd my Google searches for many things because of the visual format.  Check it out if you haven't already!

Here's a fun little treat I found on Pinterest that the kids and I made:

Directions: Want to make these little delicious treats? Just melt Hershey’s kisses onto tiny twist pretzels (275 degrees, 3 minutes), remove, and immediately press a single MandM on each. Refrigerate until eating to make sure they are deliciously solid!







I'm not sure why Lauryn is wearing a long sleeve flannel nightie shirt in mid-August.  At 3:00 in the afternoon.  But I'm sure she has her reasons.










Lemonade
Thursday, August 18, 2011

The kids asked to make a lemonade stand, so I found an old sheet and some yellow paint and set them to work.


They decided to give away free lemonade, and went one evening and knocked on the neighbors' doors offering "a cool, sweet, free glass of refreshing lemonade" at their stand.  (Seriously, who's gonna turn down that offer from a cute little 5 year old girl? Who has obviously been coached on what to say by the  brothers flanking her on both sides.) They wrangled up a good amount of customers and managed to make $3 bucks in unsolicited tips off their "free" stand.  


The entrepreneurs.
Lauryn showing some business prowess, wearing a yellow apron and hair bow to match her product. 

It turned out to be a great way to get to know our neighbors a little better!  We had a good time chatting with the kids and parents that made their way over.  It was so hot that the promised "cool, refreshing" glass of lemonade turned quickly into a "watered down because the ice melted, kinda warmish" glass...but no one complained!



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Oh yes I did repurpose that shirt.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Repurposed the heck out of it.  Two shirts in fact!

I have been wanting to make a diaper clutch for our foster baby, but didn't have any boy fabric in my stash.  But I did have two men's shirts that were headed to Goodwill!  That's right. I am now cutting up garments to use in sewing projects.  One step closer to becoming my Grandmother.









These diaper clutches (tutorial here at A Lemon Squeezy Home)  are super quick to sew up, and I think they make fun personalized baby shower gifts.  It holds a couple of diapers and a wipes case, for those quick trips in the grocery store when you don't want to take in the entire giant diaper bag.  (But you also don't want to risk going in with no diaper or wipes...that never ends well.  Going anywhere with no diapers or wipes is an invitation for baby to have the blowout of the year.)










Boredom Buster: Muffin Tin Crayons
Tuesday, August 16, 2011







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Time for Table Talk
Monday, August 15, 2011

A couple nights ago at dinner, one of the kids asked Jonathan and I if we could remember all of our teachers, from 1st grade thru High School.  So we took turns naming each grade, the teacher (choosing one teacher we could remember from each grade in Jr. High and High School), and telling them a specific memory from that grade.

The kids thought it was hilarious, and were totally engaged listening to stories about us at their age, all the way thru high school.

Thru elementary school our memories consisted of which teachers we loved and which teachers we feared.  Making best friends and fighting with best friends.  Fun projects and field trips that we still remember.

Jr. High was all about figuring out our passions, for sports or singing, etc.; and figuring out that maybe the opposite sex wasn't so icky as we thought in Elementary School.

And when I got to 10th grade, and told them about noticing a boy who kept showing up between all my classes and walking me to my car after school every day.....and Jonathan talked about 12th grade and changing his route to his classes so he could "run into" a certain 10th grade girl, and how he eventually started walking her to her car after school and asked her on a date....Well, then they figured out we were talking about each other and it was pretty darn cute to see their reactions.  Lauryn was all smiles and starry eyes....Dylan buried his head and feigned being grossed out...and Ryan just blushed and shook his head.  I love it.


















Boredom Busters: Michael's Clearance Aisle
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Me and the kids have hit the clearance aisles at Michael's a few different times this summer looking for fun crafts.

Lauryn and I found this felt owl kit and canvas tote bag on opposite sides of the store, both on sale for $.79 cents.  With supervision, I let her put it together with the hot glue gun.  Use of the hot glue gun equaled SHEER DELIGHT. I kinda feel the same way about hot glue gun usage.





She plans to use her little tote to carry to church with her Bible and offering.  And for $1.58, I won't be too upset when she invariably leaves it at church, to join the 27 purses she's lost there.  


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I love to get stuff in the mail.
Monday, August 8, 2011

Look what my grandma sent me!



A box full of buttons! I have fun plans.

Check out these cute ideas from BHandG:




(Those pics remind me I keep meaning to get some cute scrapbook paper to use as background when I photograph my craft projects...)

I also plan to peruse this list of 101 Free Sewing Tutorials and see what other fun projects might need some button embellishment:



Now just to find the time to bring all this buttony goodness to life.








Surfside Beach Family Vacation
Saturday, August 6, 2011








Grand Plans for Back to School Time
Friday, August 5, 2011

Kids are back to school in less than three weeks!

I have grand plans of keeping my family organized and happy during our before and after school routines. We'll see how it goes...by May of last school year our mornings were pretty frenzied and not at all fun.  So as I think about this year, this is what I would like to accomplish:

For before school:

- Prepare their clothes and pack their lunches THE NIGHT BEFORE. (self-talk: "JUST DO IT WOMAN!  FOR THE LOVE! HOW HARD IS IT?!?!")

- Start getting up early enough to have myself psuedo-ready before the kids wake up.

- Prepare a decently healthy and hearty breakfast.  (Note:  Find healthy breakfast stuff they'll actually eat.)

- Institute a consistent spiritual moment before school; whether a quick prayer together, a scripture reading, listening to a snippet of a podcast during breakfast, or some combination thereof.

For after school:

- Maintain a consistent after school chore routine.

- Keep the "backpack" area free of clutter and train kids to actually use this area for their backpacks.

- Train them to empty their lunch bags when they get home from school so I'm not frantically washing lunch containers the next morning.

- Deal with school paperwork quickly before it takes over and buries us all alive.

- Allow them a quick snack and one TV show to decompress before then beginning reading assignments and homework.

Ahhh...if only I could be "that mom" as I've described above, instead of the constantly hurried and frazzled mom that I actually am most days.  I am going to give it my best effort people! How long does it take to form a habit?  Maybe if I aim to live this way thru September, then by October it will be routine.....

Here are some fun crafts projects I've seen to help kickstart the organization efforts:

A Checklist Place Mat via Family Fun:



A Homework Station via Roots and Wings Co:



I suppose I should kick off these grand organization plans by not waiting until the weekend before school starts to buy the supply lists.....Sigh.  Off to fight the crowds in the folder aisles!

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I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)

 

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