Friday, August 31, 2012

A Trio of T-Shirts

For one last project before summer ended and the kids went back to school, we made freezer paper stenciled t-shirts:

Claire's favorite pink t-shirt had a run-in with some glitter paint during craft time at a birthday party not too long ago:

Claire was pretty sad, so we determined to try to save the shirt by making the splatters look somewhat deliberate.  Claire liked the idea of stars, so we added several sizes in several colors:

In the end, we made an otherwise ruined shirt into something wearable again.  "No, no.  That's not paint splatter.  It's stardust!":

Scott liked this triceratops skull design.  Straight forward, but nice in it's simplicity:

It's hard to tell, but the paint is actually a metallic silver, which is pretty cool.  Might have to make something for M or me with that paint:

And Kate, of course, OF COURSE, got a Hello Kitty shirt:

I wanted something obviously Hello Kitty, but not overly cartoon-ish.  So I started with a plain but fairly girly t-shirt - lace edge and puffed sleeves and what-not.  (Actually, I didn't immediately find something plain enough for painting and cheap enough when I was at Target, so I bought an inexpensive little shirt with a little pocket on the front and carefully picked out the seam attaching the pocket.  One trip through the wash and you'd never know there used to be a pocket on the front of this shirt! And light pink was the only color they had in her size, so I'm lucky it worked for Hello Kitty.)

I cut out the outline of Hello Kitty's head and then the bow with freezer paper.  For the outline of her head, I wanted something a little different and more abstract, so instead of painting inside a stencil shape, I ironed down the shape and painted outside of it:

I used a relatively dry foam brush and streaked/dabbed it radiating outward, so the end result looked like this:

Then I carefully lined up the bow in it's spot and painted it red:

Now I actually liked the finished result at that point better, but I fussed with it.  I pulled the stencil off while it was still wet so I could see the result.  There was a tiny spot where the red bow paint and black outline paint didn't meet up, so I went to fill the little light pink gap with a toothpick and some red paint.  Which was great, until I accidentally smudged the bow lower down with my hand.  It was barely visible and probably would have been okay had I stopped then.  But NO!  I tried to clean the paint smudge off.  Which resulted in a GIANT mess of smudginess around the bottom edge of the bow.  In the end, my only fix was to cut yet another stencil in order to put a nice fat black outline around the bow:

Moral of the story?  Don't be dumb like me.  Leave well enough alone.
Also?  Nice save, G.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Walking to the First Day of School

Goodbye Pool Days

Yesterday was the first day of school for Claire and Scott.  As I was looking through the pictures I took before they headed off to school, I noticed this one I took of Claire's new shoes.  (These were important to her.  I drove to several Targets to find THIS color in her size.)  But it wasn't the shoes I was noticing:

Do you see those legs peeking out?  There is no politically correct way to say this, so here goes:  She doesn't look white!!!  If I hadn't taken this photo myself, I would not believe those legs belonged to MY little Caucasian child.  Granted the sun wasn't all the way up when I took these, so the light was a little dim and her shoes are veritably glowing with newness, so it probably makes her legs look browner, but STILL!  We spent LOTS of time at my parents' pool this summer and it shows.  Well, at least it shows on Claire.  Not so much on Scott and me.  (Kate is somewhere in the middle.)  Claire takes after my mother and sister, who both tan easily.  And probably after M too.  I'm pretty sure he'd be pretty tan too if he didn't spend all his time being a geek inside an office building.  But those little brown legs did NOT come from me.  If I get a lot of sun, I get two things:  burned and freckled.  And sometimes the freckles get dense enough to almost pass for a tan.

We had a lot of fun swimming this summer.  And we did do some other things too even if it doesn't look like it!  I'm going to miss summer, but I'm not gonna lie - I'm also excited to have the kids back to school.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Should Start Making These to Give at Baby Showers

I don't know about you, but I always wear my snow white dress when riding my scooter:

This one LOVES dressing up.

I've always said that every mom needs two buttons to put on their kids when they go out in public.

#1 would say:  "Daddy dressed me."

#2 would say:  "I dressed myself."

Baptism Gift

A couple weekends ago I took the kids on a whirlwind trip to visit my cousin.  My cousin and her kids had come out for Claire's baptism and now her daughter was getting baptized.  So along with my mom, we made a road trip of it.  We had a lot of fun!

I wanted to give my... er... first cousin once removed I guess it would be... a little something, so I ordered a bordered white handkerchief from the LDS Online Store.  I confess, it was very inexpensive.

I THOUGHT I ordered it with enough time for it to arrive, but alas, I am a poor planner.  I even checked my mail one last time as I left, but it hadn't arrived.  Of course, OF COURSE, it arrived the same day I left.  It was in my mailbox waiting for me when I got back from the trip.

So I was the loser who didn't have a gift to give her on the actual day of her baptism.  I offered up my lame excuse about it not arriving in time and that I would mail it to her when I got home.

But within a couple days of my getting home, I was able to mail her this:

I picked a font on my computer, printed off her name, then traced it onto the hankie with a water soluble fabric marking pen.  A little white embroidery floss and some free-handed daisies and I think it made for a thoughtful gift.  (But it only cost me the price of the hankie!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Dream Come True

M & G Wedding Photo

Today I have been married for 10 years.  10!!!  It  sort of feels like it's gone by in the blink of an eye (time flies when you're having fun!) but at the same time, I find myself asking, "Haven't we always been together?  Was there really life before M???"  Because I feel like my life didn't really start until M was there to share it with.

I know, I know.  I'm getting sappy and serious, which is just not my usual m.o.  I'm sorry, this whole anniversary milestone has me feeling romantic.  And yet, there was a time when I thought our story wasn't very romantic.

Of course I love M and think the world of him.  Or at least I do now.  But it wasn't always that way.  I met M nearly 14 years ago.  To make a long story short, there was a time when he was my friend.  I mean just my friend.  He was a really nice guy and we had fun together.  But he didn't really make me weak in the knees.  I didn't like him that way.  I had labeled him in my head and I thought I was looking for something else entirely.

But I was wrong.  In so many ways.  For one thing, I had mislabeled him.  But more importantly, one day I woke up and realized that the greatest thing that would ever happen to me was right in front of me, patiently waiting for me to get my head out of my butt.  And my knees have been failing me ever since.

And yet, even though I have fallen in love and I am blissfully happy, I still thought for a long time that our story seemed so, well... blah.  I mean, things just didn't go down the way I'd always dreamed of.  I was too sensible to have hoped for a love at first sight kind of thing, but still, I wanted a romantic story.  Shouldn't I have spent some time pining for M before I got him?  Instead I felt like things were backwards.  I didn't want him until after I already had him.  Before M, I felt like the story of my life had been unrequited love.  I would be interested in someone and just wish they would notice me in return but they never seemed to.  I'd always felt such a emotional resonance with songs, movies, and stories where people were wishing and yearning for the object of their affection to notice them.

To quote a favorite movie:

Do you believe in love at first sight? Nah, I betcha don't, you're probably too sensible for that. Or have you ever, like, seen somebody? And you knew that, if only that person *really* knew you, they would, well, they would of course dump the perfect model that they were with, and realize that YOU were the one that they wanted to, just, grow old with.

Or how about Taylor Swift?

...Dreaming 'bout the day when you wake up and find
That what you're lookin' for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you

Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Isn't that what everyone who feels a little unpopular hopes for?  But my story wasn't like that.  I was a little disappointed.  I ended up falling for the guy that I didn't notice at first.  Not very glamorous.

And then I realized.

I had been so selfish and self-centered in my perspective.  I WAS part of a romantic story that was just the sort I had dreamed of.  I was just playing a different role than I expected.  I was the object of affection that finally noticed the "friend."  M was interested in me and was just wishing I would notice him in return.  And I finally did.

I got to make M's dream come true.

Happy Anniversary M.  Thanks for making me part of a romantic love story!

M & G Engagement Photo
 (One of our engagement photos.)