Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hand Sanitizer - The Pocket First Responder

I must confess, I LOVE this stuff!!!!

No, I'm not a germophobe.  No, I don't think it's better than soap and water.  I love it because it's a multi-tasker! 

Drop a bottle of this stuff in your bag and you're good in just about any emergency.

Emergency Deodorant
Have you even been walking through your day and you realized that your deodorant has worn off, was not strong enough or you forgot it all together.  Rub a little Purell on your pits and you're good to go!

Emergency Lense Cleaner
I have a kid who NEVER cleans his glasses.  I mean NEVER!  If we're out and about and I notice a layer of grunge on his specs, I reach for the purell.  I smear a drop on each lense and clean with a soft cotton cloth (usually his t-shirt).  Voila!  Clear vision.

Other uses include:

Bug Bite itch relief

Zip cream

Surface sanitizer (desks, table tops, bus seat)

Sticky spot remover (ever put you arm down on a sticky fast food table).  A few drops of purell cleans up the mess.

To be clear, if I have deodorant, windex or a bottle of Pine sol, I'll reach for those first.  If I don't, it's purell to the rescue!

Also, know that i'm a hand sanitizer purist.  It doesn't have to be "Purell" brand sanitizer.  I don't like the scented versions or the kind that also makes your hands soft.  I like my hand sanitizer straight, no chaser.  Just alcohol and whatever makes it gel.  That's all!

Monday, May 28, 2012

How to hang a picture on a brick fireplace

For the past 7 years I have tried (and failed) to hang a picture or some sort of art on our fireplace.  Our rec room was added to the house in the 70's and decorated in Brady Bunch chic.  When we bought this house the rec room featured floor to ceiling wood paneling and a 10 foot floor to ceiling brick fire place. 

I have tried every masonry drill bit and screw.  NOTHING would penetrate this brick or the mortar.  Just this week I had a new idea!

I anchored heavy duty picture wire to the paneling on either side of the fireplace.  Then I used s hooks to hand the picture on the wire.

Here's what you'll need:

- heavy duty screw eyes
- heavy duty picture wire
- S hooks

Screw the screw eyes into the wall on either side of the fireplace. 

Double knot the wire

Pull it tightly and wrap the loose end

Pull the wire tight and secure it to the other side of the fireplace.

Using S hooks, hang the picture on the secure wire.

The wire will disappear between the bricks

Voila!  You've hung a picture on brick!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Simple Sunday Sun Catchers

I love doing crafts with my kids!  Sometimes these projects are great, sometimes, well, not.  This simply Sunday craft was a total HIT!

Here's what we did:

First gather everything you'll need.  That is pans, plastic beads, a skewer and an oven.  Cooking spray is optional.  I tried this project with and without the cooking spray.  It didn't make any difference.  The melted beads didn't stick to the pan either way.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Because the fumes of melting plastic beads can be pretty nasty, I placed my toaster oven near the open patio door.  I also turned on the ceiling fan.  You don't have to to go extreme measures, but I suggest having good ventilation.

Spray the pan with cooking spray (if you want-you don't have to).  Arrange the beads in the pans in 1 or 2 layers.

Bake in the toaster oven for about 25 minutes or until they are melted and look smooth.

As soon as the sun catchers are out of the oven, use a skewer to make a hole in the soft plastic.

Set the sun catcher aside to cool.  Once its fully cool, turn the pan upside down and pop it out.

We made about 10.  Here are a few.

Problems you can solve:

- Some of the skewer holes closed as the plastic cooked.  Use a drill to make new holes for hanging.
- If a sun catcher are too thin, put it back in its pan, add a layer of clear beads and bake until beads are all melted.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The trouble with super hero's

The Avenger's movie is out and my kids want to go and see it.  That's just fine with me.  The problem is that in addition to seeing the movie, they want to dress like their favorite characters.  One will be the hulk (which he pronounces hawk) and the other will be Captain America.

No problem.

I whipped up the t-shirts out of scrap fabric that I had around the house.  Well, that's when to trouble began.  Hawk was thrilled!  I pranced and made muscles in his green t-shirt.  He couldn't have been happier! 

Captain America, on the other hand, wept.  The problem, it seems, is that I made a Captain America that looked like everyone else's Captain America. 

He didn't want regular Captain America, he wants his own Captain America!  To be honest he was crying so hard, I didn't understand what he was talking about.  So, I had him draw a picture of what he wanted.

That's custom Captain America on the left.
And so, a few kleenex and a design consultation later, the revised Captain America was born!

Here's the old version and the new version side by side.

The two Americas

With crisis averted, the Hawk and Captain America were off to the movies with Daddy!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Burp Cloths - nice baby gift

My dear sweet friend just had a baby girl.  I gave a gift at the shower, but i didn't want to show up empty handed to see the new tot.  So i whipped up these cute burp cloths.

I bought 5 diaper service quality pre-fold cloth diapers.  (search for DSQ pre-folds or DSQ cloth diapers).  Buy the biggest size you can find.  They shrink A LOT!!

Next wash then at least 2 times in hot water in the washing machine.  Dry them on high. 

Finally, sew cute fabric to the front of the diapers.  Voila, all done!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tea Party Favor - Tutorial

With mother's day approaching I was STRESSED trying to find a nice party favor for my Mother's Day Tea.

I didn't see any ideas that I liked online.  SO, I created this.  The guests at the tea LOVED these.  I hope you will too!

Here's what I did.

First, I went to the thrift store about purchased cups and saucers.  Make sure that they're not chipped.  Each cup should match its saucer, but the cups don't have to match each other.

Inside each cup I places a few sugar cubes wrapped in foil.

Next, I added the tea bag(s).

I place 1 cloth napkin under the cup.  Since I have loads of scrap fabric I made these napkins.  But you can buy an assortment of cloth napkins at a local thrift store or on ebay.

Gather 2 points of the napkin.

Next gather the other 2 points of the napkin.

Gather all remaining fabric and secure with a rubber band.

Because it was on sale, I bought a roll of tulle ribbon.  I think I paid $1 for the roll.  Cut a piece of ribbon about a foot long.  Using an according fold, fold the tulle back and forth.

The according fold will give the ribbon volume.

Now tie the ribbon around the napkin.  Make sure you fully hide the rubber band under the ribbon.


Here are some of the ladies holding their gift!