Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hexagon (honeycomb) shelves -- DIY

When I posted my living room pics, I mentioned that I didn't know what to put above my TV.  My friend Rachel (mentioned two posts in a row, this girl has GREAT ideas and great taste) suggested some hex shelves.

Best. Idea. Ever.

I learned last summer that vacations at my parents house are more fun when I have a project to work on.  Last summer I did my mom's second wing back chair.  (The link takes you to the summer before when I did the first one) and so when I went down in March I asked my dad to help me make some hexagon shelves. 

We went and got some plywood at Home Depot (not a sponsored post, but Hey!  Home Depot!  Wanna sponsor me????).  One of these big sheets was way more than we needed.  I think half of it made our five shelves.
This kid was such a fun boy at Home Depot.
So we sliced that sucker into five inch strips.  And then cut the strips into ten inch pieces.  We tried 12 inch pieces but the hexagons are going to be bigger than the size of one side.  12 inch pieces ended up being HUGE.  So we cut them down.

Now for the hard part that took us way too long to figure out.  You're going to cut the ten inch pieces at an angle.  So, some geometry for you.  Each angle in a hexagon is 120 degrees.  Divide that in half because you're bringing two pieces together, and you get 60 degrees.  But what got us confused is that the saw only cuts angles up to 45 degrees.  It makes sense because 45 is half way, and then you're just cutting the other direction.  What you do is realize that an uncut board is 90 degrees.  You need a 60 degree angle, so you cut off the 30 degrees.  Does that make sense?  It doesn't have to.

30 degrees, that's what you cut the edges of your boards.  That's all you need to know.  Disregard that paragraph above.  I'm no math teacher!  We used my dad's chop saw to do this.  Just google chop saw if you don't know what it is.

After we had the pieces cut, we put some wood glue on and staple gunned them together.  To make sure they were exact we had an angle checker, but we found that by putting a string around the entire hexagon and slipping in small pieces of wood around the edge until its tight made it pretty true.  After the glue had dried we sanded them and I painted them back in Utah. 
Here you can see the string and little wood scraps we used to make the angles tight and true. 
One down, four to go.  And if you look closely you can see our ten inch pieces with their little 60 degree angles.
To hang them I bought some picture hangers and nailed two them on the top board, one on each side.  Then each takes two nails to hang and I feel like that is heavy duty enough to hold them and any small trinkets I want to put in them.
The finished product!!  I'll show them decorated when I do my final living room reveal.  In two years.  I kid, I kid.
If you're annoyed with how wordy I am, you can blame the fact that I used to teach 90 minute class periods and had a looooot of time to fill ;) 

Monday, April 28, 2014

My new fabric designs

I have had the dream of opening my own etsy shop since Olivia was born.  I've made a LOT of sample products, always creating my own patterns and I've finally come up with some products that I love.

I was forever searching fabrics, for hours at a time, trying to find cute knit prints for my jammies and leggings.  It was a lost cause.  In the end there was only one thing to do: Design my own.

Saturday I got the samples!!  I carried them every where.  It was like Christmas for me.  If you follow me on facebook and instagram you've already seen them, but indulge me. 

They are. . .  not cheap.  But I eventually decided that if I'm going to really do this, designing my own fabrics was the only way to go.
1. They absolutely fit my brand (except maybe those hearts, a little too rainbow)
2. No one else will have them.
3. They can never go out of stock.
4. I can order the same prints in different fabrics.  My jammies and leggings use knits, but I like a woven cotton for my tank dresses.  I can use the same navy star print and get it in both!

The navy stars are destined for baby boy jammies and tank dresses for the 4th of July (thanks to my friend Rachel for the patriotic idea!!)  The mint dots (well actually it turned out a little more green than mint, but I'm adjusting the color) will also be tank dresses and bloomers and the coral flower will be for girl jammies.  I'm currently using a metallic gold stripe for my leggings but I need some boy leggings and eventually I'll run out of metallic gold and so I'll need to design some new fabrics for leggings!  (I am bummed that I can't design a metallic fabric on spoonflower so I will still have to buy some of my fabrics from JoAnn)

Yep, this is happening.

Friday, April 25, 2014

How to grow your Twitter

My blogging buddy Bonnie posted this about our latest round table blogging discussions.  I was reading through the comments and saw Caitlin had asked for some ideas for growing her twitter.  I started giving her some ideas and realized that I know a lot about growing twitter.  If you wonder why I don't have more followers, I wonder that too.  Haha, but really it's because I don't do all of these things as much as I could.  Also, I don't care that much.  But I have more twitter followers than blog followers so I'm obviously better at one than the other. . .

1. Bonnie mentioned using a giveaway to get more followers on twitter, and you certainly can do that, but I get very little interaction from the followers I've gotten from giveaways.  But numbers help and it's always nice for them to be boosted.  And just because they aren't tweeting with me, doesn't mean they aren't reading my posts. (they probably aren't)

2. If you're new to tweeting, it might feel really awkward to start talking to no followers, but you just gotta.  You have to start somewhere.

3. When I first started tweeting I was using it in conjunction with my interior design blog so I would live tweet #DesignStar and that's where I got some of my first followers.  Tweet live events and use the hashtag.  If people like what you say they might check you out (why it's good to start tweeting even if you have no followers) and start following you.  You can use other hashtags too.  Follow Jimmy Fallon and some of his hashtag games are really funny and will get you more exposure.

4. Interact with those you follow.  Tweet meaningful things back to them.  Sometimes people will follow me back right away, other times we have to have more interaction before they start following me back.  And I once got tweeted by one of my favorite bands, Good Old War, so that was awesome.

5. Follow more people.  It's just the law of averages  (I'm not really sure if I'm using that term correctly).  The more people you follow and interact with the more you'll have following you back.

If all else fails, just tweet about breastfeeding.  Once I tweeted this:
and got like ten new followers.

What are some ways you have gotten more followers on twitter?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This is what I find fun now

Today I finished my last big project for Oilo!  (I have two more crib sheets but those are super easy)  I have so much that I plan to do with my "free" time now.  "Free" because Olivia doesn't nap anymore and Axel only takes one, so . . . I'm pretty busy with kids.  But here are some things I'm excited about in the future!

-My own shop!  My fabric samples should be arriving any day from Spoonflower and I'm hopeful that they'll turn out like I imagine and I can get ordering and start working on new things for my own little company.

-Painting Olivia's room!  I'm planning to paint her room white and do a gold polka dot pattern on one wall (or maybe a hexagon???  I'm trying to decide how I would do that one)  Her bedroom is going to be blush and gold with a underlying ballet theme.  Not because I danced ballet (except that one year in second grade) but because of some art work I got from my great-grandma and my grandma. 
One of the pictures.  On the bottom is the note my grandma wrote on the back.  Ireta was her mother-in-law, my grandpa's mother.

-Finishing my hex shelves for my living room.

-Filling my gallery wall with actual art.  Currently I have 7 of 12 filled, the other five have IKEA printed all over them still. 

-Buy a couch!  Okay, that one is waiting more on funds than time, but we're close to saving up enough for the couch I want.  I just have to convince Adam.  He'll need to shop for about 6 months before making a decision so. . .

-Organize, organize, organize! Toys, clothes, old crap.  It's all going to the thrift store.  Nothing is safe. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

One of the first things I ever bought Olivia (before she was even born) was an Easter dress from Old Navy.  But other than her yearly new dress, we haven't really celebrated Easter at our house.  I just knew she wouldn't care about an Easter basket and I didn't want her to have any candy before she turned 5 (obviously I caved).  This was the first year the Easter Bunny came to our house.  And since I have a phobia of masks, we may never visit the Easter Bunny like we do Santa.

Saturday Olivia and I were still in bed at 8:30 (Olivia had been up since 6:30), Axel was still sound asleep, and my friend texted me to see if we wanted to meet at the city Easter egg hunt.  I wasn't planning on it, and getting two kids ready so quickly seemed like an impossible task, but it was so nice out we gave it a shot.  We were actually early and got to play at the park a little bit before the hunt!

She was really happy, despite what this picture seems to convey!

Olivia was really amused with this mom and her DSLR. 
Okay I admit, so was I.  Her daughter could seriously not care less.

Later we went back to the park with Adam.  That is one thing about Axel quitting his morning nap that I actually like.  We have a little more time to do things during the day.

She thought it was so cool to wear dad's hat!

Axel hasn't done is mean face in a long time, I was happy to capture it on camera!
And this is our Easter Bunny haul:

The nice thing about having 1pm church is that there is a little time for pictures before (because after church the kids clothes are practically falling apart and they don't have any hair left) Being on time to church (instead of 15 min early) meant that we had to sit in the chairs instead of the pews and I spent all of sacrament meeting chasing Axel.  But these pics are worth it!
I guess if we were going for that 80's trend of looking off into the distance. . .

No sibling love here.

Axel got stood up.

Axel's face in this picture is my favorite thing ever.

Waiting to get off the rock.

Happy Easter everyone!! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

A very short post about being confident in your body

One of my favorite outfits

Tonight I went to a dinner party at church.  There was a really cute girl there that had a baby a couple months ago.  Her hair was cute, her makeup was cute, and her outfit was cute.  And she totally still had a belly.  I wanted to tell her how awesome I thought she was, but that would have been awkward.  I wanted to say, thanks for being confident in yourself even though you're not a size two.  It helps me want to have more confidence in myself.  It helps me realize that no one is judging me as harshly as I am judging myself.  I'm so grateful that she could do that for me.  I hope I can do that for someone else. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Grocery shopping with two kids- a step-by-step guide

There were a LOT of things I was scared to do with two kids.  The other day I needed something at IKEA so I decided to make a day of it and get lunch as well.  Suddenly there I was eating lunch in public with my two kids totally alone (well, with out any adults to help) and totally chill about it!  I've come a long way.

But in the beginning it wasn't so, and the biggest fear was grocery shopping.  Because we need to eat!  And I don't want to waste my child free time by grocery shopping, so I wanted to do it with my kids.  I just wanted someone to tell me how they did it.  It seemed impossible.  Of course we just did it and figured it out along the way, and you can do that too.  Or you can read this post.

1. Park next to a shopping cart return.  It doesn't matter how far from the store you are, you need a cart to get you in.  Especially if your older child is a runner.

2. Hopefully there are carts in the cart return.  I've only had a problem finding carts like twice.  And you can sometimes wait around for someone to finish loading their groceries and offer to take the cart off their hands.

3. When your baby is a baby, keep them in their car seat and balance it on the back of the cart.  Some people say this is dangerous.  Do not push your cart really really fast and let go.  That might make it dangerous.  I am always right there, so I don't find it dangerous.  When your baby is older and can sit alone you can put them in the front seat and your older kid in the back.  Olivia thinks its so cool to sit in the back right now.

4. Have a list because you're never going to remember what you need when your kids are trying to sample the lemons.

5. Have a checker help you out to your car if you want.  I never do because I'm really stubborn.  But it doesn't really matter because your parked next to a cart return anyway.

6. If it's hot in the car, put the groceries away first.  If it's cold outside put the kids in the car first.  Always put their safety first.  Then the food.  Then quickly return the cart.

7. Unload the kids.  Get them a snack or put them to bed or put on a show.  Unload the groceries.

Now that I have two, shopping with one seems so easy.  When I have three, will shopping with two seem that way?  By the time I have three kids, Olivia will probably be in kindergarten.  But still, anyone have any tips for shopping with three kids?  ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What Would You Do With. . . 1 Dozen Eggs????

It's April!  It's spring!  I love this time of year and remembering my sweet Olivia as a new born.  I honestly have very little memory of her as a baby, but I remember the spring when she was new.  New life. . . Easter. . . Easter eggs.

So we thought it would be fun to see what you (and I) would do with 1 dozen eggs.
I wanted to try the ideas from this pin and make some natural dyes.  But time got away from me and I found myself at the grocery store on Saturday before this post was due.  And so I turned to my usual PAAS coloring kit.

It. Was. So. Fun.

But first let's account for the dozen eggs.  1 got used for crepes on Sunday morning because we needed four eggs, and I only had three left in my carton.  So Adam stole from my blog project.  1 egg broke while boiling.  That left us with ten eggs to color.

After they were colored I ate a few with my lunches, and Olivia ate a few with her lunches.  Let me tell you the yummiest egg salad ever.  Mix one perfectly ripe avocado with one or two diced hard boiled eggs.  Spread on whole wheat toast.  Perfection.  I keep wanting to call it vegan egg salad, because no mayo, but then I remember that there are eggs in it.  So. . . not vegan.

Olivia is at a great stage in life where she really enjoyed this.  We put the tablets in the vinegar and the fizzed and she just thought it was so cool.  She was also pretty content to let her dad do the dying, which I'm sure will not be the case in future years so I was happy that it was fairly mess free!
Our cups of dye all set out.

The little brother.  So content now that he doesn't have an ear ache.

So excited to dye Easter eggs!

In her plastic craft apron.

1. My egg, I was going for a coral and it turned out more orange :(  2. My other egg, I wanted a light blue and bingo.  3. Yellow with stickers.

1. Adam's half and half egg, with stickers courtesy of O.  2. A solid green egg that we let soak for a loooong time.  3. A solid red egg.

1. Giving your child a white crayon on a white egg is one of those times you can feel like you know magic.  Olivia was so impressed with what happened when we dyed the egg she colored on!  2. Adam did this one too and I think it turned out beautifully!  Half green, half purple and they overlap in the middle.

1. Adam's idea to dye an egg in three different colors. (yellow, blue and purple I think) 2. Half purple, half blue.

Don't you wish that hard boiled eggs didn't need refrigeration?  Well, don't worry, this was just for a picture. I put them back in the fridge.
Funny story before we end.  As a kid I spent the night at my best friend's house, just down the street a lot.  One day I came home after eating breakfast with her family only to find out that my family had made hard boiled eggs for breakfast.  What!?!?!  With out me?  How rude.  I went on and on about how jealous I was.  When my dad asked me what I had for breakfast I said, "Only pancakes and bacon and hash browns." (or something equally yummy, I can't really remember) So yeah, I really like eggs.

And next month the theme is flowers.  Yep, just flowers.  Real, silk, paper, fabric. . . super general so you can make it what ever you want!!

We would love to have you link up ANY Easter egg posts, not just recent ones and not just specific What Would You Do posts.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mysterious Illnesses

So I'm here!  I'm alive!  I know you guys worry about me (sarcasm).

Sometimes I have anxiety attacks.  And what I think is causing them isn't always causing them.  I got really stressed with a work project for Oilo and freaked the heck out.  So I quit.  And then caved.  One last project.  This cot in this fabric.
I'm making the fabric portion of this cot. . .
In this BEAUTIFUL fabric.  Don't you love it???

But on Wednesday things came to an all time bad.  Axel threw up his milk before eating breakfast.  He still seemed hungry (not like a stomach flu) so I fed him his oatmeal.  He threw it all up and it was very scary because he couldn't breathe, and he couldn't stop.  We had plans for a play date that morning and Axel threw up all over me so thoroughly that I had to change everything.  As soon as I got my clothes stripped off, my door bell rang.  I threw on my bathrobe and answered the door.  I felt so bad telling my friend that I couldn't take her daughter that morning. 

As soon as my friend left I called the doctor and made an appointment for Axel that afternoon.  He ate lunch after his nap and kept it all down.  He seemed happy and cheerful, I almost canceled the appointment.  But I thought we might as well go and get things checked out.

Axel has had an ear ache for probably three or more weeks.  The ear infection fed his cold causing him to gag on mucus (and throw up almost daily), and causing his eye to occasionally goop up.  He was very happy in California, though he still had some moments of clingy-ness, but the week before we left and the week since we've been back he has been incredibly whiny and sad. 
Despite the cute face, this is Axel being incredibly whiny and sad.
Last night he'd been on antibiotics for four days.  I forgot what fun he could be when he wasn't constantly crying to be held.  I let him stay up 30 extra minutes because I just couldn't put a happy boy to bed.  

And that's when I realized that working for Oilo wasn't the only cause of my anxiety attacks, but Axel's health problems were as well. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I might start blogging again.

(And on Wednesday I'll be blogging April's What Would You Do With. . . 1 dozen eggs.  Join us, wont you???)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Five Little Confessions: Mom Edition

I have been awful about reminding you guys, but it's the first Wednesday of the month which means: Five Little Confessions!!  This month Jacq and I are hosting, and I hope you guys link up too!!

My kids just LOVE their vegetables.  They hate watching TV and both learned sign language at 8 months.  NOT.

Being a mom is hard and it's even harder when we think everyone else is perfect.  So I wanted to do my five little confessions about my parenting.

1. I think ignoring my children occasionally helps foster their independence and creativity.  When I'm around they don't play as well, they climb on me and they whine.  When I'm ignoring them (maybe doing laundry, maybe playing a game on the iPad) they interact well, they make up their own songs and they play independently!
Playing together, making a mess, while I ignore them to make dinner.  Don't worry, I kept them away from the cleaners.

2. Today I bought Olivia bubble gum even though I knew she would swallow it.

3. We have watched Frozen every day for a week.

4. I have a favorite child.  It's just not the same one every day ;)

5. I know I need to put lotion on my babies but I worry that they will be cold if I do it before bed and I never remember to do it in the morning.  So dry skin all around (because when do I have time for that?  I get less than five minutes for a shower!)

I know there are worse things I do, but I can't remember right now and I haven't been writing them down all month like I should have!!  So I'm going to commit to next months theme right now so I can start jotting down ideas when I have them.  Next month I'm going to confess to you about my make up and beauty routine.  Or lack there of. . .

I hope you wrote your confessions to link up!!!