Friday, April 26, 2013

Cardboard Squares into Simple Stencils

I thought I would put together this little blog while I am waiting for my son to wake up from his nap. As you guys know I am a crafter and right now I am prepping fat quarters and felt for some new projects. Well I got a nice little surprise/idea from a fat quarter. Depending on where you buy your actual fat quarters (not making them) they sometimes will come with a piece of cardboard. Now I use to throw them away and then I decided to start keeping them because they were firm but not to firm where I could not cut through to them. So as I said I started saving them for a use that was yet unknown to me. Well the one thing that I do not like to purchase is stencils, they are often so expensive and I just have a hard time finding what I need with the craft stores in my area and buying them online it is hard for me to judge the actual size (even though they give you the measurements).

Now I am not an expert with making my own stencils and I am sure this idea is not new. However, I can do basic shapes and petals to the size that I want and need! So far I have done a couple of petals, circles, and of course squares. I plan on doing some hearts and some other neat shapes that are simple. I am sure you can make a more complicated stencil but for what I need them for simple is always better! The thing I like is these cardboard stencils cost nothing to make (besides when I initially purchased the fat quarters!). So that is a win for me! I am always about cutting corners where I can and this seems to be a very effective way!

Here is the cardboard insert from on of the fat quarters I have purchased. Just by typing in a search sites for "free shape images" or "free simple shape images" (is what I typed). I was able to find things like these examples!

I am so excited to use these stencils for my craft projects that I need to use simple shapes for!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DIY: Cleaner Wipes

I posted earlier this month about making your own cleaner wipes. I will admit I was not sure if this would even work wile I was making them. I did end up altering the recipe to make them to my liking. I am very much still experimenting with this concept.

The Things You will Need

A package of baby wipes in the hard container (I used the unscented Target brand because they were buy one get one for a dollar)
A cleaner of your choice (I made two different types but both are a multi-surface cleaner)
At least 24 hour to soak -my recommendation

The original recipe called for about 3-4oz of cleaner and letting them soak all  the way through. Well the problem is that amount of cleaner to me did not go all the way through like I thought it was suppose to. The color of my cleaners were orange and yellow so it was pretty clear where the cleaner went and did not go. So I added more and flipped around the wipes through the 24 hour soak period to make sure the wipes are thoroughly infused with the cleaner. Now I think I did poor a little too much in one of them but for me it is not a really big deal. The key is to let them soak and let the cleaner work its way through the wipes.

Now I will admit this this not the ultimate cheapest method or greenest. However, it is still pretty cheap. I made everything for under $5 dollars and I have barely gone through the wipes and we do use them! Now I am not all about being completely green but I am not even sure I am even part green (I have a few specs) but the next time I make these wipes I am going to use the green solution of multipurpose cleaners (it has some of the same components as my laundry soap). So this will not be a greener solution but will go down in cost as well. Again I am still experimenting with this process but wanted to share what I have gotten done so far!

Have any of you done this? I wonder what you would do differently or how you would tweak the recipe to work for you?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sometimes You Just Have To Go With The Flow... What is Going On With Us?

Things have been crazy in my household for several months. One of the most frustrating things in the world is just not knowing and you hope and pray that everything will work out the way it is suppose too. I am married to a wonderful man for almost 9 years. He serves his country as an infantryman and has been on the frontlines several times. However, this is the first time in his career where I think he feels honestly lost and with no answers. After my husband returned from his last deployment he decided it was time to do something called a "B-billet" it is basically a certain type job for about three years. My husband has always had his heart set on doing embassy duty. Well he had all his paper work in and had a slot for school several months down the road in the mean time he was doing another short school. A few days into his school he suffered from a heat stroke and had to be medically dropped from the course which did disqualify for the time being for his B-billet school. He made a full recovery and came to terms with embassy duty was not likely going to happen so like a good Marine he went for another B-billet this time an instructor for the School of Infantry. He got selected for the school and we were headed to the West coast. However, while physical training or aka PT he hurt his knee while running. I am not sure if I ever saw him so much pain before and like a lot of other Marines he pushed it in the back of his head to he finally agreed to see his medical officer. They sent him for an MRI and to see a specialist because nothing showed in the initial x-ray. However, because of this MRI he was suppose to be on a medical hold until the results but because of a huge miscommunication his orders got canceled and he once again had no idea what to do. We finally got the results from his MRI and come to find out he has a lot of fraying in his knee. So hopefully physical therapy will help after a month if the pain  has not gone away he will see a knee surgeon and see what they recommend (hopefully, no surgery!). However, in the meantime the Unit in which he was temporary moved too decided they wanted to keep him around (he is suppose to go back to his Line unit sometime in August). He was not really happy with this choice because he would lose his option for a B-billet he said. However, after a couple of nights he took on a great attitude with all the crap that has gone on and was accepting of what the next plan was. Well today he found out that he will be not getting orders and the only thing he knows for sure is he will stay there until August (which is good because our 2nd child is due in August). When he told me today while I was bringing him dinner he let it slip that he wish he never had his heat stroke. My heart just broke for him. The one thing you have to understand about my husband in the 12 years of service this is the first time his physical health has ever hindered him from his goals in the Marine Corp. I know he feels lost maybe even a little hurt and for once I do not want to do. I wish I could take his pain away and make everything right but everything is out of my hands. I can tell him every day that he is a good Marine (which he is a damn fine Marine) and just go with the flow and let things work themselves out. However, right now the only thing I can do is hope and pray that everything will work out the way it is suppose to. I told him the bright side because the last plan was not working out it puts him back inline for a B-billet after his knee heels. Which I know put a smile on his face even just for a moment but thing is I cannot make this B-billet happen as I stated above everything is out of my hands. I just want him to know that he is awesome husband and he makes me a better person just being with him. I am so glad that we get a long and hardly argue if that and he wants only the best for me. However, I just want him to know that I want only the best for him and I will always stand by his side! I love you Carebear!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Never Enough Time (BP Related) and a Couple of Thi...

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Never Enough Time (BP Related) and a Couple of Thi...: When you are a busy Mom (whether you work or are a SAHM) it seems like there is never enough time.  I feel like this a lot and then it can b...

Never Enough Time (BP Related) and a Couple of Things I Do About It!

When you are a busy Mom (whether you work or are a SAHM) it seems like there is never enough time.  I feel like this a lot and then it can become overwhelming (the joys of Bipolar) and then I have to stop and make sure my moods are okay because the last thing I would ever want is to go into a down or up. However, do I learn from becoming overwhelmed? The answer is not really and the cycle that repeats itself time and time again. I try numerous things to help this like schedules and routines but to be honest only a few have stuck (but I keep trying them). A huge problem when you suffer from Bipolar Disorder is that your brain cannot tell what is okay to hold off of and what is needed to be don. I give you an example/experiment I was told to try a couple of years ago by a counselor.

I was told to write a list that consisted of two columns "A" and "B". Column A is for what I considered that needed to get done on a priority basis while column B was for things that I thought could be held off on a day or two. Can you see where this going? My column "A" list was extremely long and not likely to be completed in a 24 hour period (if you did not sleep). However, like I stated my brain just really does not know the difference! Now I cannot personally do an "A" and "B" list because then everything would be always on the priority column. With having a hard time not knowing when to stop or distinguish what is an actual priority I have devised my own style of list that has been working for a couple of years now. What I use is a spiral notebook (usually a 3 subject or more) and this is my things-to-do list book. I write down things that I need to do to include appointments to needing to wash my windows. The only difference is that instead of making it a daily list I give myself a block of time. Usually it is a week to two period. I love doing this because I can write and organize what I need to get done in that "time span". For some reason me just seeing the dates makes me feel less overwhelmed and tend to manage my time a lot better. I also mark things off once they are completed and I just love seeing those marks!  The key for me is to make sure I stay focused on it because if I do not, I feel like there is just not enough time in the day and then I become overwhelmed.

Another thing I do is stayed focused on my son (and when my daughter gets here). This is not any kind of list or what not but my personal goal to be a great mom. I know if I do not care for myself then I am no good to my family and for me that is worse then feeling like my bipolar disorder has taken over (which thankfully has never happened and I plan to keep it that way!). I know I was put on this Earth to take care of my family!

There are numerous articles and research that suggest someone who is bipolar like me needs to keep routines in able to help their disorder. I do agree with this completely but unless you actually suffer from the disorder you may not realize how hard it is can be for someone. One of the best things that someone can do that suffers from the disorder is a sleep schedule (which is my next goal). Just for the same reason that you give your kids a bed time is the same reason you need a bed time. So many adults whether they suffer from the disorder or not take sleep for granted. Most studies suggest that the average adult needs 7-9 hours asleep a night. When you are bipolar you tend to sleep less or way over the recommended amount of sleep which disturbs the body's natural rhythm. So I am hoping to find a schedule that works for me and that I can feel rested (I know I am 5 months pregnant so it may be a little harder). The key like to most goals is to stick to it. I have discovered the longer you stick to something the more natural it becomes.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

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A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Meet Hooty! My Crochet Owl Plushie!

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Meet Hooty! My Crochet Owl Plushie!: So I finished my crochet owl this morning! I got most of him done last night and put on the finishing touches this morning (no clue why I am...

Meet Hooty! My Crochet Owl Plushie!

So I finished my crochet owl this morning! I got most of him done last night and put on the finishing touches this morning (no clue why I am referring to it as a "him"). I actually used two patterns for my inspiration! I used the one pattern that I posted yesterday mainly for the decoration ideas and the wings. While I used another pattern idea for the body! I will post the two links to the free patterns at the end of this post. Without anymore talking here is HOOTY!

I did not like the eyes in either of the patterns so this is something I whipped up myself from several hat patterns. He is actually only made from two main pieces. The multicolor yarn and the purple yarn is all made from Red Heart. I lost the little papers that come on the skeins so I cannot tell you the exact color. I would have to say the hardest part of the project was sewing on the wings while he was stuffed. Everything else was done before he was stuffed but I did not like the placement of the wings unstuffed! I do want to try to make smaller versions of him. Please do not get me wrong I like him but if he does not sell I am not sure what I would do with him.

Well here are the two links to the two patterns that I used for my inspiration of my owl.

Also if you are on Pinterest and type in "crochet owls" you will see a lot of fun and cool ideas!

I do have a problem though... what to do next? I have been trying to stay away from hats right now because the weather is getting warmer...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Crocheting Something New Today

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : Crocheting Something New Today: There is a symptom that in Bipolar disorder that is often a huge blessing (sometimes a curse) and that is my mind really never shuts it self...

Crocheting Something New Today

There is a symptom that in Bipolar disorder that is often a huge blessing (sometimes a curse) and that is my mind really never shuts it self off and I am constantly thinking of new ideas and a lot of those ideas are crochet or craft related! I started crocheting since I was about 8. I have been crocheting when it was not the hip thing to do and now that is hip I am still doing it. The thing about crocheting is that is still very much expanding and I am constantly learning new things! I am actually waiting for a couple of books to get here so I can explore new ideas! 

The one thing that I love about crocheting is a lot of people can self-teach themselves! There are tons of books out there that offer great lessons not to mention YouTube (I have used it when I need a stitch refresher)! Now I was am a half and half. I was taught the basics by my mother and grandmother but I have expanded my own skills through self-teaching. In fact I learned a lot of my crafting skills from self-teaching. There is such amazing talent out there when it comes to crocheting it just amazes me. So if you are wanting to learn how to crochet all you have to do is a little research and you will be on your way!

I am currently crocheting something very similar to this

*Picture is from "my Merry Messy Life" blog do not post as your own work* Found on Pinterest April 18, 2013 link is included below

Is this not the cutest! I found this pattern on "my Merry Messy Life" blog. Here is the direct link to her pattern . If you are wanting to do this pattern make sure you give credit to the person that developed the pattern. Now the one I am doing has my own touches! I will make sure I post my picture of my completed owl! I am about half way done now!

Out of all my crafts crocheting is the one thing that I have always had the passion before! Here are a couple of my favorite pieces that I have done recently and from a couple years ago! You can fine a lot of my work a

These first one is a hair piece. The top one is my own creations! I like to call them BBB or Big Beautiful Bows! I do wear these I have one in black that is my favorite! You can find them at my Facebook page as well as the rest of my crafts that are for sale! Then I have included two of my hats and a blanket! I really want to learn how to write my own patterns but that for right is just a distant goal! Hopefully, one day I can post my patterns and maybe even sell them! So check out my Facebook page I am still growing!

Aqua BBB bow

Frog Hat!

A ladies hat!

Kind of looks like the Gamecock colors!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : My Heart is With Boston Today!

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : My Heart is With Boston Today!: My heart and prays are with the people who been attacked in Boston at the Boston Marathon....

My Heart is With Boston Today!

My heart and prays are with the people who been attacked in Boston at the Boston Marathon....

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : The Diaper Hunt Adventure, Recipe for DIY Cleaning...

A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : The Diaper Hunt Adventure, Recipe for DIY Cleaning...: Diaper Hunt Adventure I had an adventure in diaper hunting today and part of Sunday. I like the Huggies Slip-Ons for my son. Well Sunday ...

The Diaper Hunt Adventure, Recipe for DIY Cleaning Wipes (I am trying them for the first time), and Whats For Dinner.

Diaper Hunt Adventure

I had an adventure in diaper hunting today and part of Sunday. I like the Huggies Slip-Ons for my son. Well Sunday I noticed we were running low so I decided to pick some up at Walmart on Sunday since I was already in the store and when I got there no Slip-Ons. This is not a big deal stores run out of certain things. So I made a mental note to pick them up on Monday wile I was out. The first two stores that I went to this morning that I know that has them were out! I am like what in the world! I was hoping I did not have to end up at Babies R Us for diapers because I feel like they are over priced. So I stopped by the grocery store and luckily they had some and they were on SALE! Now for the reason for this little story... is I was wondering where you buy your diapers (if you have a little one is in the them)? Do you hunt for deals like I do all over town? Buy them online or Diaper Service? I would really be interested in how you buy your diapers. I will still hunt for deals unless I find a better method that offers affordable diapers.

So I found yesterday on the web a recipe for DIY cleaning wipes. Now I am skeptical about this and whether or not they really work or if it is really that cost effective. Here is the recipe for DIY Wipes

  • Refillable container of baby wipes.

  • Bottle of bottled disinfectant/cleaner (I am using a Spic N Span Multi-Surface Cleaner that I bought at the Dollar Store).

  • I bought Target brand wipes they were buy one get one for a dollar so I bought two ($3 total and the unscented kind). The cleaner I am using is a Spic N Span Multi-Surface cleaner ($1). The total to make these wipes is $4 dollars for a 144 wipes. I looked at the package of Lysol wipes I have in the house and they were only a package of 24. So I can see where this will be cost effective if they work as well as the Lysol wipes and other brands.

    I poured 3-4oz of the cleaner on top of the wipes (directly in the container) as well on the side and allowing them to soak for several hours.

    So we will see if it is really worth making them vs. purchasing them. Here is the link to website I found the recipe off of (this blog includes pictures of the wipes). So if any of you have made them or will be making them, let me know how it turns out! I will sure to let you guys know what I think of the DIY cleaning wipes.

    So What is for Dinner?

    I am a basic but decent cook. I am however, looking for new ideas and if you surf the web you know there are tons of recipes out there. So I am planning on exploring some of these recipes and hopefully if they are a success share my accomplishments or if they were complete failures!

    Well tonight is just pork chops because I have not had time to explore any ideas because this idea really just popped in my head!

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : DIY Laundry Soap

    A Bipolar Mom and Daily Life! : DIY Laundry Soap: Now I thought I was never going to be a person making my own laundry soap just to save a few bucks over the year. However, this is a product...

    DIY Laundry Soap

    Now I thought I was never going to be a person making my own laundry soap just to save a few bucks over the year. However, this is a product that I stand by and it will last you forever!

    There are numerous recipes that you can find online on how to make laundry soap and the basically consist of the same components- Borax, Washing Powder, and a bar laundry soap. I know of a ton of people that make it so it really not a new idea but I will put in my tips that I used to make my laundry soap.

    Here is what you will need to make your own laundry soap (the powder version)

    1-cup of Borax (One of the most popular brands is 20 Mule Team)
    1- cup of Washing Powder (I bought Arm & Hammer)
    2-cups of a bar laundry soap (I use Zote and Fels Naptha Soap)

    You can find this all in the laundry section at Walmart and I am sure other supermarkets (if not you can buy it online).

    If this is your first time making laundry soap here is what you will also need

    A container with a lid (I found mine at Walmart it holds 3-4 batches of powder laundry soap)
    A cutting board and knife (you can buy it new but I just used an old set that will be used for this purpose- I do this instead of grate the soap!)
    A Blender or Grater- (I used the blender over the grater and the powder comes out super fine instead of chunky)
    Measuring cups
    Large Bowl
    1 Tablespoon (this can be an old one or new- it is for the finished product)

    The first thing I do is chop the bar laundry soap into little cubes. The soap is soft and easy to cut!

    *Now I have done Zote (I have seen it in white bars and pink bars it does not matter which one) by itself and Fels Naptha Soap (it is a yellow type soap bar) by itself (you can use one or the other) but I used a combination of both. I just think it personally works better but I also have hard water! However, experiment with what you like (I mean that is the reason there are so many laundry soaps out now)! I have come across some soap recipes that use Ivory, Sunlight, and Kirk’s Hardwater Castile. The key here is not to use heavily perfumed soaps. You house will smell great while making it!

    The second thing I did was pour a small amount of the powder into a blender first (the borax and washing powder)

    *The reason I put the powder in first is it helps break up the bar soap. I do small amounts at a time to make sure I really get it mixed up. I also will put the mixed up product in a large bowl so that I can re-mix it a final time. However, experiment with your method! I just do what is easier for me!

    The third thing I did was put in a good handful of the chopped up bar soap in the blender and then blend

    *The blender for me got the powder chopped up fine vs. hand grating it and for it me it saved time!

    The 4th thing I did was put in the container I bought with the 1 Tablespoon (it is 1-2 Tablespoons of the laundry powder per load).

    * I bought a plastic type container at Walmart. I found it where they sell the canisters for the kitchen. The container I bought is large enough to hold 3 to 4 batches of the laundry powder (which is normally what I make at one time).

    I strongly suggest that you experiment with the recipe and use what you like as well as the method you prefer to make it! You can also make into a liquid/gel form if you like. I have tried both and I love the powder version. Let me know how you did and what tips you have to share!

    Here are a couple of websites that have laundry soap recipes!

    A New Angle

    I am writing this quick little blog to let you know that I am re-angling/aiming my blog. I realized there is only so much I can keep writing about just a couple of things over and over again. So it took sometime and guts to think of the new way I wanted to go.  The things I plan to have in this blog

    1. craft ideas
    2. cleaning ideas
    3. parenting
    4. cooking
    5. pictures
    6. daily life
    7. books

    I am actually going to participate in these things and just not write about them!

    Please join me and spread the word!