Day 133 – Baby Doll Diapers

This Christmas, my niece got a Baby Alive doll that drinks water and then the water magically appears in her diaper. I don’t quite get the fascination children have with this concept, but I guess it’s because I am not six. The doll came with one diaper on and one extra diaper in the box. She fed the baby some water, it “peed,” she changed her diaper and walked the wet one over to the trashcan. I was quite frustrated by this concept. Someone paid good money for this doll, diapers included, and now, just because one diaper was wet, the expectation was for it to be thrown away. Of course, I do not blame my niece for this thinking. I probably blame the Baby Alive people. Or maybe I blame Moms. All Moms ever do is throw away their kids’ dirty diapers and get a new one. The difference here is that Baby Alive pees WATER. Plain, clear, fresh water that will dry and you will never know the difference.

Someone stopped her from throwing that diaper away. Maybe it was me, maybe it was someone else, but I sat there thinking about how the Baby Alive people have you trapped. Their little diapers won’t last forever. You can buy replacement diapers. Hasbro sells them for $6.99 for a pack of six. So with Alyssa’s original thinking, she could change her baby’s diaper, throwing away the old one each time. That means it would cost more than $1 each time she wanted to feed WATER to her TOY.

So to find a solution to that problem, I decided to make some cloth diapers. I found this tutorial that showed what to do, and then I adapted it to fit my needs. I used the real Baby Alive’s diaper as a template for size and made it a little bigger for the seam allowance. Then, to make it more able to soak up water, I put a layer of felt in the middle of the diaper. I really liked how the tutorial showed a long strip of Velcro across the front so that you could tighten it as much as you needed. It is my hope that these diapers can also fit some other dolls too. Baby Alive’s behind is much bigger than you may expect for a doll of her size. I am thinking these diapers can fit an American Girl too.

I made them in three colors because I had a lot of scraps of fabric left from other projects. I think the pink and the brown dots will be more absorbent than the purple. The joke will be on Alyssa when her baby pees on her like she did to me when she was a baby. (I love that girl)
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Total cost: $0 – All of these supplies have been accounted for in previous projects.

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Day 132 – Butterfinger Bars

Over the past 4 months of Pinteresting, I have done a few projects that are supposed to be knock offs of store bought things. Some have been successes and some have failed miserably (remember that “healthy version of a Wendy’s Frosty?”). I am pleased to announce that today’s project can go in the success category.
I saw this recipe a while ago for making homemade Butterfingers. I was surprised to find that one of the main ingredients is candy corn. I know from prior experience that candy corn is nearly impossible to find after Halloween, so when it was being clearanced I got a bag while I could.
I had to melt the candy corn and then mix in peanut butter. This posed a challenge because the melted candy corn was not as smooth as I thought it would be and it kind of started hardening before everything was sufficiently mixed.
I put it in a pan to harden. When I went to cut it into squares, I was very surprised at how difficult it was to cut. A lot of the squares crumbled apart before I could put them in the chocolate.
Then I tasted one and I decided they are completely worth the few frustrations that I encountered. They really taste like a Butterfinger. The texture is a little different but not a bad different. It is more chewey instead of flaky. Definitely tasty!

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Total cost: $6

Day 131 – Ruffled Lampshade

I have been to the store Anthropologie approximately three times in my life. Every time I have been there I found a zillion things that I love, and zero things I can afford. So I pretty much never go there because I know it will just end in heartbreak.

When I found this knock-off of an $88 Anthropologie lampshade, I knew I had to try it. I followed the tutorial from a website of someone who apparently followed another person’s tutorial. The original maker wrapped her lampshade in burlap and then glued burlap strips to the burlap background (I didn’t find this out until I had already finished). The tutorial I followed said she wished that she wrapped the lampshade. When I heard that, I took it as a pass to not need to wrap it. The burlap and the lampshade were exactly the same color, and it was in my mind to just ruffle the burlap so you would not see the original lampshade anyway.

Another difference between my lampshade and the two tutorials is that theirs is a cylinder shape and mine is the more traditional shape that gets bigger toward the bottom. I looked at Target to see if they had a cheap cylinder lampshade but the ones they had were already decorated and they cost at least $15. I decided mine was perfectly fine even though it was shaped differently.

This project was relatively easy, but it took about two hours. The most tedious part was ironing the strips in half. I thought that maybe I could have skipped this step, but I am glad I didn’t. It gave the strips just enough of a fold that it made it easy to stick them to the glue. I was also impressed at the fact that I only burned my fingers 2 or 3 times.

The biggest downfall to this project is all of the burlap dust and bits that went everywhere. I have never worked with burlap before this, but it is a pretty messy material. With each cut I made, there were 50 million little shards of burlap that got all over the place. They remind me of when you get your hair cut and your neck is all itchy because of the tiny hairs stuck in your shirt. Except these are not just in my shirt…they are all over the table and carpet too. Definitely not the tidiest project, but I really like it, so it was worth it.
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Total cost: $5.08

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Update

Day 71 – Crochet Scarf: I haven’t had too many opportunities to wear this scarf, but when I did on Christmas Eve while sitting in church, I noticed it was starting to come unraveled a little. I quickly tied it back together so it should be good to go now.

Day 73 – Parent teacher conference form: I will definitely always use this from this day forward. It took a really long time to fill out one of these for each student, but I felt more prepared than ever before to tell parents how their children were doing.

Day 86 – Take-out menu organizer: I woke up the next morning to this organization solution laying on the counter. I guess my sticky tabs weren’t sticky enough.

Day 98 – Christmas tree tags: I found these to be a little too large for your everyday Christmas tag. I did not end up making more of them.

Day 99 – Thread Christmas Tree: I used 1 spool of embroidery floss per tree. It looked good when I finished it, but I quickly realized that 1 spool is probably not enough. I made two trees on separate occasions, and both lean pretty drastically. I think it is because there is too much blank space and not enough thread.

Day 114 – Shoe organizer behind cabinet door: I. Love. This.

Day 115 – Christmas card tags: I made a bunch of these this year with all of the Christmas cards I had from last year. They were very easy to make and cuter than the ones I bought. I will definitely be doing this again next year.

Day 123 – Christmas Lights Nails: I really enjoyed these nails, but they did not last very long. I was surprised with how little I was bothered by the feeling of the string on my nails. I was pretty disappointed though when they started chipping two days later. I painted them Thursday night and had to take it off by Saturday night. At least I got a good two days out of them.

Day 130 – Countdown to Disney

Yep, that’s right. Countdown to Disney. We are taking a trip there in a few weeks with my husband’s family and I couldn’t be more excited! On Christmas, my sister-in-law told the kids and we were expecting a super reaction like they showed on those commercials a few years ago. She packed a box of clues that they opened on Christmas morning. Everyone had the video cameras going and when they opened the box they just had confused expressions when they saw neck pillows and Mickey and Minnie ring pops. I thought it was a clever idea, and they were excited of course, but the video was not one that was worthy of being on a Disney World commercial. Oh well…you win some, you lose some. At any rate, all of the adults are SUPER excited. So maybe today’s project is for the kids, maybe it is for the adults. Either way, I love it.

With this adorable chain, we can count down to our trip.

 
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The website where this idea came from suggested starting it with a poem at the top. I opted for the less-time-taking sparkly blue ribbon. They also suggested to put a family activity periodically in some of the links. I opted for the easier day number. I am pretty happy with how it all turned out and it will be fun to see the days dwindling down until we leave.

Total cost: $0

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Day 129 – Snow Snoopy

Sometimes I pin things that I think are cute. Not necessarily that I will do them, but I think they are funny or neat to look at. That was why I pinned this picture of Snoopy that someone made out of snow.

Then I woke up this morning and it was snowing like crazy. I just thought it was going to rain today, so the snow was a surprise. I didn’t have anything on the Pinterest schedule, and my brother suggested I do something with the snow. That’s when I remembered about that silly snoopy. So I trudged outside wearing my dad’s boots and got building. My little dog Jolie was outside with me and she nearly smashed Snoopy a few times, but thankfully she didn’t succeed.

I made a miniature version of the Snoopy in the picture. It is not quite as snowy here as it probably was wherever that picture was taken. Mine is not nearly as crisp as it could have been either. It was still snowing which was messing up the smoothness and I have never tried to make anything except a snowman before. (are those ok enough excuses?)

Once I got the shape finished (as good as I figured it was going to get), I had my family scour the house for some things to make his ears and nose. I used sticks for his collar and eyes. My mom found some black tagboard for this ears, and I used a chocolate Christmas bell for his nose. I’d say mine is passable, even if it isn’t a direct replica of the first one.
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Total cost: $0

Day 128 – White Wine Spritzer

Merry Christmas!

To celebrate this wonderful day, I decided to try this white wine spritzer. I always thought that I wanted to be a wine drinker, but then I decided that I pretty much hate wine. So that whole idea was out. Still, I want to try to like it, so I decided to make this white wine spritzer. I got some wine for my birthday, so I got some 7-Up and some frozen raspberries and got to work.

I mixed equal parts of 7-Up and wine together and poured in some frozen raspberries. As it sat, the wine and 7-Up started turning raspberry colored. Although i am a non-wine drinker, I have to say that I really liked this. Probably because it was as much not-wine as it was wine. Either way, it was a nice Christmas treat.

Hope your Christmas was wonderful!
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Total cost: $3

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Day 127 – Film Negatives Vase and Bible Verses for Advent

I have this friend who says she knows it’s going to be great when Chris starts a sentence with “I saw this thing on Pinterest…”

Well Chris saw this thing on Pinterest where you use film negatives to cover a square vase. As a novice Pinterest user, he pinned something where the link did not lead to a tutorial, but since we are smart people, we faked our way through it and figured it out on our own.

We took some film negatives and Mod Podged them onto a rectangular vase. It is pretty much as easy as it seems.

We thought we could round the pictures around the corners, but they kept popping up, so we decided to cut them at the corners, which worked out pretty well. It’s a pretty cute personalized project that will make a great gift for his mom tomorrow.
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The other “project” I did today was actually 24 days in the making. I read a Bible passage a day leading up to Christmas Eve. I think it is neat to offer quick passages for people who may be in a hurry. The problem I ran into was that I wanted to read more than what the passage told me to. So then I ended up reading more than one day’s passage at a time. I can’t say that I read this every day like the pin suggested, but I did read all of the passages throughout the past 24 days. It is really nice to sit back and remember why we are going through the hustle and bustle of the season and to be reminded of the little details that make this a great story. I make it a point to not be stressed during the Christmas season. Of course, like any human, there are things that stress me out, but it is my favorite time of year. I choose to enjoy every moment, even the less relaxing ones. Don’t forget why we celebrate this time of year. It is not just because we want to give presents and make (and eat) cookies. It is because God chose to send his Son to Earth as a baby so he could grow up showing us how to live our lives. Without that little baby who came into the world in the most unexpected way, we would never have this crazy hectic busy fun exciting joyful holiday season to celebrate.

Day 126 – Porcelain Ornaments with Sharpie Markers

Today’s project was perfect for my two favorite kiddos. They came over to “watch” the Ravens game, which means that I needed an idea to occupy them while everyone else watched the game and we played.

Last week or so when I was in Michael’s, I noticed they were starting to clear out their Christmas stuff, so I grabbed two star ornaments. I remembered reading how you can draw on “dollar store” plates and then bake them and the ink sets in so you can wash them. I decided to give this a try on the ornaments instead.

It worked out perfectly when a coworker gave me some colorful Sharpie markers this past Friday. I am always a little unsure about giving permanent markers to little kids. I was going to have them do it at the dining room table, but I decided that was too easy to mess up with a stray marker stripe. Then I was going to have them work at our coffee table, which has already been drawn on and scuffed up, and is pretty much kidded up already. I was just really not looking forward to seeing pink and blue marks on it everyday in addition to the pen and pencil marks it already has. So instead, I told Nick to dump the toy bin and we used the bottom of that as a tabletop. It worked perfectly. And of course, they did not make one mark on the bottom of it with the markers. (I am sure that if I had let them use the actual tables, there would have been marker everywhere.)

They were so proud of their work. Both kids wrote their own names on theirs. One kid used actual letters and one kid thinks he did.

I went through with baking them at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, and I guess the ink is set. It seemed pretty set before that too. It’s not like I am going to be washing these ornaments in the dishwasher, but I wanted to see what it was like before I did it with something else like a plate or mug.

They picked their ribbon colors (Alyssa wanted purple, white and green all twisted together. We compromised on her picking just one color via eenie meenie miney moe). Then we wrapped them in tissue paper so they didn’t break. I let them carry them home in Christmas bags and sweet little Nick kept thanking me for letting him take it home like that. I really love Pinteresting with these kids!
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Total cost: $64 cents each