Friday, April 30, 2010

A new name for Mockingbird Lane

I have decided to give Mockingbird Lane a new face lift and a new name. I am not so sure it is a new name as I am taking the website address as this blog's official name now. Looking at the types of postings that I have, I felt the new name would describe more about what this blog is really about. With that being said, I am introducing to you craftyc0rn3r.

I love the blog's new face lift. Do you like the new design and color? It took me awhile to finally come up with a design that I really like and I will still be tweaking it every now and then to make it better. I'll officially change the name tomorrow so don't be surprised if you read my blog through a reader that Mockingbird Lane is no longer there. It's there, but now it is craftyc0rn3r. I hope you will continue to join me. I am excited about the new name and can't wait to share all the ideas that have been lurking in my head with you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Pool Process - Pool Finish and Water fill

Today, I came home to this:

Is that possibly water I see?

The concrete is finally G-O-N-E!

I am disappointed that I missed the pool finish process. I really wanted to watch and see how they applied the exposed aggregate onto the pool. Since I wasn't home, I only have the after pictures.

Water is coming in all different angles, from both our hoses and from all the pool spouts.

Our lovely spa.

It was really sunny out so you can't tell that the water is really a deeper blue color.

Ahh WATER! Too bad we can't go swimming officially for a week. Boys have seen the pool and want to jump in. It will be a very long week of waiting.

Free Comic Book Day on May 1st

Mark your calendars, Free Comic Book Day is May 1, 2010

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores. Check with your local shop for their participation and rules.

Go here to see if your local comic shop is participating.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baskin Robbins 31cent scoop night is Tonight!

Reminder that tonight Baskin Robbins has all their scoops priced for only 31cents!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pool Project - Landscaping

My pool is still not complete. I am now at the frustrated point with this project as it is now coming on 3 weeks past the original projection date. My frustration comes from the lack of things being done with the pool. Two weeks of no work on the pool is the part that is what is frustrating.

The sprinkler person still has not finished their job. A few more days and it will be 3 weeks this person has had to finish hooking up our sprinklers around the pool. I got tired of waiting so I decided I would start landscaping anyway. He will just have to work around our plants at this point.

I decided I would get a move on it this past weekend because my plants were not fairing to well in pots. The wind kept knocking them over.

Here is what we came up with around our pool. We still have dozens of more shrubs to plant. Hopefully, this weekend will be rainfree so we will have the opportunity to continue work.

We decided to have no leaf dropping plants around the pool so we stuck with 6 palm trees, ornamental grasses (iris), indian hawthorne and some yaupon hollies. Do you like it?

We plan on tackling one of the side yards this week. Who knew that digging holes would take this long? Planting behind the pool took nearly 5 hours of constant digging for two people, but it was certainly worth it. One less mud pit in our yard. Only two more to go!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super Mario Birthday - Implementation

Last week, I have been designing up a storm for E.'s birthday. I spent part of the weekend, implementing my designs. Here was my to-do list I posted last Monday. I did almost everything off my list except the table centerpiece and the "Pin the Mustache on Mario Game" which I have decided not to do.

  • Invitations
  • Question Block Coin favor boxes
  • Birthday Banner
  • Mario Bingo Cards
  • Table Centerpiece
  • Pin the Mustache on Mario Game
  • Yoshi Egg Hunt Sign
  • Princess Peach Crowns for the Girls
  • Mario and Luigi Cap patterns for the Boys
  • Scratch off Winner Tickets

Here is what I came up with so far.

Invitations - I designed the invitation to look like tickets. Each child will receive 2 "ticket" invitations. I am volunteering this Friday at E.'s school and can't wait to hand these out!

Mario and Luigi caps - It turned out great, but after the 10th hour of sewing with several more hours to go, I was re-thinking this plan. When I asked my husband if I was crazy to be sewing at 3 in the morning, he said, "Honey, you are just very devoted..You win the best Mom award." That made me feel good.

I asked E. what he thought of his Super Mario hat and his response, "I love it, but can you make me a Super Power Mario hat too." Hmmm.. "Sure, honey." To which E. responded, "but Mom, you have no white fabric. What then does Mom do? She runs out to the fabric store later that evening to buy white fabric.

Here's E. and R. sporting their new caps.

Around 11PM, I managed to finally finish his Super Power Mario hat which turned out to be too small! I was so exhausted to fix it that evening. The next morning, I made E. another hat that fit. He ran upstairs, stopped mid way to tell me, "Mom, Super Power Mario has a red "M" on top of a white circle. "What do you mean honey? It is supposed to be the opposite of your Super Mario hat with a white "M," I said. E. looked confused and ran off. A few minutes later he came down stairs with his Super Power Mario figurine to tell me that I was wrong. Indeed I was wrong. I was making it from memory and never double checked.

So after making the wrong version of the Super Power Luigi hat as well. I had a lot of de-stitching to do to fix it.

R. ran off with his Super Power Luigi hat so I don't have it in the picture below. I fixed two hats, but left two the way they were for A. to play with.

Here are my hats, minus the "missing" Super Power Luigi hat. They are a hit in my family already.

At this point, I am unsure if I want to sew Princess Peach crowns. I made a template and printed it out and may just use that. Paper is definitely not as great and lasting as fabric, but I am not sure I want to spend another 15 hours sewing. Knowing me, I probably will.

Scratch Off Winning Cards - I absolutely LOVE the way these turned out. I may use the same template to make E. Valentine cards next year if he still loves Super Mario.

I ordered some scratch Off stickers to cover up the circle so the kids can really it scratch off to see if they are a winner. I think I made 16 different versions with different characters and borders. Here is a picture of just a few of them. I can't wait till the stickers come in the mail so that I can show you the finished product. I did read tutorials online on how to create your own scratch off stickers, but the costs for all the supplies ended up being more than the $2.25 I did spend buying it on ebay.

Cupcake toppers - I decided that I wanted to make cupcakes for the party. They don't sell any Super Mario cupcake toppers so I decided to make my own.

What does this really mean? This means I will have to make a cupcake stand! Another project that I will have to attach to my to-do list. I have an inkling of what I want it to look like, now I need to go and buy my supplies.

Mario Bingo - I found this idea online and decided to make my own. I think it turned out really great. I don't know how many kids there will be, so I decided to make 32 different cards should parents want to play as well. Yes, each one is completely different from the next. I then made larger character cards for the caller. There are names underneath so if you don't know all the characters, you can just read them.

I printed them on card stock and my kids absolutely loved them. I also printed an extra two sets of the calling cards for my kids to play Memory with. We are adding Mario Bingo to our game closet so I needed a place to store it all. I found this perfect sized box to store all the cards. I pasted one of the Bingo cards on top of the box for a cover.

I may print out little stars for the kids to mark their cards. I was just going to use some beans, but my hubby said it may roll off.

Question mark Blocks - A staple in any Super Mario game. Usually one bumps the blocks to retrieve coins. I made my own template, printed them out and will fill with coins and goodies. I may also string some for added decor.

What remains on my list from last week as far as implementation is the Birthday Banner which I did design and cut out, but need to string together and cutting out all the Princess Peach crowns or deciding whether or not I will actually implement with fabric.

I was definitely busy this weekend, but my to-do list is shortening by the week which is a fantastic feeling. What is also great is when I get comments about selling all these things I create. Having ideas flood your brain and then seeing them implemented is such a great feeling and I look forward to putting it all together at the party.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Target Withdrawal

One of my favorite stores to shop at is Target. It is one of those one stop shop stores that I can't seem to get enough of. I am drawn to those red clearance stickers to the point where I end up buying things that I don't even need. I made a promise to myself that I would not buy anything I didn't need anymore, even if it were extremely inexpensive. Since I know this isn't easy for me, I have decided to steer clear of the store, unless I am returning something.

Alas, I had to return something so I decided to just sneak a peak at what they had on sale. It has been a good 2 weeks since I had set foot in the store so I am making progress. However, when I was in the store, I found a deal that I absolutely couldn't resist. Pictureka was marked down from 19.09 to 4.77.

Isn't that a great deal? I can top that. I had 2 coupons for $5.00 off this game. I picked up a couple of games and got paid to buy it. Yes, I got paid.

Oh, to top that. It was my last day to use my 10% off rewards card so I got 10% off the games as well, giving me a little extra change in my pocket.

Here's a summary.
9.54 for 2 Pictureka's
-10.00 (2 manufacturer coupons)
-.95 (- 10% rewards card)
Total: - 1.41 (so I got paid $1.41 for my two games)

That is definitely worth the buy! Okay so don't look at the rest of the items I bought. I needed a new swimsuit for my new pool. Baby steps. Baby steps.

$50 Off Neiman Marcus Coupon!!!

Spend $100 and get $50 off at Neiman Marcus Last Call Store. That's 50% off your purchase if you spend $100! Click here to print your coupon.

Free Eucerin from Walmart

For your free sample, click here.

FREE GIFT at Disney Store Today!

Disney Store is celebrating Earth Day with an activity families can do together to teach kids to recycle and keep unnecessary trash out of our waterways. Fight for a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and be part of the solution! Bring in SIX empty plastic bottles or soda cans to the Disney Store on Thursday, 4/22. Each Guest that successfully tosses the bottles into the globe bin will receive a FREE Friends for Change and Disney Store youth sized baseball cap, while supplies last! Baseball caps are made out of 100% recycled materials. Limit one baseball cap per Guest when they bring in 6 bottles/cans, while supplies last.

Ann Taylor Friends and Family Discount

Print Coupon here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Water Bottle on Earth Day!

Baskin Robbins 31 cent scoop Night

Mark your calendars for next Wednesday when Baskin Robbins hosts its annual 31 cent scoop night. The fire department came out last year to our local store, handed out firemen hats and let the kids hop on their trucks. For only 31cents you can definitely add that extra scoop!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Super Mario Birthday - Design Phase

My creative juices are flowing and a birthday party that I said I wasn't going to go over board is slowing becoming that way should I end up doing everything that I am thinking about. Since I will be more than likely out of town the entire week before E.'s birthday because of work, I really want to get a head start now. As with any idea, you have the design phase. Here is this week's to-do list. It's all about designing this week and implementing next week.

Need to design:

  • Invitations
  • Question Block Coin favor boxes
  • Birthday Banner
  • Table Centerpiece
  • Mario Bingo Cards
  • Pin the Mustache on Mario Game
  • Yoshi Egg Hunt Sign
  • Princess Peach Crowns for the Girls
  • Mario and Luigi Cap patterns for the Boys
  • Scratch off Winner Tickets

I work on the computer all day long so it isn't that motivating to sit in front of the computer when I get home, but I really love designing and making an idea become reality. I can't wait to implement these ideas. I did make the prototype coin favor box and princess peach crown and E. approved so I am ecstatic. According to him, I am "Super!" and that is just after seeing my paper coin box I designed.

I designed it to look like this. I don't have a picture as E. ran off with my prototype, but I will take some pictures later on as I will be cutting, folding, and pasting several dozen of these. Be on the look out for pictures and how-to's.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Christening Gowns

When asked what was the best thing I had ever made, my answer will always probably be my boys' Christening gowns. When E. was born, I searched high and low for something simple. Nowadays, Pottery Barn has a line of gowns that I am in love with, but back then that didn't exist and everything I found was satin, shiny and filled with lace and ruffles. For a girl it might not be that bad, but for a boy, it would be horrible.

I liked the gowns that were made way back when. My priest once told me that baptismal gowns were made from wedding dresses. They would take the lining of a wedding dress and reuse them to make gowns for infants. I found that fascinating. The majority of Wedding gowns were lined with very inexpensive fabric.

I didn't cut up my wedding dress, but I did decide to take on the challenge of making E. a Christening gown. My husband wasn't thrilled with the idea that his son would be wearing a dress, but he humored me. I did a little research and found that I was mostly interested in gowns that were designed years and years ago. I drew out a simple gown for E. What I was most scared about were sleeves and zippers. I hadn't quite mastered them. I could get away with buttons instead of zippers, but there was no way I was going to get away with a sleeveless gown. Needless to say, I mastered the sleeve. Here is my very first Christening gown I made.

I wanted it to be soft and non itchy. I bought 1.5 yards of muslin fabric. This gown ended up costing only $3.00 to make and I absolutely love it. E. was seven months at the time.

Eleven months later, yes only 11 months, I had to make another gown. Since R. was going to be baptized when he was less than a week old, there was no way he could fit E.'s gown so I needed to take out my sewing machine again. Instead of duplicating the gown and just making it smaller, I decided to change the gown a tad bit. I added a crotchet lace to the sleeves and changed the bodice design. I love the extra detailing on the sleeves.

When A. was born, I could have technically re-used R.'s gown, but I felt it was only fair that he have his own since his brothers each had their own. Off to the drawing board as I was completely out of ideas. Since A. was being baptized in the spring, I decided to have short sleeves. I used bias tape for extra detailing on the sleeves and bodice. I re-used the crotchet lace on A.'s gown, but only the tip. I love the way it turned out.

It gets harder and harder to keep up with each child, but I am trying my best. If I have spent the time to create and make something for one child, you can pretty much bet that I will do the same for my other children and you can almost be sure that it will be a little different and unique since each child is definitely unique in their own way. When you can't find what you are looking for, try seeing if you can make it yourself. It may be easier than you think. I am not a seamstress, sewing is merely a hobby, but through trial and error, I managed to create something that I was looking for. I hope I inspired you to do the same.
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