Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest post by Meg from Whatever

This is a guest post written by meg duerksen from whatever.

when Clorox® asked me to write about making messes with my kids and cleaning them up
i said, "YES! we are GREAT at making messes and coincidentally . . . CloroxClean-Up® is my favorite cleaning product!"
they directed me to the Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun--Where Mess Doesn't Matter!
have you been there?
it is FULL of ideas for crafts or cooking or even science experiments to get messy with kids!

i make crafts with my kids quite often and i LOVE to see them get really into their project no matter how messy it gets!
at the Recipe for Fun site i found an idea for using collage and color together to make a color wheel!
we got busy on the mess making.

mess making

i got out our stack of old magazines and began ripping out anything that was mostly one color.
we made a big pile of magazine pictures.
i cut a large circle from a piece of poster board and drew lines diving the circle into six equal sections.
i wrote the names of the colors in rainbow order on the wheel to know where to put each scrap.
then we started gluing down our pictures.

WHAT is this?!

i came across rubber cement at the grocery store and wondered if my girls had ever used it.
i knew i had never purchased it, so i got some.
my daughter was very curious!
"WHAT is this?!" she asked in a doubtful tone.
then i showed her how it had a brush INSIDE, and she was excited to use it.

using rubber cement

we also used a paint brush dipped in the glue bottle so we could all work at the same time.

it's just like painting but you paint with glue.

layering pictures to create collage

layering and layering . . . picture after picture . . . overlapping until there are no white spaces at all.


snip! snip! snip!

we almost always make our crafts at this table.
i painted it white almost 10 years ago.
my kids use everything on it!
and it always comes back to white with Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner.

i heart messy crafts!

i was out of town recently, and when i came home i noticed my 10 year old had organized this coca-cola crate
with our art supplies by color!
how cute is that?! i love it! we like to do lots of things around here in rainbow order.

craft supplies

my hands are all sticky!

pasting images

almost finished...

it was coming along quite nicely at this point.
there was glue all over our hands and the table!

they finished their color wheel collage but the mess still remained.

well...every Recipe For Fun needs a Recipe For Clean.

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner combines a cleaner and the disinfecting power of Clorox Bleach letting you spray away messy play. It removes tough stains as well as the germs you can’t see, leaving your home sparkling clean and ready for the next recipe.

scattered mess
usually after craft time my kids quickly scatter leaving the mess for me to clean up.
but today my youngest surprised me by helping out!
she loves to use spray bottles and paper towels.

clean up! clean up! everybody... every where...

when she saw the marker and glue wipe right off she said, "this is going great!"

Bottle of Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner

with my daughter's help, a trash bag & Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner, the room was cleaner than when we started!


find the perfect activity for you and your kids to live it up, mess it up and then clean it up at Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun – Where Mess Doesn’t Matter!

do you like getting messy and creative with your kids?

tell me about it in the comments and be entered to win one of ten $100 Visa gift cards!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post*
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post*
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
*Entrant is receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for the tweet/blog post.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/30/2012-6/24/2012.

Clorox® and Clean-Up® are registered trademarks of The Clorox Company.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Link Party No.79/ Dollar Store Sock Dolls

Hi all,  it is time for our monthly link party! 

My kids are out of school now, and I keep thinking about fun crafts and cooking ideas I can do with my them.  I have an idea I can share with you today and it is so darn cheap!  I found these 3 pairs of socks at a dollar store...

Not bad at all right? I made a sock monkey before but it was with high socks.  I though for a minute about what and how I can use these to create something.

What I did was use one of each sock from the different pairs.  I was able to make two sock dolls.  Here are the steps for what I did...

1. Cut the rib knit part off.  This part becomes the head and body, set it a side.

2. To make the legs and arms, take the other two socks, cut off the rib knit part, and heel as the picture is showing.  Cut the socks in the middle, fold the fabric right sides together and sew near the edge.  Turn them inside out.

3. You can mix and match and enjoy the possibilites.

4. Start stuffing.  Even the little ones can help with this part.  Rachel really had fun stuffing them to make it look really round, or skinny.  After some adjustments by mommy, they look like this:

5. Sew legs into body, sew it shut.

6. Close the opening on the arms, and sew them on to the body.

7. For one of the dolls, I decided to add more definition to the head and body.  If you choose to do so, you can sew a couple times around the neck, and pull the thread to gather the fabric to create the neck.

8. Create ears. I used the heel part to creat ears.   Sew them on to the head.

9. Now it is the most fun part of all; accessorizing them!  I went through my buttons and DMC floss to see what I have, and came up with two different characters.

Meet Miss kitty

and her beloved friend Mr. Stripe Pants (if you have a better name for him, don't be shy, leave a comment :) )

They are very fun to make, and didn't take much time start to finish.  I think older kids are totally capable of making this with some help, but even the little ones can help with stuffing, picking out buttons and the colors of the threads.

It is now your turn to share whatever you have been creating.  Do you have any craft ideas we can do with our kids?  Very tasty summer recipes?   Well, lets start the party! 
Ok everyone, I bet you have some projects you would love to share.  I am excited to see what you have been working on!

1. Please post something YOU made. It doesn't matter if it is crochet, quilt, clothing, anything would be fine. I want to see it! If you use someone's idea or patterns please give them the rightful credit.

2. Link to your specific post, that way it is easier for everybody to find and read it.

3. Please grab the "Tea Rose Home" grab button, and link back from your post. If you can mention the party in your post or place the button on your side bar, that would be great! I want more people to have a chance to come and show off their creation.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Red Quilt

Remember this shady red block? I finished piecing the quilt...

I really had a hard time deciding on the design of this quilt, but I am glad I went with something simple.

My mom is not really into bold patterns, and busy designs, so I know she will love this.

I am enjoying the time with my family during the Memorial Day weekend, but every now and then, my thoughts wander to how to finish this quilt. Since I am starting to get used to machine quilting, there are a couple ideas I am curious to try, but I know my mom LOVES looking at hand quilted stitches. Hmmm... What to do, what to do.

Because the quilting can change the whole look of the quilt, I am stuck (again) and trying to make up my mind. Hopefully I can finish this quilt before her birthday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guide to Making a Summer Calendar

Oh, my...I can almost hear the drum roll...

Only TWO more days and the kids are out of school. Do you have any big plans? Small plans? What are you going to do with yours for three whole months?

I have blogged about this last year a bit, but every year, I make a "Summer Calendar" for three months. They are giant calendars where you can see all three months on one sheet of paper (the one in the picture is three 11" x 18" papers, and I am going to glue them together). It is so much easier to keep track of things when you can see everything at once.

My kids are so much better and easier when we have plans and structure. After I had a really hard summer, I decided to do something different the following year. Making the calendar made a huge difference in how we all were and I loved it! Since then, the making of the summer calendar has become kind of a tradition in our family.

If you are interested in starting one, here is what I do;

1. Make a calendar. The bigger the better. The squares need to be big enough so you can write multiple things there.

2. Gather information. I love free activities and such that the local cities provide. I write down fairs, parades, air balloon shows to firemen’s breakfasts as well. I mean, everything our family might enjoy. Also, where I live pretty much all the cities near us have their own fire work nights, I write them down too.

3. Write down all the extra-curricular activities that we signed up for at school, martial arts, and scouts and scout camps.

4. Write down family trips and more.

5. Then, I will have "Sachiko's cooking school" or "art day", or "sewing day" on the off days.

That is pretty much it. My kids get so excited when they can see what's happening on what days (but they know it is not all guaranteed; things happen). When they are not bored they fight and whine less too.

I am almost done making the calendar, come on over summer! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hi All! I have two announcements today.

The first one is that, I am participating in “Once Upon a Thread” at No Big Dill today and sharing my project.

Just in case you are not familiar with the event, let me explain... Basically, each guest will pick a children’s book and create something inspired by the book and share the post. I chose one of my favorite books, "Big Sister and Little Sister". Are you interested why it is my favorite book and what I came up with?? Please head over to her blog and find out. Oh, and I wouldn't hate sweet notes from you . :)

The second announcement is the winner for the Camerabag 2 winners. Are you all antsy? Here goes...the five lucky winners are....






Congratulations! Please contact me with your email address, so I can tell them and they can email you the info.

Thank you all for visiting, have a nice day!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tea Rose Home on Camera: Refashion It!

Note: I didn't know how much I had to be hush-hush about something like this, so I got permission from Megan to write this post. :)

Have you all heard about the new show coming out on My Craft Channel called "Refashion It!"? Talented designer and creater Megan from Brassy Apple contacted me several weeks ago about being a guest on her show.(!!!)

When I first read the email, I said "Oh my gosh!  What do I do?!"  Then, I rushed in to my bedroom to ask to Mr. Tea Rose Home what I should do.  Well, to be more specific, it was more like I was talking his head off the whole time explaining who Megan is, about the show, and her email... she wants me to be on her show!

Those of you who are close to me know this, but I am not the type that is comfortable being in front of people. Some people are natural, that is one of the talents I wish I possessed.  Chatting with small groups of people is fine, I can be myself, funny and make them laugh too.  But public speaking... going in front of a camera?  I get SO nervous.  So, usually I avoid situations like that.

While I was still talking to him, he headed to the computer room while I was still talking and following him) and sat and start reading the email, then he said; "Oh, this sounds awesome, you gotta do it."  Then he started typing a reply to Megan.  "You will do great!" with a big smile, then he walked away.

It was up to me to click "send" or delete everything he typed up and send her a no thank you reply... I sat there for a while and thought about all the reasons to say NO to this opportunity.

1. English is my second language, when I get nervous I don't know what will come out my mouth.
2. I don't look good on camera.
3. What if I get so nervous and won't be able to do the things I planned to do?
4. What if I do horribly, and it is a total disaster?

I want you to picture me sitting there, two tiny figurines on my shoulders.  One telling me all the negatives and telling me it is safe to say no and stay in my bubble.

On the other hand, the other figurine telling me:

1. Life is too short, if that's something I want to do, I should try it.
2. It's not that I don't look good on camera;  that's how I look anyways.  I am being too hard on myself.
3. Think of the reasons to say YES instead of no.
4. The only way I can grow is to kick myself out of my comfort zone and try something new.

...and so on.  After I took a deep breath, I pushed send.  I must say I had a little panicky moment right after, but I was ok.

Being such a great host, Megan answered all the questions I had and gave very clear instructions I needed to know though emails before filming day. 

The day came very quickly.  My kind friend who is a professional make-up artist came to my house and gave me a makeover, setting aside my nervousness, I was amazed with her skills and all the professional tools.  Seriously, I want her suitcase. She gave me a boost of confidence I needed that day.  Thank you so much A!

I got to the studio, and pulled out everything I needed for the show from my car.  Because I knew there is another person filming before me, I was quietly dragging the mannequin to the studio... Then there was one of my blogger friends I always wanted to meet in person Christie was standing next to Megan and smiling and waving at me!  We have been planning to just meet up the week after, but we didn't know we were both going to be on the show.   Ahh... I felt like I heard a holy chorus sound in my head, seeing her there also gave me the comfort I needed at that moment.

I am not going into the details on what I did for the show (for that, you gotta watch the show in June!).  I was so nervous, and the whole time I was on camera, I kept hearing some voices in my head like; "uh! My face just twitched, did the camera catch that? " or "Oh no, I just made a mistake in English didn't I?" or "Shoot, I skipped what I wanted to say!". But hey, I did it!  I just want to give myself  credit that I tried.

I wouldn't say I did an amazing job, but I am so glad that I said yes (I know, I know, with help from my supportive husband), it was definitely a new and amazing experience.  Big thanks to Lori and Rick, they were very friendly and fun and created a very nice atmosphere.  Meeting with Nike was also really fun too. :) 

Then Megan... She has the figure of a super model and is a very beautiful person and she has an awesome personality to go with it.  She was very down to earth, fun, and kind.  I got to know many bloggers over the years through blogging and emails, but it is always nice to meet them in person. Thank you so much Megan for even considering me to be on your show.  I really enjoyed it!

So, everyone are you ready for Refashion It!? I have a feeling that it's going to be a great show!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I am Visiting My Friend Today

Yup, as the title says, I am visiting my friend's blog called Diary of a Quilter today. Please hop over to see my post and explore her amazing site!

I will see you there! :)

Oh, and don't forget to enter for a chance to win the Camerabag 2 software, it is seriously awesome photo editing software.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Camerabag2 Giveaway!

Before I start the giveaway, let me blurt out about one amazing giveaway/contest you don't wanna miss.
Nevercenter is doing pro-level Canon 5D MK III ($3500 Value) digital SLR camera give away right now.  The submission deadline is May 22nd.  To find out more about the contest, go visit there website.

I was given an opportunity to review CameraBag 2 ($30 Value) by Nevercenter.  CameraBag2 is a photo app for Mac and PC with a whole new approach to editing. 

I am not a computer/tech savvy girl at all, and I usually struggle with them.  I have been wanting to learn more about photo editing, but it seems like I only have limited time each day between taking care of my family, creating and blogging.  Who has hours and hours to sit in front of the computer and figure things out?  Seriousely... Would I be able to even use this thing?  I have to admit, I was a little sceptical.

I downloaded it and started playing with my pictures... Let me just first tell you this;  Oh, My, GOSH! I LOVE IT!! I was so surprized at how user friendly and easy it is to use.   The whole thing is a very straightforward approach to layering, rearranging, and endlessly tweaking all of these effects in realtime. The 100+ fully-adjustable filters and 25+ professional controls CameraBag 2 ships with are only the beginning, forming the palette from which I can find, and create, my own style.

It is so fun!  I will share what I did one of my pictures of Rachel...

This is the original photo...

I chose STYLE, then chose HELGA...

HIPSTER + ERODED is fun too...

Adding a border is just a click away...

I spent a long time in computer editing the pictures, but it wasn't because I didn't understand how to use and it wasn't because I was frustrated.  It was because it is so much fun!  It's just so amazing to see how one picture can look different and look so special with a little tweaking.  I definitely recommend CamearaBag 2 to you, my friends and loyal readers.

One more great news... Nevecenter is giving away not only one, but FIVE CameraBag 2 licenses!!! 

How awesome is that?  So, are you ready for the giveaway rules? Here goes;

1. Visit on thier site and leave a comment here. (1st entry)
2. Follow them on the gallary of submission on Pinterest. (2nd entry)
3. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter. (3rd entry).
4. Blog, Facebook, Tweet about the contest and leave the link in the comment . (4th entry)

I will close the giveaway for a software license midnight May 21st, and announce the five winners on the 22nd.  Please email me if you are the winner, so I can notifiy the people at Nevercenter and they can send you the licence throuh email directly to you.  

Remember, my giveaway is for a software license to Nevercenter's Camerabag 2 photo editing software, their software is for a really nice DSLR camera.  Enter both.

Good luck everyone, I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progress Report

OK, maybe it's not like the real official report, but I thought I could share some pictures of progress on my mom's quilt that I am working on.

I think I shared these fabrics with you a while ago,  and talked about what I am going to design... A special quilt for my mother's 60th birthday as a surprise (oh, don't worry, my mom doesn't read my blog because it is written in English).

It took me a while to decide on what I am going to do, so I finally started it.  Because I have been working on "other things" that I am not going to share yet, the progress has been very slow...

Here is a sneak peek...

No...the color is a little off, it is more like the one below,

Can you guess what I am going to do with these?  So far I think it's gonna look nice when it's all put together, but I really hope she will like it.

By the way... it is SOOO hard to take pictures of red fabric.  It took me several tries to get the shade of reds like this.  Do you guys have any tips how to take great pictures with red?  If you do I would love to hear it... Pretty please (grin)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutorial/ Crate & Barrel Inspired Painted Pillow

I received a new catalog from Crate & Barrel in the mail, there were so many eye candies in there, but I especially LOVED this pillow...

I decided to make my version of  Crate & Barrel’s inspired pillow using what I had.  I will show you how I did it.

{You will need}

1------16" x 16" Pillow form
2------18"x 18" Fabrics (I trimmed them down after I painted them.  I used linen instead of canvas)
1------14"x 14" zipper
Fabric Paint 1 - 2 bottles
Fabric Medium
Freezer Paper
Craft Punches

{How to}

* Fabric Paint

1. Lay one 18"x 18" fabric on a flat surface and Find the center.  I just used my 10 1/2" dinner plate to draw a circle.  Make sure to draw really lightly, because some of the areas I drew on were too dark, and after I painted once it still showed through.

2. I used three different types of flower punches.  Cut lots of flower pieces out of freezer paper.

3. Place them in the circle you drew.  Press them with a hot iron without steam. 

4. Paint the fabric. I used Martha Stewart multi-purpose paint mixed with fabric medium. Paint the other fabric too.   Let it dry for 24 to 48 hours. After they are completely dry, iron to set the color.

* Assemble the Pillow

1. Lay both fabrics together right sides together on the cutting mat.  Trim off the excess from all sides to make it to 17" x 17" squares.  Then treat one side of the edge from both fabrics to prevent fraying.

2. Lay the zipper on one side of the fabric, and mark about 2 1/2" in from both sides.  Then sew both ends, do not forget to do backstitch so they don't fall apart later.

3. Then switch your stitch length to your largest setting and sew the part in between the 2 1/2" sewed part (can you see the big stitches and small stitches?)

4. Open the seam, and press with the iron.  Lay the zipper front side down.  Pin it to the seam.

5. Switch the stitch length back to normal, and also swap to the zipper foot and sew the zipper on.


Unpick the basting stitches, so you can use the zipper...

6. Open the zipper, and put the fabrics right sides together again.  Pin them well.

7. Sew the three sides using 1/2" seam.

8. You can choose your preferred method to finish the edges, but I thought that the fabric was pretty stiff from paint, I decided to try pinking scissors.  Cut off the corners for a prettier finish.

9. Turn the pillow case inside out, press the edges with the iron.

Time to enjoy!!

I love love how it turned out, the fabric is a little bit stiffer with paint than I thought it would be, but that's OK. This is meant to be a "decorative" pillow. :) I enjoyed the process so much so that I am thinking about making more.
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