Sunday, May 30, 2010

Picture Cubes

Okay, so my creativity finally made a turn for the better. I was inspired when I saw some picture cubes online and thought I would make them for both my Mothers for Mother's Day. I did it of all the Grandchildren they had on Mother's Day 2010.

I'm basically what you'd call a copycat crafter. I have absolutely no original ideas to create anything, but rather, I garner all such creativity from blogs and crafting websites and steal their ideas. Lovely, huh?

Anyway, I'm not even sure where I saw these blocks but it was something like these ones from FaveCrafts. So I attempted to try my hand at what looked to be a super easy craft. It never is super easy for me, but I always believe it will be.

So, here's my step-by-step tutorial. Grab some coffee. Seriously. The tutorial is quite long, but the project will take awhile as well. Also, chocolate and snacks are quite advantageous, not to mention having 3 movies on hand.

Grab a 4x4 wood post and cut it into 4 inch blocks. Orrrrr, have your husband do it for you, like I did. Or easier yet, just go BUY SOME (highly encouraged!). Then utilize your Dad's tool shop and sand them down til they're as smooth as butter. Grab some spray paint and work your magic. When you're done, you'll end up with painted blocks. At this point, I had already invested about 1700 hours of time and was about to wrap these up as gifts as is. BUT, I prevailed in the end.

Next, grab some photos or print some out (my very limited working knowledge with mod podge does not entail a professionally printed picture so I printed mine out at home), I chose b/w because I just love me some b/w photos.
Cut them down so they will fit on the blocks and sand the edges with sandpaper. I liked the idea of rounded edges, especially because I sanded the blocks to have rounded corners.

Then go search through your supplies to find some tacky glue, and slap those pictures on, making sure the edges are all glued down well and not bubbling up.

Then haul out your Mod Podge and brush over every square inch. I always go vertically across everything, and then once the first layer dries, go over it again horizontally so it creates texture. It will dry clear, so don't worry about going too heavy with it.
When that all dries, take it outside to spray the finishing spray (makes the end product not sticky) and you have yourself some pretty little blocks.
Sassify them up a bit, throw in the card that you found online and ordered a week before Mother's Day (which, by the way, is UNHEARD of in this household to think that far ahead about a card), and give it away.
Ahhh, a success. Loved by both Mom's and a treat to supply their bookcases with new bookends.

It just seems like too much work to repeat for our own house.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Okay, I know there are a ton of sentimental blogs being posted in honor of Mother's Day, but it's just too classic to pass up.

Plus I cried a lot about it yesterday with how blessed I feel so I thought I'd pass it along.

Last year on Mother's Day was kind of difficult. If I would have gone out, no one would have known I had a child born already in my heart and another country who was 5 months old waiting for me to hold him (and not to mention the bundle of joy growing inside my belly who would be arriving soon). It was kind of a bittersweet day for me last year. I was asked if I could technically celebrate Mother's Day and my response was "I am a mother, my son is born, I just can't hold him yet." I had some weird responses to that, but I felt so strongly that it just wasn't fair if I was told I couldn't celebrate. I looked at Queso's picture a lot that day and cried a lot missing a little boy I had yet to meet but already knew so well.

This year was a much more joyous occasion! Well, it was after I woke up from sleeping in. :) My husband made me breakfast in bed and our whole family of 4 sat on our bed as I opened up my gifts and card that they had all "signed". It was the perfect Mother's Day. We went out to eat at a restaurant and were even told by the waitress that our children were so well-behaved. We smiled to ourselves but didn't tell her that she just caught them at a REALLY good time. Usually I can't go anywhere with them without passing out earplugs to people and apologizing profusely for Queso's screeches and Grapenut's cries. Let's just say that I stay home a lot.

We went to Costco so I could have a Mother's Day mocha, did a little shopping, and went home. I spent about an hour figuring out how my new ipod worked and to upload my music to it without getting rid of the games that were already on it. I finished my m-in-law's gift while watching (through tears) The Blindside (one of my other gifts) and packed up to head over there for dinner.

Last year was an emotional, sentimental celebration, and this year was a much more joyous occasion. I got to hold both of my children, whom I love with all my heart, and am SO thankful to God every day for blessing me with both of them!

I may be a busy Mom who can't keep my act together, but I also feel luckier than anyone else for the life I've been granted!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My happy place

So it's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I will mildly obsess over an item for a time before I get bored and move on. Mildly may mean something entirely different to me than it does to you.

But this is one item I don't think I will EVER get bored with.

When I plan my trips to Bellingham (when you have 2 kids, a 10 minute car ride consists of a "trip") let's just say I don't plan them around my kids' nap schedules but, rather, around the opening of Costco. Is that mean? When you consider that a $1.00 mocha is involved to account for all the hassle of packing in two kids, diaper bags, Mama's purse, coupons, doctor info, insurance info, stroller (just in case... which is a 1/2 hour task in and of itself), and myself fully dressed, then it's SO worth it!

It is my sanity.

It is my love.

It makes me smile.

It is the $1.00 mocha freeze.

No matter how cold it is, I'll usually end up with the freeze and not the hot mocha because I know that once I get to my destination, I'll be sweating and trying to catch my breath to hysterically "un-pack" the kids as I'm already 10 minutes late because of my mild diversion.

See, I can use "mild" in so many phrases, and it still helps me to unconsciously see this completely necessary activity as not obsessing. Because it is, a mild obsession. That's all.

Never mind the fact that I buy 4 freezes at a time because that's how many cupholders my car has.

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