Arts and Crafts and Fartsy Stuff

NaBloPoMo 2015: Have You Thanked A Drawbridge, Lately?

I love going through my Instagram feed, especially while riding the train, first thing in the morning. You people take good pictures, while I play with apps and filters and pretend like I know what the heck I am doing. Photo apps are so much more forgiving, they make even the most...meh, it's a drawbridge...image worth an extra 3 seconds of non-scrolling. FullSizeRender

Today, I took this picture of one of my favorite little coves along the water (in between the Raritan River and the New York Bay) and a drawbridge...but, well, the poor drawbridge can't help its utilitarian feel. I mean, it's a drawbridge. A hard-working, under-appreciated and often times thought of as an inconvenience to commuters rushing to and from work type of drawbridge. And it deserves a little love, dammit.

IMG_1027Add a little charcoal filter and it becomes a much more interesting drawbridge, don't you think? Even the high-tension wires in the the back look almost cool and the shadowing of the water directly under the bridge, very deep!


Hit it with a little pen and ink, and the drawbridge transforms into something so unlike a drawbridge, right? Still, I can't stop staring at it.

IMG_1029This one is called Fusain Painting, which means creating art with a charcoal in stick form, made from the wood of the spindle tree -- don't believe me? Google it, like I did :)


Aaaaand, then my favorite filter: Van Gogh Style! I adore the coloring, now this drawbridge makes me feel all artsy-fartsy and stuff. Thank you SO MUCH and have a nice day, drawbridge! 

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Went looking for a sugar bowl, but I decided to make these, instead: 20 Minute Mason Jar Dispensers

In an ongoing effort to cut down on the clutter (or clut-tuh, if you're from Jersey), I decided to re-arrange our kitchen counter (AGAIN!) and, while I was at it, organize myself a lovely little coffee station.

Because COFFEE!!! But the sugar bowls were taking up way too much counter space that we already didn't have and yes, I said sugar BOWLS: one for me and one for my husband, Garth (not his real name) who prefers the alternative-type of sweetener (a.k.a. sweet-nuh).

I remembered my MIL gave us a box of stuff, that was never added to the yard sale that we never had, so I headed out to the garage to do a know...thrift shopping.

Mason jar craft supplies

Didn't find any sugar bowls (DANGIT!), but I did come across a couple of mason jars and corrugated salad bowls from the summer. Remember summertime? Yeah, me either. **sigh** Anyway, I thought to myself...SELF!!!...I can totally make these work:

Mason jar craft step 1 
I was actually looking for cardboard, but figured these heavier-type of paper bowls would work out just fine, because I am a mason jar half-full sort of gal.  

Mason jar craft step 2In fact, the paper made it much easier to fit the rounds into the mason jar lids. Now that I'm thinking on it some more, card stock would probably work really well, too.

Mason jar craft step 3

This project took me about 20 minutes to complete: I spent most of that time trying to get the labels to print out right, because I am a dork! You could certainly spend a more time in fashioning a prettier label, too.

Mason jar craft finished 3Either way, I love getting the chance to recycle (or upcycle) something from my garage and I am super-happy the way these simple little mason jar dispensers turned out.

Mah coffee center!

Aaaaaand, more importantly, they fit in nicely with my new coffee station, just left to the standing mixer, because...COFFEE!!!!

©2003 -2014 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook, a way for you to subscribe to receive This Full House blog post by Email and everything!   

Just in time for the holidaze: scented pine cone wreath.

Holiday Hostess Gift

Last month, my dear friend Beth (a.k.a. Life in The Bat Cave) took it upon herself to reach out and spread a little holiday cheer by organizing a Blogger Ornament Exchange -- sort of like a cookie exchange, only different.

So, I signed right up and guess what?!?  I got paired up with Beth :)  

Now that we're smack-dab in the middle of the holidaze -- you know, that constant "Uhhhhhhh, what year is it, again?!?" feeling you get in between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day -- and because my contribution to the ornament exchange got to Beth's house safe and sound, I thought this would be a real good time to share with you a super-easy craft that would make a terrific holiday host or hostess gift, as well.

Continue reading "Just in time for the holidaze: scented pine cone wreath." »

Quickie crochet projects: onto infinity scarves and beyond!

Quick and Easy Infinity Scarf

I've been crocheting for exactly a week -- here's my first project, it's a slouchy hat, which my middle girl borrowed and then forgot to give back, accidentally on purpose -- and I've crocheted a total of six hats, two of which don't really count, because they were either too big or too small and I had to unravel the whole gosh-darned thing, but I didn't realize that they didn't fit until I was finished crocheting them, so I guess they really do count, right?!?

Ugh, this using both hands at the same time make something that someone would actually wear...and then have to explain it...without the use of run-on sentences or too many REAL hard...yo.

Anyhow, crafting is the perfect winter-blues-breaker (okay, I realize we're not even into winter yet, but I already miss the beach!) and I am really enjoying keeping my hands busy (and more importantly, out of the potato chip bag), but I was beginning to get all hat-ted out.

So I decided to try my hand at actual making a match-y, match-y infinity scarf, using both hands and everything!

Continue reading "Quickie crochet projects: onto infinity scarves and beyond!" »

Quick & easy crochet: these slouchy hats are off the hook!

Slouchy hat via This Full House

My grandmother taught me to crochet, but we never followed a written pattern (it was ALL in Nagy Mama's head) and, although I know the difference between a single crochet and a double crochet, I am a very visual thinker: my brain is like Google images and Pinterest speaks to me.

Crochet patterns, not so much.

Long story, short (you're welcome!): yesterday my borked-up back decided to remind me just how borked-up it could get, but being laid up with a borked-up back frustrates me more than not being able to read a crocheting pattern.

I tried to follow the instructions outlined in a pattern Tara emailed me...twice...and came up with something that did NOT look like a hat...twice...but would make a wonderful corkscrew cozy...both times.

"Why don't you just Google a tutorial?"

My husband, Garth (not his real name) is a critical thinker and critical thinkers can be annoyingly rational, sometimes.  Anyhow, I'm speaking to all my fellow visual thinkers out there:  I found perhaps the easiest and fastest crochet tutorial for slouchy beanies from Simply Hooked Crochet.

Continue reading "Quick & easy crochet: these slouchy hats are off the hook!" »

We don't need no stinkin' Rainbow Loom vlog!

Rainbow Loomless BraceletMy youngest daughter and I were cruising the aisles at Michael's (a.k.a. our second home, besides Home Depot and Lowe's, especially at this time of the year) and it didn't take long for me to remember why I try NOT to make it a habit of going into Michael's...with Hope...too much. 

Her head starts to shake, then both of her arms begin to twitch and, I swear, you could almost hear the electrical wiring in her body crackle, as she starts to make a mental note of all the things we'll need, for all the projects that we could do.

Then something breaks in her brain, as it becomes all too much and she starts tossing random stuff into the cart.


Pretty much like the rest of the free world, Hope is obsesssed with Rainbow Looms and she's been bugging me to get one.  

Aaaaaaand, just like we are the ONLY family who has NOT gone to Disney, did you know that we are the ONLY family who does NOT have a Rainbow Loom?!?

"Well, then I think it's a perfect addition to your Christmas list."

Yeah, that went over just as well as you can probably imagine, however, I am also striving to become the meanest mom on the planet and probably have a HUGE head start on most folks, already.

"Can I at least have a bag of rubber bands, PLEASE?!?!?!?!?"

Fiiiiiiiiine, because saying "I SAID NO!!!" to a bag of rubber bands is not the kinda mean I'm striving for, don't judge.

"But don't you need a Rainbow loom?"

Translated in my youngest daughter's head as:  I triple-dog dare you to PROVE ME WRONG!!!

"I don't NEED no stinkin' rainbow loom!"

Aaaaaaand, she did prove me wrong (I know, act surprised anyway 'kay?!?) and NO she does NOT get her nimbleness from me.  Check it out:


Perhaps I should remind Hope that we are also the ONLY family who STILL watches a box television set; can't wait to see what the kid does with that, right?!?

©2003 -2013 This Full House with a fan page on Facebook and everything!

I'm NaBloPoMo-ing it, feel free to check out what I've NaBloPoMo-ed, so far (PHEW!) and let me know how I'm doing (I mean, 30 posts, in 30 days, really?!?) when you have time, of course!

Soooooo, I showed a tired old table a little love and now I'm ready for a nap.

Now that we're a couple of weeks into the new school year (gosh, but how I love September!) I feel it safe to say that the kids seem to be adjusting rather nicely to their schedules and by nicely I mean:

  • They have gotten up on time
  • Remembered to get dressed
  • Eat breakfast
  • Aaaaaand, to open the storm door BEFORE trying to exit the house

The fact that their mother (that would be me) still seems to be going through some freaked-out and totally irrational form of latent-nesting, not so much.

My son started his freshman year in high school and his middle sister will most likely be settled into her college dorm room, this time next year (please excuse me while I take a moment to collect myself, because....MY BAYYYYYBEEEEE!!!!....okay, I'm much better now, thanks).

My youngest will also be a teenager by then (this would be a good time to get a beverage, a snack, or something, because....MY BAYYYYYBEEEEEZ!!!!....ugh, moving on), don't you think it's sort of weird for me to be all, like....oh hey guys, where you going, come on in, sit down and stay a while....g'head and make yourselves comfy-cozy, m'kay?!?

Fixing up stuff so they know....want to hang around, just a little while longer....pleeeeeeeease?!?!?!?

For example:  this weekend, I was going through the garage (I hate it when they don't reload the toilet paper roll and won't miss that one bit!) and I came across this tired old table.

Tired old table
Poor tired old table, I know how you feel :(

Because no table should look this sad (or tired) and I didn't have the heart to throw it out, so I decided to transform it into a cozy tableau of cottage-style comfort that is totally nap-worthy!

Continue reading "Soooooo, I showed a tired old table a little love and now I'm ready for a nap." »