31 May 2011

The movie your kid insists on watching over and over and over and...

For my older brother, it was The Wizard of Oz.

For my youngest sister-in-law, it was The Sandlot.

For Hailey, it's Monster's, Inc.  She loves that movie.  She would watch it all day, every day if we let her.  As soon as it's over, she asks, "Boo?"  For those of you who haven't watched this movie over and over and over, Boo is an adorable toddler, about Hailey's age.  Hailey loves this character.  In fact, she has officially changed her name...to Boo.

Whenever anyone asks Hailey what her name is, she answers, "Boo."  The other day, when we called her "Hailey," she gave us this look like, "What are you talking about?"  And then she set us straight:  "Boo."

So, as per her request, whenever I refer to Hailey on this blog, I will call her by her proper name:  Boo.

"The name's Boo.  Just Boo."

17 May 2011

I Love Daddy!

Mother's Day is over, so now it's time to start thinking about Father's Day.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with the traditional tie, but if you really want something to make his Daddy Heart go, Aww, consider this:

Spell out, "I Love Daddy" with pictures of the one (or ones) who calls him that.  

It's easy (well, depending on the cooperativeness of your little one!), cheap (just the cost of the letters, printing the photos, and frames), and yet the cuteness factor is huge.  This project works great for infants up through teenagers, one child or several.

This project is too self-explanitory for a real tutorial, so I'll just give you a couple of ideas based on how I did it, and then post some more pictures of my baby!

  • I just cut my letters out of cardboard and covered them with regular printer paper.  You could also buy cute wooden letters from a craft store.
  • Outdoor lighting is usually the nicest for portraits. 
  • You'll probably want to have either all the same outfit between the pictures, or all different outfits. Mine are all different because of the short cooperative-span of my one year old.  When she was willing to keep going after one letter, I changed her clothes (added a jacket, for example).
  • I printed the pictures at 4x6 and got some inexpensive frames from Wal-Mart, but you could put the pictures however you want.

Now for the bloopers!
I'm tired of holding these silly letters, Mamma!

Awww, precious.

I think we're done now.

(Update:  I should probably clarify--This isn't my original idea.  I'd tell you where I got it from, but I don't remember...)

09 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day! and a Tutorial

Hi all!  I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day.  Ours was great; we went to church, my wonderful hubby made his delicious spaghetti, and Hailey took a long nap.  I even got a nap, too.  What more could the mother of a toddler ask for?

Here's what I made for my mom and mom-in-law for Mother's Day.  (I haven't actually gotten my MIL's present shipped off yet, so I hope she doesn't read this yet...)  Of course, depending on the words you choose, this project would make a great gift for any occasion.

It was really pretty easy and fairly quick to make.  Here's what you need:

--some wood--mine was 1 x 4 x 12 inches
--sidewalk chalk, charcoal or soft graphite pencil (if your background color is dark, use the chalk.  If it is light, use the charcoal or graphite.)
--a pencil or other moderately pointy object
--the base paint (black spray paint, in my case)
--the paint for the letters (extra paint from refinishing Hailey's dresser--hopefully we can get that project finished soon.)  NOTE:  You could cut the letters out of vinyl, and this would probably be faster.
--a small paintbrush
--a computer and printer (or stencils, or you could just be awesome and freehand the letters)
--optional:  picture hanging hardware of your choice

Ready?  Okay, first you'll want to figure out exactly how you want the text to be.  I used photoshop, but anything will work just fine.  Print it out.

Now that you know how long the sign needs to be, you can cut the wood to size.  Sand if needed, and spray paint your base color.

Once the paint is dry, you are ready to transfer your text onto your sign.  Here I have all my supplies gathered...
(I was kidding myself when I thought that paintbrush might work.  Yeah, right.  Luckily, I realized I was crazy before I started painting, and switched it out for a much smaller brush.)

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you my genius idea.  The chalk and the paint could both be messy, so I thought to use a large kitchen garbage bag to protect my table.  Then I thought, If I turn the bag inside out first, then when I'm done, I can flip it back the right way and all the chalk dust and paint will already be inside the garbage bag!  I love easy clean-up.

Use the chalk (charcoal, whatever) to color all over the back of the paper opposite the letters.  (I thought about taking a picture of this step, but the light green chalk on white paper...it wouldn't have worked out.)  Position the words where you want them to be on the sign (chalk side down) and trace around the letters with your pencil.

Now paint the letters...  (It took me two or three coats to get the letters nice and cleanly white--no black showing through.  About this time, I wished I'd just cut the things out of white vinyl.)

Let the paint dry completely, then use a slightly damp cloth to wipe off the extra chalk.  (Don't use a paper towel--it leaves paper towel lint on the nice black surface.  Yes, I know from experience.)

Now you could attached hanging hardware, or just set the sign on a shelf, window, table...

And you're done!  I hope you liked the tutorial.  If you did, leave me a comment!  And if you have a question, I'd love to answer it.

Happy Mother's Day to all, and to all, a good night.