Monday, April 25, 2011

TUTORIAL: Peep Jousting

Welcome to the post-Easter tradition of Peep Jousting.  Here's what you'll need:
  • Two Noble Knights: Leftover Peeps work perfectly
  • Jousting Lances: Toothpicks
  • Jousting Arena: Microwave, preferable with a rotating plate so you can better view the competition
  • Plate (I accept suggestions for a witty title)
Arm your Peep knights with toothpick lances.  Stick a toothpick in each Peep, then place the competitors on a plate facing each other.

Place your Peep knights in the microwave arena...

 ...and let the competition begin!  Brighton set the microwave at High for 30 seconds, which is more than ample time.  15 - 20 seconds will do the job.  But my boys like to watch the Peeps melt after they've proven themselves in competition.

Watch the Peep knights swell and try to impale each other.  The first Peep to be punctured loses.

Cheer for your favorite Peep.  Or cheer for the one that gets the fattest first.  Though be warned, the victor is not always the Peep who impales the other first.  Often one Peep swells up so big it impales itself on its opponent's lance.

If you look at Brighton's reflection, this match is a real nail biter.

It's hard to see in the photo, but we have a winner!  The Peep on the right had terrible aim.  Its lance is up in the air.  The Peep on the left scored a direct hit to the chest.

Don't you love the expression on Brighton's face?

Now we've moved from competition to spectator entertainment.  My boys like to see how big the Peeps will puff up before 1) collapsing back down, 2) exploding, or 3) the timer running out.  30 seconds is about right for our microwave.  The Peeps don't explode (ew - who wants to clean up that mess!?), yet they still puff up huge...

 ...then collapse back down.

Ha, ha!  Look at the melted Peeps!

Two noble Peep knights sacrificed to the cause of entertainment.

The winner is clear.  The Peep on the left impaled the Peep on the right.  The Peep on the right held his lance too high and completely missed its opponent.

Hope you had a happy Easter.  Happy Peep jousting!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Car Seat Cover + Canopy

Dear Princess,

Your chariot awaits.


I bought a car seat cover pattern on etsy.  I'm deliberately not linking to the pattern because, quite frankly, the pattern was horrible.  The listing mentioned that it was a one-size-fits-most type deal with only the strap marking being specific to my brand of car seat.  But I tell ya, I had to alter the car seat cover so much that it would have been easier to take apart my old car seat cover and use it as a pattern.  (I didn't do that because I was afraid that if I botched the project, I wouldn't have any cover for the car seat.)  Anyway, I'll chalk this up to a life lesson learned.  I'm happy with the final result and that's what matters.

The center portion of the cover is a visibly soft rosette minky.  The patterned fabric on the sides is Peacock Feathers in Sea Glass, from the Amy Butler Soul Blossoms collection.  If you look closely, you can also see that I made strap covers out of the pink minky fabric.

I made a coordinating canopy (tent?) to let my little girl sleep in peace.  I love the addition of the large pink ric rac around the edges.  The buttons on the handle are decorative.  Cute, eh?  The straps are actually attached with velcro.

I didn't follow one particular pattern when I made this.  Here are three free tutorials that I skimmed to get the general idea: here, here, and here.

Another shot showing the rounded corners (still love the ric rac!).  I also rounded the straps to match.

Here's the car seat clipped into the stroller.  The reason I bought this particular Amy Butler fabric was because it was the ONLY fabric I could find that incorporated the same green and aqua used on stroller.  Thank you, Amy Butler.

Another shot of the car seat clipped into the stroller, this time without the big canopy.  You can see how the Amy Butler fabric ties in with the stroller.

Brighton wanted me to take his picture.  I was more than happy to oblige.  :) 

Baby beware, this boy practiced driving your stroller all over our corner of the neighborhood.

If Brighton keeps driving like he did today, this girl's gonna be in for a WILD ride!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Silhouette Wall

I just finished decorating the wall above my piano with things near and dear to my heart: my family, the house of worship where Ben and I were married, meaningful words of inspiration, and the children's hymns my children and I have grown to love.

I used my super easy silhouette making tutorial to make silhouettes of my family. The exception being the mother and child on the lower right corner. That's an image I found online that I'm using as a placeholder until Baby Girl joins the world and I can make a proper silhouette of her sweet chubby cheeks.

I still haven't taken the camera class to learn how to use my DSLR, so please pardon the photography.

Behold hottie hubs. Using bookprint for artwork is fairly popular now. When I told Ben I wanted to pick up on that trend, though instead of using generic bookprint, mount the silhouettes over a background of text from our faith, Ben chose this document: The Living Christ.

I printed three copies of the document onto aged-looking paper, then collaged pieces together to form the background.

I chose The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Since my posture looks terrible here, this silhouette is also a placeholder. Whenever I sat up straight, Ben (playing photographer) said I looked like I had a double chin. Maybe after I lose some baby weight off my face I can try again with better posture. I also think I'll replace this frame with an oval-shape frame whenever I find one the right size so there aren't so many straight edges on the wall.

Here's Brighton (with impeccable posture, by the way). All three of the children's silhouettes are mounted onto sheet music. For each child's picture, I chose one of our favorite children's hymns, scaled down the sheet music a bit, printed three copies of the song onto aged-looking paper, then collaged the print-outs just as I did for the silhouettes of Ben and me.

Brighton's silhouette is mounted onto the sheet music for I Love to See the Temple.

Behind Lincoln's silhouette is the music to Families Can Be Together Forever.

And behind Baby Girl's placeholder is I Am a Child of God.

Central to the wall is the Atlanta LDS temple, where Ben and I were married. I ordered the photo from Altus Photo Design. The Atlanta temple is short and wide and is typically photographed with a landscape orientation. I needed portrait to fit my wall, and the owner of Altus Photo Design worked with me to find an attractive portrait orientation that worked for my frame.

The Atlanta temple has recently been renovated and is open for public tours April 9 - 23, 2011, except for Sundays and Monday evenings. My mom and stepdad are volunteering as tour guides. If you tell my mom I sent you, she'll probably invite you over for dinner. She's just like that. :) Anyway, tours are free, though reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 1-866-537-8457. Feel free to read more about my faith here, or why Mormons build temples here.