Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Barrette Winner!

The winner of the three barrettes is:

agatewood1 who said, "thanks for the chance!"

I'll contact you later today to get your mailing information. 

Everyone else, thanks for playing! And if you're desperate for some flower hair barrettes, you can always get them via my Etsy store, Meremadeblog. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

wine cork name tag tutorial

Looking for something to do with all of those extra holiday corks? Try a wine cork name tag at your next party! Wow them with tales of how you accumulated so many stray corks!

Materials needed:

A sharp knife (NOT serrated)
errant corks
a cutting board
paper (construction or card stock works well)
pen or Sharpie

Step 1) Begin by cutting off 1/4 of the cork in a straight line.

Step 2) Carve a wedged line into the center of the rounded side of the cork. You can start with cutting just a straight line and then carefully work it with your knife to that it get a little deeper and wider so it properly holds the name tag in place.

Step 3) Measure and cut your paper into rectangles. I like when they hang over the edge of the cork a little bit. Write your guests' names and carefully place into slits in cork. 

Step 4) Proceed with your entertainment!

Monday, November 28, 2011

giving thanks with the help of Martha Stewart

Did you survive Thanksgiving?

I spent the majority of the weekend setting up, cooking and cleaning followed by sheer exhaustion.(times four as we entertained each night of the holiday weekend.)

I took the kids out of the house to see the Muppet Movie while my husband stayed home with the bird. The kids lasted about 3/4 of the way through before tiring of it (don't you hate that?) and instead wanted to play on the mall play structure and climb the turtle.

I've included a few photos from our dinner that we hosted for 15. 

Later on in the week, I'll include a tutorial for these wine cork name tags:

The table was set (it had to be moved into our living room in order to fit everyone.)

The drink table was ready to go (now I'm all ready with more wine cork name tags for the next party!)

The bird was behaving:

And here's the part where I skip straight to dessert because apparently I didn't take any other photos of dinner. You can see where my priorities lie. 

This pumpkin meringue pie came from the latest Martha Stewart magazine (which I highly recommend for the's just beautiful) In the photo above, you can see my husband using the blow torch on the whipped whites. The kids all took a turn on the blow torch. 

Apparently, I should have eaten all the pie because when I woke up the next morning to have my usual post-Thanksgiving pie and coffee breakfast combo, the whites had "wept" all night long, leaving a pool of suspicious funk at the base of my pie plate. 

Live and learn. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Giveaway! 3 Barrettes

In honor of the grand opening of my new Etsy Store, Meremadeblog, I am giving away three handmade hair barrettes in black, light olive and light blue.

I sell a variety of color combinations in the store - all for $5.00 (there's also a set of 4 for $6.00) Just click on the photos below. 

To enter this giveaway, please become a public follower of my blog AND leave a comment. This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.

The giveaway will close at 11:59 pm ET on Tuesday, November 29th.

Good luck!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

free giveaway and guest post

Today I'm guest posting over at Urban Fig

Come check it out!!

Carol of Urban Fig is also facilitating a free giveaway of some chalk paint garden markers that I've donated (they're also available in my Etsy store). 

See you over there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

open for business!!

My Etsy shop, "MEREMADEBLOG" is open for business!!!

Need a hipster burp cloth? A wine box garden? A dinosaur decal? Then come over for a visit!

You can link through this post or through the sidebar on the left.

I'll be talking a bit more about the items I'm selling later in the week.

Check back tomorrow for my guest post on Urban Fig as well as a grand opening giveaway!!

I am really excited about this new chapter in my virtual life!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Round Up

Since I am lacking in both time and creativity this weekend, I am leaving you with a Thanksgiving tutorial round up. 

Enjoy! And don't forget to come back tomorrow for the grand opening of my Etsy store!!

(sorry, no photo for this one)

Felt Mayflower Centerpieces from I-candy Handmade

Now get crafting!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

palm springs mini vacation

Because of teacher in-service days combined with Veteran’s Day, the kids had two days off of school last week so we headed east about two hours to Palm Springs, a desert community. My parents tagged along as well which meant my husband and I got to go out to dinner! (very exciting news around these parts as that doesn't happen all that often.)

I hadn’t been there since high school, but remembered loving a place called The Living Desert, when I used to go.

Boy, had it changed! The Living Desert is part zoo, part animal and nature conservatory that used to focus on desert animals and plant life. Now it’s expanded to include an entire section on African animals and a lovely three-mile walk that loops around the grounds.

In addition to seeing many amazing creatures and cacti, we all got to feed a giraffe!
And pet a goat.

We dined. We slept. We relaxed. For the most part.

There was that incident out at the pool when two year-old Doodlebop had explosive diarrhea on a lounge chair (through the swim diaper) and then started dry heaving because he had grossed himself out so much. Good times.

Oh and then there was the morning when Doodlebop took a black oil pastel to the white leather headboard of the king-sized bed and proceeded to draw a mural two, two hours before we had to check out. Really good times.

Thank goodness for Armor All and a husband with patience. They got it all cleaned up. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

my very own labels

So I had mentioned briefly in the last post that I ordered some "Meremade" labels for my sewing projects. I wanted to give you a closer look. 

They arrived last week! They're from Cruz Labels and I'm very happy with the product. 

Kind of reminded me of a bag of candy.....only less caloric. 

I have some other exciting news to share:

My Etsy store, Meremadeblog, will be opening in, count 'em, 5 days!!!! Just in time for the holidays. I'll be hosting a virtual grand opening party all next week introducing you to the items in the store as well as offering some giveaways!

In the meantime, enjoy this Tuesday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Pants

So I finally finished the storybook-inspired pants for No Bill Dill's Once Upon A Thread Series!

And I'm really happy with the way they came out!!! (they're size 3, in case you're wondering) 

If you aren't familiar with the premise in Bill Martin Jr.'s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, it's simple: every letter of the alphabet climbs up the coconut tree when, chicka chicka boom booom, the tree shakes sending letters falling everywhere.

It's such a cute book with a wonderful read aloud rhythm.

And do you notice this new detail? My own personal "Meremade" label!! (Blurry photo, sorry!)

Both of my boys adore this book so I wanted to make pants that reflected the playfulness of this story.

Of course I had to include the coconut tree....(strategically placing those coconuts!)

A few falling letters in the front and...

A few in the back!

This is my first time participating in a sew along (if you'd call it that) and it was fun to give myself a new challenge!

Check out the other participants  on No Big Dill's Flicker Group!  And read more about the Once Upon A Thread series here! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chalk Annoucement Board

A few weeks ago, I shared this project over at ICreate. 

Today, I’m sharing with you a simple project! (My favorite kind!).....

A Chalk Announcement Board

After applying chalk paint to my kitchen wall, I thought about what else I could transform into a chalkboard wonderland.

Enter an errant piece of plywood from some construction we had done a year ago (I knew it would come in handy some day) but you can easily buy a piece of wood to your liking at any lumber / hardware store.

First, I sanded the wood down to make sure it was smooth.

Then we (I put my kids to work!) applied at white topcoat to brighten the chalk paint.
We let it dry overnight and then applied the chalk paint, letting it dry and applying a second layer.

To prep the chalkboard, you must cover the whole thing in chalk! (This involved placing the chalk on its side and going crazy….)

Once it’s covered in chalk, erase it and the chalky base left over will lend itself to writing or drawing. Be sure and do this chalk prep work each time you clean your board, otherwise, the chalk will be much more difficult to erase.

The inaugural use came during French Night (click here to see the French Night festivities). I tried to write on it using French cursive, but that was a challenge.

I can’t wait to use this board in so many other ways: To help organize the kids, eating al fresco, teaching my sewing classes, playing hangman….the possibilities are endless.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Secret Garden

About a month ago I purchased a small 4 x 4 garden bed, filled with organic greens and boy, has it taken off!!!

We make regular trips to "the garden" with the kids who love to pick the produce and add it to our dinner. And, thus far, they are much more likely to eat what they have harvested, which means more veggies in their diet! Hurray!

Here are some of the lettuce varieties:

Begin an amateur lettuce grower I assumed you had to harvest the whole head once it was ready, but, no no, you can simply pull off the outer leaves and the inner leaves will just regenerate (like hair or fingernails....just what you want to be thinking about when you're picking lettuce.)

Here's our mizuna (a peppery Japanese green):

And our unusual purple and feathery dill:

Bok choy for stir fry anyone?

We also have basil, broccoli, scallions, parsley and thyme.

The garden is located where we used to have a sandbox that the neighbor's cat liked to visit and do his business. Luckily, the sprinkler system has done a nice job of keeping the cat away.... I specifically didn't plant any catnip, in case Kitty mistakenly thought the garden was just for him.