Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Six HUNDRED

I've been geocaching like crazy lately. I found 15 on Sunday and 26 today. 91 caches in March alone.... My best month to date.

Today I found my 600th geocache! It was a small cleverly hidden cache. A perfect milestone cache.

Please ignore my crazy $1 sunglasses

There were a few interesting cache locations today so I thought I'd share some of them. I brought my crappy point and shoot, so I'm sorry about the poor quality!

Vail

In Vail, Arizona there was an old Vail Post Office....

Vail

Nearby there was a letter box cache. I put my stamp in their log book and took a copy of theirs as well. You can see the "special delevery" stamp on the left-hand side of the box below.

Vail

There were a lot of rock pile caches today too....

Rock Piles

Good thing I'm strong!!

Rock Piles

One of the caches we went to was near a cemetery. The graves are all unknown graves.
"It is speculated that the cemetery dates to the 1800s, and may possibly contain victims, mostly children, of a smallpox or flu epidemic. Or they could be railroad workers who died or were killed on the job. Or they are possibly early settlers in the Vail area who did not survive illness or the heat." -Source (and a good article about an Eagle Scout project!)
Graveyard

I think one of the coolest caches though, was one that highlighted some owls! They say the owls are pretty used to people... and to log the cache you have to have a picture of one. Luckily I was able to grab one - a crapy one, but I got it!

Owl

I swear, there is an owl there. Squint your eyes.

If you geocache..
What is your best geocaching month?

If you don't geocache...
Have you ever seen an owl in the wild?

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Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 28, 2011

Balloon Yarn Wreath Tutorial

Easter Wreath

You Will Need
Long slender balloon
Yarn
White Glue
Water
Mixing Bowl
Mixing Spoon
Scissors
Wire wreath
Optional- a bird, some mini bird eggs and some Easter basket stuff.

Step 1
Prepare crafting area!! I put down a couple of garbage bags for counter/floor protection. 
Blow up the balloon (I used a bike pump because I couldn't blow it up myself!). Be sure to get the balloon length correct - you want it to be the same size as the wire wreath you have - not including the ends or the balloon where it starts getting smaller... so a little bit longer 2 or 3 inches. You could get out the measuring tape, but I'm the kind of girl that just likes to wing it! When the balloon is desired length tie balloon ends together. Bend balloon so it is more of a round shape vs. the teardrop shape you get when you first tie ends together.


1


Step 2

In a large mixing bowl combine water and white glue. I used Mod Podge and a little Tacky Glue because that is what I had laying around - Elmer's would work fine too. As for the amount of water... I just winged it (see, I do that a lot). More glue than water - somewhat thick, but not too watery ;-) 




2

Step 3
Unravel some string into the bowl. I used about as much as you see below each time to avoid tangling while wrapping. Hold the end and push the string into the glue. Try not to stir it up or anything, because the knots will be a nightmare! Dip the end in your hand into the glue last - but don't let go! Gather the string up into a ball and give it a real light squeeze.

3

Step 4
Begin wrapping! Try not to be too perfect when doing this. Don't always go the same way.
You start with that end of the string you held onto in step 3. I like to wrap over my start point so it holds it a little more securely. When you end the string, try to find another piece to tuck it under.


And as you can see in the picture below, the ball of yarn goes in, out and around the balloon circle.
4

Keep repeating steps 3 and 4 until you are satisfied. Be sure not to leave and huge gaping holes without string. Do leave the top open though. Stop right where the balloon starts getting smaller. This is where yo will put your eggs in later

Step 5
Let it dry overnight! I was afraid mine was going to drip like crazy becuase the egg I made did. So made this elaborate drying system - but there wasn't a single drip... so I think if you just placed it on a clean garbage bag it would be fine.  I took pictures, so I'll show you anyway. :-)

5

The above system might help it dry faster, but like i said - probably not necessary.

Step 6
After it has dried overnight and seems to be thoroughly dried - pull out that knife and POP that balloon! Spray with clear coat of spray paint if so desired. I feel like it made mine a little more sturdy.

spray!

Step 7
After clear coat has dried, start adding eggs! I used the cheap plastic eggs that get hidden for kids, but if you have more money than I do, you could opt for something fancier.

eggs! 

Put the eggs in and work them around the whole wreath gently, the wreath at this point is a bit fragile.

Step 8
With left over matching yarn, tie ends together. Attach wreath to wire wreath with yarn as well, this will help add structure and keep shape. you can spray the wire wreath to match beforehand if you so desire. They usually come in a green color. You can also be cheap like me, and only use one circle of the wire wreath... though looking back I wish I would have used the whole thing ;-)

cut!
I ended up cutting some more, and only used one circle.


Step 9
If you want you can spruce up you wreath a little more with ribbon or a cute little birds nest like I did. 

Birdie! 

Voila! 






Wreath

This wreath was inspired by one of the many yarn ball tutorials I have seen around the web. Here is just one example. I made my own yarn egg before tackling the wreath. They are a lot less complicated if your looking for something simple!




Easter Egg

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Burrrrp!

One of the families I nanny for has another one on the way! If you know me or have been reading this blog for some time, you know I love to make baby gifts (onesies, more onesies and that quilt)! This time I opted for something simple - burp cloths. There are tons of tutorials out there, but I settled on this one because it didn't involve anything too complicated and turning things inside/right-side out was not in the instructions. :-)

I wish I would have taken some pictures of the process, but I did all my work at night and lighting sucked. I decided to go with more "boy" pattens rather than "baby boy" patterns. I used flannel if you're wondering.

Burrrrp!

Besideds looking like giant pads (without wings), I think they turned out pretty good. The edges are frayed, here is a closer look...

Burrrp!

The only thing I did different than the tutorial was quilting the cloth rather than just sewing one line across the middle. They seem pretty absorbent and I think they will do a perfect job of catching baby spit-up!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Postcards

I still do Postcrossing here and there... and it is not like I need more postcards... but I went browsing at the used book store yesterday. I managed to score two postcard books. To my defense I found 5 booklets and only purchased two! The other three were in the art section and just a little too boring for my taste!

Used Bookstore Score

I've mentioned in the past that I often look for postcards in the gift book section, on the front counters, in the humor section and in the art section... I'd like to add another section to the list - The movie book section. Not the section where they sell movies, but the section where they have books about movies. That is where I found the Marilyn Monroe cards.

I'm not sure if I have any Postcrossing people out there who still read, but I'm looking for blank offbeat/offensive postcards. So if you want to trade a few cards please let me know! Also, a fun source for fun postcards (though they tend to cost a little more than your typical used bookstore find) - Chronicle Books.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Goal a Week

Last Weeks Goal (really it was two weeks ago since I skipped one!)
  • In bed by 12:30am
  • Successful? For the most part, yes! I was in bed, TV off and computer put away... but it often took me forever to fall asleep! I'm going to try to stick with this goal as much as I can. Though I know I'm already scheduled to babysit until 1am one day this week...
This Week's Goal
  • Pick up 20 things a day.
Why?
  •  I'm a really messy person. I'll clean and then I'll turn around and everything will be a mess the next day. Usually it has to do with getting into my craft stuff trying to find something or getting backed up on laundry. So I'm hoping by first cleaning my spaces and then doing 20 things a day every day will keep me caught up! If there isn't 20 things to pick up/do in my spaces (bathroom & bedroom) I'll move on to other areas of the house...  
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Craft Time

The best part of work? Craft timeeeee!


These guys are little wood pieces glued together and painted. They have magnets on the back. I've learned that the key to making anything involving painting and a toddler is giving them ONE color at a time. Otherwise everything is one big brown blob! ;-) You could also give them to colors to mix, as long as the two colors are primary ;-) That green guy was the result of some fun mixing!

---

On a totally unrealated note... The powercord to my Macbook has failed me again. The first time I had Apple Care and it was replaced for free... but that has since run out - so I'm waiting on one from good ol' E-bay. won't have it until the middle of the week! Yikes!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review

Pages: 275

Book Description: For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now.
When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist)Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home.
As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.


My Thoughts: I read this book's companion, Backseat Saints, and enjoyed it much more. Technically this was the first book - though in my opinion it doesn't really matter what order you read them in. The book was kind of interesting at first because I was discovering the connections between the two books... In the end though, I feel like the story was a little bland. The story itself jumps between past and present time, which keeps things interesting but at times I felt like I was reading the same things over and over again as the main character, Arlene, constantly worried. Every time Arlene glimpses back into the past we get a little more of the story...and it unfolds. It turns out, in the end that Arlene hasn't kept her promises to God after all. She promised not to lie,...but in reality, all she did was lie to herself.

Meh, it was okay - But if I were going to pick between the two - Backseat Saints was much better!

Quick Doodle!

Stpattysday

Monday, March 14, 2011

Geocaching on Bike

Bikes

The nice weather had to be taken advantage of this past weekend! I went out with KennyV for a few caches early Sunday morning. Since the caches we were after were near a nice path we decided to break out the bicycles. 6 of the caches we found today provided us with clues to a mystery cache. We successful found all the clues and the mystery cache. There was another traditional cache nearby and in all I ended up with 8 finds. I also visited quite a few caches that I'd already found so KennyV coud grab a few more smileys.

 

We covered 7.51miles in 3hr 31min with our bikes. This includes time on our bikes and time walking our bikes through some sandy areas. That mileage/time is represented by the blue line below. The pink line is strictly walking time where we parked that car and hiked to the cache (2.7miles in 1hr 15 min)

Geocaching Map 
10.21 miles total!

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To learn more about geocaching watch this video!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Goodbye!

All these oranges are headed to the dump! Sad to see, but they were just too tiny!

IMG_1170

There are more left on the tree too... ah! Never ending oranges!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pajamas Fix.

I'm a nanny, and the little girl I watch loooves her panda Pjs... She loves them so much she wore out the bottoms! I offered to take them home and patch them up - my offer was accepted. I went to the fabric store to look for the gripper bottoms. I spent a $1.40 on the fabric, and I probably have enough left to do six more feet.

There I Fixed it.

I think they look pretty good, not perfect - especially if you look at the actual sewing (who sees that part anyway though?!). The only thing I'm worried about is the seam bothering her on the inside. The stuff (I don't know the technical term? anyone know?) I used is much sturdier then what used to be there, which makes the seams a little more stiff.

But anyway, here is my question... why are all the bottoms in these one-piece pajamas always white?? I mean, a darker color would make so much more sense! They always end up getting so dingy looking.

...When I was a kid the bottoms were made out of a different material (still white though) and my sisters and I used to scuff our feet around on the carpet and shock each other! You can't do that anymore :-(

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Goal a Week

I realize this post is late, but I've been working on my goal since Monday!

Last
Weeks Goal

  • No Caffeine
  • Successful? ugh... Nope! I was successful for a few days, but I lost it while babysitting and cracked open a Dr. Pepper. It was all downhill from there! I Will CERTAINLY revisit this goal.
This Week's Goal
  • In bed by 12:30am!
Why?
  • I have no normal sleeping pattern at ALL. I decided on 12:30am becuase I am truly a night owl. I also don't usually work until 11:30am the next morning! typically the earliest I work is 8:30, but those days are rare. So even then I'd be getting enough sleep. My only problem is... That I am a super sleeper. If left alone I will sleep 12 hours. I freaking LOVE sleeping. I've been trying to wake up at 10am, so I don't sleep too much - but it isn't' exactly my most favorite thing to do!
ZZZzzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZzzzzzzz
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Wordless Wednesday

Oh, It's ON.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blinky

On Sunday we (TreckStarL, 7844RETIKON, KennyV and myself) successfully completed the Blinky Series. The Blinky Series consists of 31 caches placed in the shape of Blinky, one of the ghost guys from Pac-Man.

Blinky Finished!

Along with the Blinky Series we were able to grab 11 other caches for a grand total of 42 caches. This breaks my previous record for caches in one day - a measly 18.

MapWithtracks

From the 1st cache to the last cache we covered 41 miles in 10 hours and 15 minutes. This is not including the 45 min dive to and from the location! So in all, our day came in a little under 12 hours! Our time unfortunately included a tire change half way through. We attempted to squeeze through a gate that wasn't quite big enough. All we needed was one more inch!


Oopsies! Oopsies!

I purchased an Arizona State Trust Land permit just so I could do these caches. The turn around on the permit was super quick, and now I have many more caches I can go get! The permit only cost 15$ for a year.

State Trust

Some of the state trust land gets leased out to farmers, so there were a lot of cows and cow pies! Actually, I probably saw more pies than cows. One of the caches even used a dried cow pie as camo. Yuck!

Cow Pie!

Our day consisted of a lot of driving,
Driving Driving

Walking
Blinky

and log signing.
Blinky Blinky

It was a long day, but good company, good caches and nice scenery made it a ton of fun!



Have you ever geocached a shape or picture like this?

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