November 27, 2013

My Christmas Wishlist

Every year my husband asks for my Christmas Wishlist and here is this year's list.  Did any of this stuff make your Christmas Wishlist?  Please tell me what is on your list! 

All links to Amazon are affiliate links.

1. Umbrella Ring Dish
2. Fuji Instax Camera and Film
3. Cards Against Humanity Game (Not to be played around children)
4. America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
5. Presto Electric Knife Sharpener
6. Weber Grill Light
7. An Illustrated Journey by: Danny Gregory
8. Creative Lettering by: Jenny Doh
9. Wrapables Silver Lining Washi Tape Set
10. Family Membership to Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)
11. Butterfly Art by Todd McKamy (can be purchased through artist or at HMNS store)
12. Singer Rolled Hem Foot

November 25, 2013

DIY Hat Rack

When we enter into the Holiday Spiral, I realize that we have too much stuff and not enough organization.  My husband and I never grew up knowing how to organize too much as we moved a lot.  When you move a lot, you get to go through your things and throw out/donate/garage sale anything you don't want to move/forgot you had/or had no recollection of where it came from.  I have lived in over 20 different houses/apartments, so being in the same house for over 6 years, the clutter is starting to take over and I am on a mission to get rid of quite a bit and organize the areas that are driving me crazy.  Our front closet it one of them, which is why I made this.

I can't take credit for this idea.  My grandfather started making these probably before I was even born.  He had quite a few in his house and we had some growing up.  Why I haven't made them before now, I cannot say, but feel like an idiot for not doing it sooner.  My husband and I both have quite a few hats we refuse to part with and most were all hanging out at the top of the hall closet.  They needed to be organized and not take up a lot of space.

You will need a board, the one I used was a 1/2x2x36, wooden clothes pins and wood glue.  That's it.  I had all of these around the house so it made this project FREE!  Who doesn't love a free project that helps organize your house?

You will need to sand your board.  I sanded mine down to 120 grit.

Apply glue to the back of a clothes pin.

Press it onto your board making sure it is centered.

I was able to put 8 clothes pins on a 3 foot board.  My spacing was 1 1/2 inches at the top and bottom, then 1 inch between each clothes pin.

Let the glue dry, then screw this to the wall and you have an easy and very cheap (or free) way to calm the clutter of hats that couldn't have been living in just my closet...right?

Now I just need about 4 or 5 more of these.  Not kidding, we like our hats around here.

November 19, 2013

Build Like A Girl

Okay, when I grew up NONE of the girl toys were exclusively pink.  It disturbs me what the toy aisle for little girls look like.  My Cabbage Patch doll didn't have an ounce of pink on her.  I also grew up playing a lot of boy toys, building, destroying, inventing, etc.  I think it's important to encourage our children to use their imagination.  I have found that my oldest son is so obsessed with how his Lego kits go together, he won't take them apart to build anything else with them.  It upsets me that he won't use his imagination to stray from the obvious, he's going to get a big box of Legos for Christmas without any instructions.

So, when I stumbled across this commercial (not getting paid for this at all) I had to share it.  I'm glad to see that there are toys that are being marketed towards girls that encourage building and engineering.  I don't have any girls, but I am probably going to keep some of these toys in mind when my two new little baby nieces are old enough for them.  I might even have to get one for my niece who is seven. 

I also wish this came in my size!  Take note GoldieBlox!  Moms who teach their children to build would like this sweatshirt in their size!!!

November 15, 2013

Our First Scouting Camp Out

I have a very, very cute Tiger scout.  He's so proud of his uniform and insists that he even has to wear the thick wool boot socks, even when it's warm out.

Maben is a legacy.  Matt made it all the way, he earned his Eagle Scout.  Something that he is very proud of.  It's something that we hope both of our boys will accomplish.

Now, this isn't our first camping trip as a family, Colorado was.  But, this was our first cub scout camp out!  The weather was amazing and the park was great.  We camped out at Buescher State Park.  It was very nice.  Tent pads, bathrooms with electricity, showers and hot water (I felt pampered).  There is also a small lake that we could fish at.

Maben was very excited to go fishing and since the last time we went, it was a bust, we had to go again.  I was very proud of my little scout.  He learned how to bait his own hook, not well, but it's progress.  He can cast very well and managed to catch a small fish on his own and reel it in! 

He caught this little thing.  Isn't this super cute?  I also took the opportunity to explain why there are fishing regulations and couldn't eat this little thing.  It needed to go back in the lake and grow into a bigger fish.

There was also pumpkin carving.  I actually let Maben use the little saw all by himself after a little instruction on how to use it.

I was super nervous watching.  I have been teaching Maben knife safety and how to even begin cutting things in the kitchen.  He did great! 

This was also his first time cleaning out a pumpkin.  Just days (seriously, days before) he looked at me with a horrified face when I was cleaning out our pumpkins for Halloween.  Oh well.

This is Maben's proud creation.  He drew the pattern himself and cut most of it out (the top and eyes).  The little cheap pumpkin saw started to bend so we asked me to do the mouth so it wouldn't break.  It broke anyways.

Colton didn't want anything to do with the pumpkins other than telling me he wanted me to carve a t-rex.

He loved it!  I am pretty proud of my t-rex.  I didn't even have cell service to look up a photo of one before drawing it out.

While this has been the first camp out with scouts, it won't be our last.  It was a lot of great fun and we look forward to doing it again in the spring.

And one last photo, since I realized (and this always happens) as we were leaving that I wasn't in a single photo, I had to get one with my little scout. 

November 11, 2013

Thank You Veterans

I want to extend a "Thank You" to all the Veteran's out there.  Those no longer serving, still serving or paid the ultimate price, you live in my heart.  I can't even begin to put down into the proper words what it means to be a part of Military life.  With my time as an Army wife, I do know one thing for certain; I will always have the utmost respect for the men and women who choose to wear a uniform.  Thank You from the bottom of my heart. 

My husband sitting on his tank, OIF 2003.
If you would like to read the absolute most beautiful piece I have seen written about Veteran's day, please grab a box of tissues and check this out, "Veteran's Day 2013 - Let Us Not Forget."

Also, I wanted to let you know something that you can do to express your gratitude to our servicemen and women.  You can send them a card this holiday season.  The Red Cross is once again organizing the event, "Holiday Mail for Heroes."  I urge you to go to the link and check out the details.  If you have any non-family photo Holiday cards, gather them up and send them to our troops.

Have you ever wondered why Veteran's Day is on November 11th?  You can click here to find the answer to that question with an overview of the history of Veteran's Day.

November 7, 2013

Art at Vintage Park

I am so super excited to announce that I have donated two pieces for auction to help support the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Houston.  It's a really awesome event called Art at Vintage Park. 

The TWRC is a really cool place that rehabs injured wild animals in the Houston area.  So, that bird that has a broken wing hopping around the yard, yup, they take them and nurse them back to health in hopes of releasing them back into the wild.  If they cannot, they might use the animal as an educational animal to teach people/children about local wildlife.  I have heard that they also do an amazing summer camp for kids. 

So, when presented with the opportunity I did two pieces to donate.  The first one is called, "Backyard Birding."  These are three feathers that I found in my yard. 

I'm not 100% sure what the feather on the left is, I am guessing either a dove or mockingbird, the center feather is a blue jay and the one on the right is a cardinal.

I used the same technique that I have been developing where I am woodburning and painting with wood dyes. 

"Backyard Birding," is on a raised basswood panel that is 12x12 inches.  I love it and hope you do too. 

The next piece I donated is, "Blue Morpho Butterfly."

This piece is an 8x8 inch woodburning on a curly maple panel and framed. 

I love curly maple.  It gives such a cool illusion.  If you have never seen/worked with it, I highly recommend it.

So, if you are in the Houston area and want to help out a good cause while buying some cool artwork, stop on by Vintage Park this Saturday night.  I know I will be there!  If you come, please come introduce yourself.

November 6, 2013

October Best

October was all about the kiddos.  It was also a very crazy month for me.  I have a feeling the death spiral into Christmas is going to be a rough one this year.  The calendar seems to fill up more and more with each month.  I do feel like I am finally getting my feet underneath me and am making some forward momentum.

Top: (left) Maben riding the little carousel at Chuck E. Cheese, (center) Colton riding his first pony at a friend's birthday party, (right) Maben worked hard at his school fundraiser and earned this spikey inflatable helmet.

Bottom: (left) Colton's birthday photo, (center) The kids didn't give me much for Halloween photos, (right) Colton riding his bicycle for the first time!

October 29, 2013

2nd Place!

I shared this over on Facebook last week, but need to share it here too.  I got second place and am more than ecstatic about that, especially after seeing the company I was competing against.  So, here are the top three finishers in the contest over at Jerry's Artarama Houston.

1st Place - Brad Letney

2nd Place - Yours truly - Erin Morey

3rd Place - Janice Smith

A big thanks to the crew over at Jerry's for putting on a great contest and show.  A big congrats to my fellow winners.  It was great to meet many of the contestants and I was so excited that my family was able to accompany me to the show. 

Photos are all courtesy of Jerry's Artarama Houston. 

October 17, 2013

Wish Me Luck

I have entered one of my newest pyrography/wood dyed pieces into an art contest being held by my local Jerry's Artarama store.  I was so excited to make the cut and my piece will be on display and this weekend I will find out if I place!!!

This is a red-bellied woodpecker on the side of a tree trunk.  It's quite large, 16x20 inches.  Below is a close up view of the feathers so you can see just how much detail I put into it.

October 9, 2013

Birthday Boys

So while I am playing catch up, I need to post about birthdays, the good, the bad and the ugliest cake ever!

I kid you not about the cake.  My husband mentioned that a coworker told him about how our local grocery store had a tank cake.  With my husband being a former tanker in the Army, I had to go check it out and order it for him if it was up to my standards.  I saw the photo in the book and thought it looked pretty awesome.  I ordered it and I will let the photo below speak for itself.

I am no longer disappointed in HEB. 

I was the day I picked up that cake.  I even spoke with the bakery manager about this atrocity.  She tried to defend it.  Big mistake, Big, HUGE!  (can you guess the movie reference there?)  That's why I made the above photo collage and then posted it on their Facebook page.  Since it was a custom order, I had to buy the cake (they originally gave me half off), but couldn't remake it.  Normally this bakery knocks out stellar looking cakes, not for my husband though.  I blame his bad luck for this.  At least we could laugh, along with all my friends on facebook about this disaster.  I later spoke with the store manager, laughed pretty heartily with her about it and then I spoke with another manager from the store who oversees that area and they refunded my money. 

Happy birthday hunny!   I hope next years cake is not a repeat performance in ugliness.

So, I started with the bad and ugly, now onto the good! 

My littlest turned 4.  Colton was so excited that he woke me up at 5:30am!  He crawled into bed with me and said,
"Wake up mommy, it's my birthday!" 
"Go back to bed, it's still night night time." 
"Can I watch TV?" 
"No, go back to bed." 
"But it's my birthday!"

My little monster, really hammed it up all day long.  He told strangers all about his birthday, teachers, the car that pulled up next to us at a stop light.  He also wanted to look nice on his birthday, so I let him pick out a new shirt.  The handsome little man has my taste is obnoxiously printed shirts.  He chose that one for his birthday shirt.  LOVE IT!

It's hard to believe just how fast he is growing up.  I look at this photo and can't believe he is only 4 with that chiseled little jaw line. 

Happy Birthday Colton.  I hope four brings you a lot of happiness, a lot of interests and crave for knowledge, lots of silly moments and a whole lot of fun. 

October 8, 2013

September Best

Wow, this past few weeks has just kicked me in the keister!  Butted heads with my son's elementary school over some safety issues, traveling husband, birthdays, and I ended up sick with strep throat and a sinus infection.  I haven't had strep since I was 10!  Seriously!  BTW, I had my tonsils out at 10 and they both grew back to full size.  I will gladly get them yanked again so I don't have to go through the hell of having them swell to the size of golf balls.  Thankful no one else in the house caught what I had. 

Top: (left) Colton attempted to give his hair a mohawk while wet (right) A self photo that I really like of me
Bottom: (left) Maben doing an awesome job in his very first soccer game (center) My blooming succulent (right) Colton's first day of school

September 28, 2013


Did you know that they bloom?  It's a stupid question, because I never even thought about it until one of mine did.  Okay, maybe the question isn't stupid, but I definitely suffer lapses in thought.

They are a huge trend in home decorating and I have never seen one in bloom.  I just kind thought they grew slowly like cactus and didn't really do a whole lot.  They are quite beautiful all on their own. 

One of mine went completely wild and crazy and I just let it go to see what it would do.  It grew a tentacle about 12 inches, long and bloomed! 

He wrapped himself all the way around Prince Charming (a party lite candle holder) and produced some pretty cool flowers.

The kids have also taken a liking to sticking found feathers from the yard in where some of the succulents died off. 

September 23, 2013

Shout Out for Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson is my amazingly talented cousin.  She is a singer and songwriter, absolutely gorgeous and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.  I am so jealous of her voice, I can't sing to save my life.  I am happy to say that she has lots going for her and momentum is just picking up.  If you life country music, take a listen and maybe download a song or two of hers.

Here are links to her Facebook, Website and iTunes. Check her out and let me know what you think!

September 16, 2013

Build Me Up

Being skilled in many different mediums sometimes leaves me feeling fractured at times.  It's hard to know what to do and what to further pursue.  I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I can combine many of my talents and passions.

Woodworking and watercolor painting are my two biggest creative passions.  I did this as an homage to them.  I am currently working on expanding and playing more with the pyrography (wood burning) and painting on wood with wood dyes.  I also need to build a frame for my blue jay feather.  I plan on dying the frame as well.  

Once I have honed this skill a bit, I will give some insight on the process.  Since I am still learning and playing with it, I need to figure out what works and what doesn't.  I am currently in the process of doing a butterfly.  I need to get rid of this cold before I can continue on it since I need to sand it down and I don't want to do that when I can barely breathe. 

September 11, 2013

August Best

Summer came to a very abrupt end and not too many photos were taken.  I am happy for the ones that I did take, but need to be better about capturing the moments now that school has started and I will be left with less time.  I need to make sure it is more quality time.

Top: (left) Maben's 1st day of school (center) Blue morpho butterfly (right) Sea lion
Bottom: (left) The kids on the sea lion statue at the zoo (center) A duck I saw at the zoo (right) Colton at a Lowe's build and grow event

September 9, 2013

Smart Phone, Markers and First Day of School

*All links that direct you to amazon are affiliate links and I make a small percentage on any purchase you make through amazon.

My handsome little one started preschool last week.  He was hamming it up for the camera, and not just the DSLR, but my new Samsung Galaxy S4.  I made the plunge and got a smart phone and a month later am still trying to figure it all out. 

I have downloaded and started playing with Pixlr-o-matic.  The above photo was edited with it.  I love old photos and emulsion transfers and this just made me happy because it kinda looks like both.

So, I have to ask what other apps should I be downloading for my phone that are photo related?  Do I even dare figure out Instagram? 

Are there any good apps that build collages like the one below?  (which was done in photoshop)

Colton is shamelessly showing off his school backpack which I decorated with angry birds.  Since it was rip stop nylon, there wasn't much I could do as far as sewing on it and definitely couldn't iron anything on.  I chose to paint on it with some new markers.  Montana acrylic water based markers are what I used for the first time and they are amazing!!!  They coverage is opaque and permanent.  I did such a great job that my husband thought I figured out a way to iron a patch on.

I did take a few photos of Colton with my DSLR and he really shined for me.  Oh how I love this boy, words just cannot describe.

I am happy to report that he loves school so far and the worse thing that happened to him his first week was he didn't finish all his juice at lunch and had to throw a whole sip away.  How I wish that was the biggest problem I would face all week.

So, here is hoping that my beautiful brown-eyed Colton has a wonderful school year and I figure out how to use my phone to it's fullest.

September 5, 2013

Sawdust Girl

Hey everyone!  I am very excited to show off my newest project over on Sawdust Girl

Head over over by clicking the link above or picture to learn how to make this super easy Leather Project Journal.

September 2, 2013

Project Gallery Is Live!

I have been working pretty hard behind the scenes here trying to figure out how to build a project gallery.   After combing the internet and many blogs, I finally found a tutorial that was very user friendly and I was successful at using.  Tuula over at The Thrifty Rebel has the one that I used.  Check it out if you are interested in building a project gallery on Blogger and show her some love.

Now my project gallery is still a work in progress as I go through 3 years of consistent blogging and locating everything I have done.  I will be updating it frequently and hope to keep it updated as I go once I am all caught up. 

I would love it if you go check it out and let me know what you think!

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