The Christmas Of The Owl


It started with me finding some free owl vector downloads to play around with for a baby shower gift. It was basically a family portrait made out of owls that I matted and framed. It turned out so well that I made two more gifts with similar concepts/vectors. The problem is with free clipart/downloads, the resolution is not that great so I ended up not being able to print anything the EXACT size I wanted. I had to make some edits and tinker a bit and I always liked the product, but it was never perfect. But then – it occurred to me:

I can totally make my own owls from scratch using Photoshop shapes. Why am I not doing that? Then I have complete control over the size/resolution!

So I spent way too much time last night tinkering and finally came up with what you see above. It’s done in PSD layers so the colors can be easily changed. This is important because one of the things I made was a team color set of owls. I wish I had realize how “easy” (it was easy in terms of skill, but took WAAAAYYYY too much time) it would have been to do this from the beginning. Maybe next year for Christmas I’ll replace everyone’s pictures THIS year with better ones!

Pretty cute, huh? Considering I’m not a graphics person, I’m impressed. I have the skill to use Photoshop but I am not artistic so I do not have a good design eye. However, when you’re just changing colors of geometric shapes? Even I can do that.


The 2-Cup-Of-Coffee Infinity Scart

I see ideas on Pinterest all the time that I think, It would be nice if I had the time/talent/money to do that project. Because most of the cute ideas require ONE of those three things in a quantity I don’t have. Usually it’s the “talent” category I’m lacking. Often the “time” category. Either way – I’m always lacking in SOMETHING. Until I saw the t-shirt infinity scarf!

  • Money: FREE! As long as you have a t-shirt you don’t mind sacrificing.
  • Talent: I can use scissors! I can cut!
  • Time: It seemed like it wouldn’t take too long.


So! I started the project while brewing my first cup off coffee this morning. I made it through the first photo and the second photo while that first cup brewed. I worked a bit and then went to brew another cup. I made it through the last photo while the second cup brewed. And VoilĂ ! It was done! And I did it all during the “brew” cycle on two cups of coffee.



  • I cut the strips longer the second side, and I think if I do this again I’ll cut them even longer. I think I’d like it shaggier.
  • I wish we had more solid-color t-shirts to get rid off. Most of our disposable shirts are white. I need to think of a way to jazz those up a bit. I thought it might be fun to spray a solid color shirt with some bleach before cutting it to add that splatter look. I’ve done that accidentally before to shirts, so I may try to do it on purpose to see what happens.
  • This scarf is a little long for me. I’ll still wear it, but I’d like it smaller. If I wanted to make the timeline longer I could maybe shrink the loop with a few stitches before I started the strips. OR – I could use one of MY shirts instead of Donnie’s.
  • I’d say I could use one of Nikki’s but I think I want to do this FOR her. She loves scarves but kid’s scarves are stupid expensive. If she can find a t-shirt to sacrifice this would be SO EASY for her to make herself! SHE CAN USE SCISSORS!

Either way. Totes adorbs. And it took me less time that it would take to make breakfast.


How To Make Freezer Paper Stencil Shirts

The Easiest T-Shirt You’ll Ever Make

Making t-shirts with freezer paper is my new favorite thing. I did a few Starkid totebags using this method for my friend Heather and I when we went to see Space Tour last year, but I hadn’t introduced the kids to the technique yet. And it’s too bad, too, because it’s SO EASY. First…you just need a stencil. Here is the Doctor Who one we used this weekend. I made it in Photoshop. You layer your freezer paper over the stencil and cut out the pieces where you want the paint to be on the shirt. I use a crafting blade with a longer handle, but some like actually using razor blades held in their fingers because it gives them more control. YOUR CALL.

Obviously…the easier the design the better. I wish I could show you a picture of a shirt a friend made with this super-complicated Gryffin on it, I still don’t see how she did it and kept her sanity. And don’t forget to save pieces like the center of the “D” because you need that piece to make sure the “D” gets painted correctly.

Once your stencil is made, you just iron it on the shirt, shiny side down. It doesn’t take but a minute or two of ironing to get it stuck to the shirt properly. You’ll see, if you try to peel it back off it doesn’t want to come.

Now? Just paint! You can buy regular fabric paint that is NOT the puff-paint you use to simply draw on shirts. I definitely recommend the regular non-puff paint. However, the pink hearts on Nikki’s shirt was done just using the puff paint on a brush. It took a few more coats of that than the regular paint though. And be generous with the paint! As long as you don’t paint towards the edge of the freezer paper (something the kids weren’t super careful about) it will stay sealed fine, you can put tons of paint on there!

We then dried ours with the hair dryer and once the paint was all dry? We removed the stencil and Ta-Da! Awesome shirts!

Now you're ready for Doctor Who!

Of course…my outfit was purchased…not made. I got my skirt from Go Chase Rabbits (Back BEFORE Felicia Day mentioned her on a Vlog. Since then I think she’s been a little swamped with orders!) and my shirt from Evie Tees. I get ALL of my awesome Potter/Who shirts from her.

Have fun! They really do look professional, even if you let the kids help!


My Half-Ass Attempt To Write A Recipe Blog

We went to our local Thursday Night Farmer’s Market downtown yesterday. Partly because I love going and partly because it’s on my summer bucket list.

We bought a bunch of fruit because – with the kid’s being home every day – I need to provide some healthy snacks. I also bought some veggies because I love roasting random veggies during the summer.

I wish I could do this like some sort of recipe entry to tell you exactly what to do with what vegetable, but I never roast the same vegetable in the same way twice.

My standard method is: coat vegetable lightly in olive oil, then shake around in a bag of seasoning (I like ranch dressing mix!), then roast on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 350.

Everything stems from that, but I make variations depending on the vegetable and the rest of dinner. Last night? We roasted ZUCCHINI and CORN!

The corn was easy, I just shucked it, buttered it, and rolled it up in foil.

The zucchini I sliced into french-fry length pieces. But with about an inch width, I guess. Nothing exact about it. Then I coated it lightly with olive oil and then shook it around a bag of plain planko bread crumbs. I spread the strips on the baking shit sheet (HA!) with the foiled corn-on-the-cob and then sprayed them a bit with Pam: Butter Flavor, just to hope to get the bread crumbs a little crusty. I baked the whole pan (zucchini and corn on the same pan) at 350 for 30 minutes.


The corn turned out great too, I like roasted corn better than boiled corn. Basically? Two VERY dreamy summer veggies from our local farmer’s market. It was lovely.

I may try the zucchini next time by mixing the ranch dressing powder WITH the bread crumbs. Or maybe some italian seasoned bread crumbs? THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE ENDLESS.


Still A Newbie In The Kitchen

We had Donnie’s birthday dinner this week and I wanted to make him a real cake instead of one from a box. I’ve never made a birthday cake from scratch before and I found the “perfect” recipe on pinterest. It seemed rich and it was made with strong coffee. PERFECT for Donnie.

And as you can see by this lovely picture I took? It turned out BEAUTIFULLY.

I posted this photo on Facebook with some sort of bitter snarky comment about how OBVIOUSLY something went wrong. My friend Alicia suggested maybe I had used self-rising flour instead of all-purpose. Evidently, self-rising flour has baking soda and salt in it. (Who knew? NOT ME.) Which would mean there was too much of both used in the recipe because I added both of those things along with the flour.

Now, I didn’t know what self-rising flour was until this weekend, but I know I usually avoid buying it. BUT – I put the flour in a container when I get home, so I couldn’t check for sure that I had used the right flour. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try the recipe again with a new batch of flour unless I knew for sure that was the cause. THEN…I remembered the pumpkin bread I made last weekend with the new flour. It was made in a bundt pan but it was crumbly and it had a tunnel going through the middle. I had made this bread 100 times before and that had NEVER happened.

(Why it didn’t occur to me THEN that I had done something wrong, I have no idea.)

I bought new (ALL PURPOSE!) flour and gave the recipe another try. It worked! Of course, mine didn’t look as good as the picture, (sidenote: I HATE HOW PRETTY CAKES LOOK IN RECIPE PICTURES. Mine never look that good. HATE.) but it was edible and yummy. Not that pretty because I still can’t seem to ice cakes worth a crap, but it was good!

Then, I took the deflated cake and made a trifle with it by simply layering the crumbling deflated cake with chocolate syrup and cool-whip. TA DA! 2 very yummy desserts that looked kinda good! And I learned what self-rising flour was. WIN/WIN!