Monday, February 11, 2019

Girls Hockey Tournament Door Signs

My youngest daughter is on a hockey team that is on FIRE! Cue Alicia Keys singing "That girl is on fire". Let's all sing now!

This group of girls is really something special. Not only are they skilled hockey players, but they are friends and the definition of teammates. They have had an amazing season of winning because they play as a team. It's been fun watching them get closer over the last few years. Heck... it's been fun watching them be able to intentionally pass the puck and then actually catch the pass! That sounds silly, but they have come a long way since the beginning! Now, here they are 12 & 13 year old girls who have taken on older teams, a boys team & teams a tier higher than theirs and won! With grace too may I add. They play hard and they really have fun doing it together! How can you beat that? It almost sounds too good to be true!

A couple of years ago we had a super creative mom (shout out to Jen) who made personalized hotel door signs for a Toronto tournament. They were hockey skates made from card stock and laminated. That door sign is on Julia's bedroom door today and has been since we got back from the tournament. We have since been to many other tournaments, but Jen and her daughter  moved to another team and the rest of us kind of dropped the ball. To be honest, we had big shoes to fill. Jen did a bunch of fun and creative things for the girls all season long.

This year, I wanted to revive the hotel door tournament sign. What kid does not love their name on stuff? What player (of any sport) doesn't want to see their number on everything? Wait... let me just keep up with the honesty here... what MOM does not want to see her kid's name and number on everything??? We want to see their name in lights! We want to see it on stage! Sometimes, I only see my kid. As if a spot light is shining down on her and her alone. It almost seems like a problem. Moms just can’t get enough.

My name is Sheila Richardson and I AM A MOM!

So anywho... I bought the Silhouette Cameo 3 as a little gift from Me to Me last year and I am absolutely in love with this machine. I can't get enough of this thing! No blank surface is safe! I even tried to put hubby’s name on his cell phone. Yeah, that suggestion didn’t go very well.

 I wanted to make something that the girls would keep just like Jen did, so I came up with a banner. Actually, I decided on a banner. Meredith's mom Sue is the one who suggested a banner when I told her I wanted to do something. Thanks for the idea Sue!

Armed with the Silhouette Cameo 3, glitter heat transfer vinyl, team colors, and the names/numbers of all of the girls, I was ready to make these banners. Check out the hockey players, they have long hair. I was not about to put a generic silhouette on these. I wanted them to clearly be girls.

In true Sheila style, I only have a few pics of some of the banners.

WHY? WHY can't I get my picture game together?????

I am happy to report that they won the Buffalo outdoor tournament and brought home some hardware. The trophy made an appearance at Niagara Falls on the way home. 

Pretty awesome! 

Photo Credit: The Castle Family


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Neighborhood Entrance

We moved into our home in March of 2009. It was still cold and needless to say there wasn't much growth on the trees or bushes. The entrance to the subdivision looked kind of like the entrance to a state park. I was certain that would change once spring was here. I was confident there would be a spring cleanup and flowers would be blooming and it would be amazing.

W R O N G!

It turns out that this particular entrance to our subdivision has been neglected for years. There were actually many good reasons it was neglected as the HOA had to deal with many issues with the township. (I mean... it probably didn't need to take as long as it did, but whatevs) 

Of course I don't have a good "before" picture, but I was able to pull an old shot off of google maps. This pic shows how ugly it was but it doesn’t truly depict how over grown everything was before it was redone.

I did manage to get a shot of the state park looking sign. 

After attending many HOA Meetings, I offered to cleanup and plant the entrance myself.

BIG Mistake! BIG BIG Mistake!

The grounds were littered with garbage, bottles, and doggie waste bags. And the ground was so hard it was like digging into cement. To make matters worse, once I finally got everything cleaned up and planted, I found out there was no functioning water source. UGH!!! So I had to lug water from my house to keep the mums alive. The finished product looked better when I was done, but it was still mediocre at best.

Below are pictures taken before the mums were in full bloom. 

As I mentioned above, there were some good reasons why the entrance had not been addressed. Some that had to do with the neighborhood, but most had to do with limitations from the township.

I could make a long story longer, but I won't get into all of the details. Basically the major challenges were:

The sign had to be easily removed if necessary and the distance to the road was important so that meant we could not build a permanent structure and current sign could not be moved from its current location.

The size of the island and the distance to the road meant no sign in the island.

Property owned by the hospital meant no landscaping on the right side of the entrance

Although there were several things going against a proper entrance, I knew we could still make it nice so I pitched an idea to the HOA. All of my suggestions took the above challenges into consideration. I suggested we paint the existing sign and build columns out of stack-able stones on each side. This way they could be easily removed should the township need to access the pipes and other things located under the sign.

I also pitched landscaping ideas. My original pitch included full color pictures that I literally cut and pasted together to provide a visual. Admittedly, I had some grand plans originally. My plan included a million more flats of annual flowers, but planting that amount of flats every year comes at a cost. All 4 entrances have to be evenly and fairly maintained.

Another priority was to select trees that would help conceal the yard of the home behind the entrance.

The president of the HOA was able to work with the township and they agreed to let us paint the sign and add removable stone columns. HUGE WIN! Of course there was a small catch. We could not move the sign from its current location. UGH! But OK, we can work with that.

The HOA let me pick materials and select plantings for the entrance and I loved every second of the process!

Then, the HOA took a leap of faith and let me paint the sign!!! They don't really know me. They don't know what I am capable of doing. But they trusted me! I mean... I was cheap. I only charged the cost of supplies, so how could they pass up that deal?

I wanted to gold leaf the letters and paint the sign black. I was prepared for the time-consuming task of gold leafing, but then I ran into my neighbor Lou who said, "ya know they make liquid gold leaf". WHAT??? They do??? Once I found that out, liquid gold leaf it was! And it turns out it is so much more affordable and easier to apply.

Check out this beauty!

I started by scraping the loose paint, filling cracks with wood filler and a lot of sanding. I painted the letters a base of yellow paint before the gold leaf paint. 

After getting everything taped and painted, I finished it with what seemed like  a million coats of water-based polyurethane. 

After the sign was done the landscapers built the columns, placed the sign and planted. It was fall of 2016 and although it looked nice, it wasn't until this year that I appreciated how beautiful it really is! The flowers are in full bloom and I am so happy every time I turn into into my sub. There were a ton reasons why this shouldn't have ended up as nice as it did, but it is beautiful!  I can only imagine how beautiful it will be when all of the plants mature. 

BTW... I do not claim to be a photographer! LOL


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Ribbon Rack

I have a lot of ribbon. So much ribbon I didn't know what to do with it. Who needs this much ribbon? Ummm...nobody! However, I've had a little bit of a thing for ribbon, especially when it is on sale!

I've always had a ribbon stash, but I never really had a great way to organize it. I’ve had it arranged in shallow boxes on a shelf, which was ok, but not the best because it took up too much space. I loaded all of the spools on dowel rods that I hung below shelves. I thought this would be the best way to store them, I was wrong… it was the worst. It was awful because when the spool runs out, you have to take every spool of ribbon off the rod in order to get the empty one off. I didn’t want to take them all off so I ended up having a bunch of empty spools on the rod. I even tried stacking them, but not surprisingly this didn't work because they just got knocked over.

It's no secret I spend a fair amount of time on Pinterest and I came across this tutorial for a stand-alone ribbon rack.
Now we're talking!

This type of storage is ideal, but I wanted my shelves mounted to the wall and I wanted it to be a lot bigger. All of the storage for our house is located behind 2 closets in my sewing room. The space between the closet doors was perfect for the ribbons.

I showed Mike Richardson the ribbon storage that I liked. He took a few measurements, we headed to Home Depot for supplies, and by that evening I had ribbon storage!!!

I planned on painting it to match the closet doors, but the natural wood is the same color as the floors and I think I like it as is.

Believe it or not, it ended up being way more storage than I had ribbons. 

The size ended up being perfect because now I had room for all my rolls of tulle, all-purpose thread (embroidery thread is a whole other story) and best of all, my collection of beads. I found these great flip-top containers at Dollar Tree by the seasonal plastic plates and picnic-ware. They were 3 for a dollar and fit great on the shelves. 

 I am so in love with this rack!!!

I mean, come on, do I have a great rack or what????


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

DIY Christmas Throw Pillows

I bought a new bench for the basement and it just sat there all by itself. Lonely and sad. I had to give it some life and I knew throw pillows would do the trick. There was no way I was going to spend money on new pillows so I rifled through my fabric stash and found an old cream-colored canvas drapery panel from 17 years ago. These drapes hung in the living room of the house we rented with our friends Brian & Krista in Mississauga, ON. Back then Mike and I went in the woods and cut down the perfect branch that served as a unique drapery rod.  It was well before the rustic-chic movement, I must have been on the cutting edge of design! Okay, maybe I was just resourceful and on the tightest budget ever.
So... why do I still have them??? I'm glad I do!

I cut 4 squares of the canvas panel into 16" x 16" pieces. 

Then I printed off a pattern of a deer head and of a Christmas tree. (The deer head pattern is actually a picture of a deer head pillow).

My daughter Mikayla has a bunch of old dance costumes stored in her closet. One of those costumes was entirely made out of gold sequin which I used for my deer head. I purchased 1/4 yard of red sequin for the tree.That is way more than I needed for this project, but who knows what I will need it for in the future.

Next, I ironed HeatBond to the backside of both the gold & red sequin fabric.

Once cooled I was ready to place my pattern on the front side of the fabric and cut. I originally thought I was going to make 2 deer pillows, but decided against it later.

Here the patterns are cut out and ready to be ironed onto the canvas.

I removed the HeatBond paper off the back of the cut-outs and placed in the middle of the pillow. I used a pressing cloth to protect the sequin when I ironed the cut-out to the fabric. 

Next a zig-zag stitch to give a finished look.

I sewed the pillow front and back together and stuffed with fiberfill I had on hand. The fiberfill was leftover from Boo Day at work last year. It played the part of fake snow in Candy Land for Halloween. I was happy to to take the leftover. That stuff isn't cheap!

Here is the finished product. Looks plain though right? What can I do?

I found 4 cloth Christmas napkins that I have been meaning to use one year for dinner. I've had them for years, but just moved them from one Christmas box to another. I finally used them! I sewed them together and filled them with fiberfill and viola, more throw pillows!

This was a super quick and fun project! 


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Julia's Emoji-cal Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Julia's 10th birthday. TEN! 10 years old! How is my baby double digits???

Thanks to Pinterest we quickly determined that Julia wanted an Emoji themed party. We found some great ideas online and added some of our own ideas too. And of course, we did this whole party on a dime. :)

Everyone knows I love the Dollar Tree, so I started there by picking up a bunch of yellow poster board. I used assorted pots and pans as my template for the yellow circles, cut out the faces out of colored paper and used a glue stick to adhere the faces to the circles.

Did you know that you can order items at that are not regularly stocked at the store and have it shipped for to the store for pick up? I needed paper plates and the only yellow they had at the store was a lemon yellow. I checked online to see if they had more of an emoji yellow and sure enough they did! I ordered cups and plates in the exact color for the low low deal of $1 a pack. I had to order a minimum of 4 packs each which was a little more than I needed, but who doesn't need extra plates and cups? And it was still less expensive than if I were to have gone to one of the popular party stores. I also found this fun garland made out of ribbon and tissue paper that just so happened to be the perfect color. And finally the Dollar Tree had yellow dinner plates that I used for the brownie cupcakes.

I am no baker that's for sure! And I am definitely not a cake decorator, however, I gave it my best shot and the cupcakes turned out great. First we made smiling piles of poo! Poo is always funny!!! Mikayla helped make brownie cupcakes and I piped a twist of chocolate frosting on top. I used grocery store frosting and man is that stuff thick! It doesn't pipe as well as I thought it would, but it was fine. We added some edible googly eyes and there we had it... edible poo! (always funny:) Next we made yellow cupcakes and armed with more edible googly eyes, heart shaped sprinkles and a black gel decorating tube, I went to town creating emoji's. Some may or may not be legit emoji's but whatevs they were fine. Definitely not a professional job, but cute and Julia loved them. Julia had the idea of placing them in the shape of a "J" on the table and they looked great! Good idea Julia!!!

For the beverages, I found a yellow container at Five and Below and what better drink to fill it with than lemonade? Yes, I did spend $5 on this item, BUT, I will get a lot of use out of this container. As we speak, Julia is using it for her lemonade stand. I also made some emoji water bottle labels to add a little more of a personal touch. 

Once all of the girls arrived we split them up in to two groups, one group went with Mikayla to make emoji cookies and the other group came with me to make emoji t-shirts. I really wish I would have been able to watch the cookie decorating because this group of girls are creative! Mikayla put a dollop of yellow frosting on their cookie and the girls took it from there. I provided the same items I used to decorate the cupcakes and I thought we would see a lot of the heart eyes emoji cookies. Nope! It turns out that the googly-eye tongue emoji (not sure of the actual name) is super popular so to improvise, some of the girls used a heart sprinkle upside down as the tongue. So cute! I'm bummed I didn't get pictures of the finished products. They did such a great job! 

Thanks to my friend Michelle Q, I scored a huge deal at JoAnn Fabrics on t-shirts. They had a one day only coupon for 5 t-shirts for $10. What a deal!! I ran out on my lunch hour that day and picked up 20 shirts. AND the best part was that is was a pleasant experience! There was a limit of 10 on the coupon, but the lady helping me, was awesome! She didn't give me a hassle about buying more than 10, she didn't refuse my coupon, she didn't make me come back the next day. She let me spend my money on the t-shirts and get a deal. Can you believe it?? A hassle free that shopping experience! Such a novel idea.  

Before the birthday party, I ironed HeatBond to yellow, black, red, white and blue felt. Next I pre-cut circles and face parts for four different types of emojis (4 sunglasses, 4 heart eyes, 4 laughing tear drops & 4 googly-eye tongue). I put the face parts into sandwich bags and stacked them on the table by type. The girls selected a t-shirt, a yellow circle and a sandwich bag of face parts. Once they picked their emoji, they came into my sewing room, placed their emoji the way they wanted it on the t-shirt and I ironed it for them.

 As soon as the t-shirts cooled off, every girl couldn't wait to put the t-shirt on. 

I made the birthday girl's t-shirt the night before and a little bit different than the rest. She got the number 10 on her shirt with the blow kiss emoji. 

The t-shirt making process took longer than the cookie making process, so that left a fair amount of girls with nothing to do. That didn't last long! As I am ironing in my sewing room, I see that they are all sitting in a circle and the next thing I hear is " concentration, what's your number". How great is that??? They totally occupied themselves while they waited for the rest of their friends to complete their shirts. What a great group of girls! 

Next up, games!

We headed outside to play Musical Squares. Mike numbered the squares 1 thru 4, Mikayla started the music and when the music stopped, we picked a number and whoever was standing in that square was out. We kept doing that until we had one girl standing. She was the winner of a yellow kickball with the sunglasses emoji on it that I bought at Five and Below. We played another round and the next winner received a smiling pile of poo emoji pillow, also purchased from Five and Below (and still funny).

Back inside, we played Pin the Tongue on the Emoji. I made an extra large googly-eye tongue emoji and used painters tape on the back of the tongue so each girl could easily stick and remove the tongue.The winner of this game received a round yellow pool float with the sunglasses emoji on it, also from Five and Below.

Julia had an absolute blast at this party and I think all of the girls did too! The t-shirts were such a big hit that the girls wore them to school the next day.

Julia took some poo brownies to school for her teachers, principal and vice principal. She laughed so hard when she told me she stopped Mr. Clarke in the hallway and asked him if he wanted some poo. I bet he wasn't expecting that!!

An emoji-cal time was had by all!! 

 A huge thank you to all of these girls and their parents for making Julia's 10th birthday a great one!


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