Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peace Out Mickey, Caillou's in Town

My kid finally found a cartoon she likes better than Mickey- and it's Canadian. Go figure.
The toon? Caillou. 

Here he is with his friends.

 Caillou: "Hate to toot my own horn here guys, but."

I have a short letter in regards to this new barrage of episodes I am forced to watch. 

You bald little turkey, your complimentary colored world is making me batty. I went to Canada once, and there are more than 3 colors there. I'll swear on a moose if I have to. 
With love (I promise),

Show questions and observations in general:
1) Why is Caillou so bald? He's 4, he should have a few hairs. His baby sister has a head full of hair. What gives.  sidenote: Brett gave him the benefit of the doubt and seems to think the kid has a "condition". This may explain the whining (see observation #4).

2) If anyone was wondering, Julia Child is not dead, Canada stole her and made her the narrator of Caillou. 

3) One episode there is a campground attendant that looks just like Brett. His name is Pierre (naturally). He gives Brett a run for his money with that turtle neck and tiny shorts combo. 

-Brett and Caillou, Summer of 2007. 
Bahahaha. Back off ladies he's all mine! 
And yes, that is a screen shot, from a YouTube video I had to rigorously search for on my computer in order to provide this illustration to this post. Don't judge me.

4) Any time that Caillou speaks, it sounds like he is whining. ANY TIME. EVERY TIME. Stop talking Caillou. 

In all seriousness, it's a pretty jolly little cartoon. And the grandma narrator has a rather soothing voice. Brett assured me that the complimentary color scheme is light hearted and used to convey some sort of happiness. Typical Brett. Why don't you go fold your turtle necks and tiny shorts mister! I'll be over here counting how many times I see the colors red, yellow, and blue. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pretty as a Princess - Dress Up Wardrobe

My kid just celebrated her 2nd birthday, I know, I don't want to talk about it.

I told a friend just this week: "I have to be sure that Adeline has a hell of a good time as a child because the rest of the journey is responsibilities and crap, lots and lots of crap."

I wanted to do something special for the big 2, and my little princess is rather fond of dressing up like a princess. I thought, what a better way to celebrate than to construct a wardrobe to hold everything whimsical and fun for her.

Here is the final product for those who just want to see it and move on:
Pretty cute huh? She was stoked about the whole ordeal. 

For those who want to know how I aimlessly roamed my way through this project, proceed. 

As per usual, I had no plan. I knew what I had in my mind, and just hoped to hell that it wound up being usable by the end of the project. I did get some help this time, from both of my parents. Who probably had a really hard time figuring out my make believe blueprints. 
So here is my fly by the seat of my pants tutorial for anyone interested in making one of these bad boys.

- Tools: paintbrushes, hammer, flathead screwdriver, staple gun, drill, uh uh uh that might be it. I think that was all we needed. If you are afraid of power tools then you will need your dad, and if you need creative inspiration and help you will need your mom. Unless your mom isn't crazy crafty like mine, then you need to find my mom. 
- An old entertainment center, we found this one at Goodwill for $30. And? It was made in America, which means it weighs a million pounds because it isn't the cheapo stuff. Aside from the fact that it was in a thrift store, that was the cheapo part. 

Here it was before any work started:

- Paint - I went with Valspar primer and paint in one. Color? ROYAL PURPLE. This paint is amazing, and it only required one solid coat. 

- Dainty hardware, we found ours for $2 per knob at Michael's craft store. Win. 

- 1 to 2 yards of fabric to cover the back of the cabinet. I found ours in the bargain bin at a local fabric warehouse, $2.50 per yard. This could also be painted, but I wanted to add a coordinating print. Inevitably it will get covered by clothing, but some will show at the bottom. 

- Tension rod for hanging clothes. 

* Directions 
Which as we all know, are the most hated part of these sorts of posts for me. But here it goes!

Here is an illustration of some of the things that got done first and foremost:

1) Prep the furniture for painting, depending on the finish it may need some good sanding. Take off any backing or boards that you may be covering with fabric. Or add any boards or backing that will also be needing to be painted. I removed all drawers and slide out thingies and painted them first/separately. 

2) Paint away! If using the paint I used just take it easy and do a really thorough first coat, because this stuff is so great I only needed the one coat. 

3) Watch your paint dry... or, rock out to some music. Even better - start working on another part! 
We took the large back panel and covered it with our fabric. The staple gun is your friend for this part. 

4) Once painting is complete and dried, you can re-attach any fabric covered boards. Hello again staple gun (or small nail tacks).

5) Carefully add hardware or whatever knobs you chose with a drill. Or pretend for about 5 seconds that you are going to do this part until your dad does it for you. 

6) We moved it in to it's spot in our little Diva's bedroom before the finishing touches were done. At that point we added a tension rod for hanging her dresses, and the baskets for the accessories. 

7) Load that sucker down with every frilly, dainty, lovely thing you can find. Every person who requested gift ideas for the little dear was told to go with anything dress up. She could easily supply every drag club in Key West with her current stash of frills. 

Ta da! 

The wardrobe was a huge hit, we can't keep her out of it (literally, she keeps crawling inside of it and camping out). 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Up Up and Away! Hot Air Balloons

There are many times that I scoff at stay at home moms and bored housewives, and crack jokes thinking that I am gleefully not either of those things.

And then I realize that I just spent 3 hours constructing miniature hot air balloons out of old light bulbs and it hits me that I may be somewhat of a nutjob. With half mod podged fingers and tiny paper scraps surrounding me I pack my humility up and quit scoffing, because I am one odd project away from Craftaholics Anonymous. "Hi, my name is Stefanie, and I can't quit gluing and glittering shit together."

This miniature hot air balloon project intertwined a few of my favorite things, it was the perfect "upcycled" project. I got the idea from Danny Seo's book, Upcycling Celebrations

I really liked the old tree limb that I had prepared for the Advent Calendar this year. So when Christmas passed us by I left the limb up in the hallway, and used it to hang my new doodads from. I rather like it!

To get the full scoop on what to do, buy Danny's book. This project requires 5 materials, and is super easy to do, the only hassle is drying time on the mod podge. The cost? well, if you are a whacko and have everything on hand in your craft room like I did, then free. Otherwise it is still very minimal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Farewell

Preface: this post involves my hobby as a paranormal investigator. I have mentioned a few things about it in previous posts.
I set this post up for the team's website, and felt like adding it here as well. 
So here it is:

Death is the only guarantee that life has to offer. 
On that note, it is no wonder that so many people are fascinated with what happens after death. 
I started my journey in the paranormal field about 5 years ago. I won't lie, I was probably more interested in doing what they do on the t.v. shows than I was with actually helping people. I had so much to learn, and learn I did. My personal goals in this hobby evolved over the years, and I would like to think that somewhere along the way I did help a few people out. I have formed some amazing friendships along the way too, and I have never known another group or club to function so much like a family (an extremely professional family at that). 

I started this journey as a believer, I grew up noticing things that weren't "normal" and I knew that there had to be something else to all of this. It isn't black and white, the universe, the whole life after death idea, there is a gray area. This gray area is what has been a topic of concern for dozens and dozens of clients we have been called on to help over the years. Yes, some client situations we could explain away as nothing paranormal. However, I can say that I have added to my arsenal of personal experiences as an investigator. I can't tell you the meaning of it all, I could be on several teams, over several decades, and still not tell you how it all works. There are no rule books when it comes to this sort of stuff.
I do know that there is a fear surrounding this unknown, and that fear is real. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with this amazing team, and to have been able to eliminate that fear in myself. 

Yesterday it was with a heavy heart that I announced to my team that I will be resigning from my duties as case manager, and investigator, on March 31st, 2013. I battled it out in my head for months on what would be the best move for me to make. Maybe just step down from my board position, take a leave of absence, go to the beach, take a hike, fly a kite, you name it. Unfortunately I can't operate that way, as my goals evolved in this field I have managed to turn it into a bit of an obsession, and less of a hobby. I spend hours on the team's message board. I spend hours tweaking forms and methods. I have organized and re-organized enough to probably make the whole team batty. I know deep down that in order to re-direct my focus to where it needs to be I have to just cut all ties. That realization ripped my heart right out.

I wish the best of luck to all of my teammates, my family. I also wish the best of luck to all of our past, present, and future clients. If you are a potential client reading this and navigating through the website to find a team to help you, you are at the right place. I cannot think of a better group of people to take care of you. 

The paranormal field has offered me so many great memories, and I thank each and every one of you who I have had the pleasure of meeting through this adventure. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Well, 2012 was my weight busting year. I didn't mean for it to be, but it happened. Here I shall discuss my extremely limited wisdom on the subject, in case any of you want to follow in my rather haphazard footsteps.

My main piece of advice? Get sick, a lot. It is an amazing appetite suppressant. If you have a child, put them in a childcare program of some sort. For us? A Parent's Morning Out program at a local preschool has done wonders for our entire home's immune system. Those little snot nosed shits are constantly loading their germs off onto our child, and she so lovingly delivers said germs to mommy and daddy.

       Aside from that I advise starting a weight loss plan in hot weather climates (phew, you procrastinators can stay fat until summer time, what a relief right?). You are most welcome. But seriously, I am having the hardest time sticking to a workout routine now that it is cold. So I am glad I gave it a shot in the summer when it was 100 degrees. The GA summer melted my fat off, true story. No lies here - 2012 was a record breaking summer, one of the hottest in the states over the last 60 years.

Another helpful weight loss tip? Drink water, lots and lots of water. "But Stefanie, I hate water, it is so boring." Oh yea? You are also really fat so listen up. Just kidding, that was mean, and you might not even be fat while reading this. Fat or skinny, if you hate the taste of water you can flavor it like some crazy yuppie. Fancy that shit up, throw in some fruit, or cucumber, mint leaves, oh my! - oh and by the way, I kept a mint plant alive the entire summer. I know right?!

A rather popular excuse for people who just can't motivate themselves to improve their health "I can't afford to go to the gym or have a trainer."
Let me break down my -Operation Weight Loss- budget so you can see that it doesn't cost much to get the job done:
-Good spot to go walking: Free
-2 pieces of exercise equipment from Goodwill: $40
-Yoga mat I already had: Free
-Pandora station for music to work out to: Free

Want to see my extravagant in-home gym? Ok:
Spectacular right? You'll notice a variety of exposed electrical outlets, that is for keeping you on your toes while you work out. Nothing says motivation like electrocuting yourself mid yoga position. While we are at the yoga mat, when doing any exercises requiring you to be on your back you will also get a lovely view of the exposed insulation. Playing the "shapes in the clouds game" can be used with insulation as well. Nothing helps you lose count of your crunches quicker than spotting an elephant on a motorcycle.

There has to be some validity to my ramblings, I went from 133lbs to 117lbs, and I intend to lose the last two and make it an even 115lbs. I am still whiter than ever though, so instead of being pudgy and pale I guess I just look borderline sickly.

See? My face looks much thinner... And my diet of saltines and ginger ale appear to be making me looney. The kid too, totally looney.

Now that the weight goal is easily obtainable I feel like I need some more challenging resolutions for 2013. Perhaps I can double my etsy success. Perhaps I can train my family's immune systems to defeat the germs that they are constantly coming in contact with. Oh! And I can work on my latest collection, old hotel keys. Those all seem like pretty spot on goals. Lookout eBay, this newly skinny bitch has some hotel keys to buy!*

*totally kidding, I leave all eBaying up to my father, and he rather enjoys finding keys for my latest obsession- such an enabler! Good thing I don't collect crack or heroin. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Story Time

I had really intended to compose this elaborate post wrapping up the Jones family Christmas, and all that mumbo jumbo.
Alas, I present you with a story composed by my father for his sweet grand daughter.


Dick and Jane,
Went up the hill,
and the dog ate the cat.

Happy New Year people, go do some profound crap.

p.s. - Papa has been relieved of any future story telling duties.