Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recovered Mouse Pad

I cleaned my office today. And I really cleaned it. (Ok, by office I mean desk. I haven't hit the shelves or files yet, I have to save something for Christmas, I mean Winter Break.) Not only did I put everything away but I also wiped down all the surfaces and made it pretty clean. In the process I noticed just how disgusting my mouse pad was. I mean there was dirt, coffee stains, and just general nastiness that comes from a mouse pad being about 4 years old. I realized I needed a new one but I really didn't want to buy one and was too lazy to go look through the closet to see if I could fine one. I looked online for tutorials on making one, but they all involved sewing which was just too much work for a mouse pad. I thought, hmmm I wonder if I could Mod Podge scrapbook paper on mine to make it like new. Well, I just happened to have a very important lunch meeting with some very important people at the HyVee which just happens to be next to Hobby Lobby. It didn't take much convincing to make a quick stop on our way back to work.

Here are the supplies.

This was a super easy project. But even so, I'll write a tutorial.

1. Trace your existing mouse pad onto the back of the scrapbook paper and cut it out. When I cut the paper out I cut on the outside of the line. I'm glad I did this as I didn't line the paper up perfectly but the extra paper covered it all up. Note: My mouse pad was fabric covered, I'm not sure how well it would work with a slippery one.

2. Use the Mod Podge to glue the paper to the mouse pad. Use something heavy to hold it down while it dries.I knew The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration would come in handy someday.

3. Use the Mod Podge to seal the paper after it has dried. I think I did about 3 coats waiting 15-20 minutes in between each coat. This was the perfect amount of time as that was about how long it took me to get frustrated with my grading. I mean really, you are in college do you work and use a pen!

That is it. Really super easy and impressive. I was concerned about if it would work or not and as it turns out it probably works better than the original mouse pad. The Mod Podge gave it a nice finish so it is pretty smooth and easy to move over. There were no problems with the Mod Podge making it too reflective so the optical mouse worked just fine.

Before After

Monday, November 21, 2011

Triple-Layer Pumpkin Spice Pie

We had a potluck at work today. I was going to make a cow cake to practice for the little people's birthday next month. I woke up yesterday and thought, I am not making a cow cake today. You really have to be in the mood for that kind of baking, not everyday is a cow cake day. In my defense I also had to make cupcakes to take the Big Brother's football potluck. When looking for cake mix I found I had a couple boxes of pumpkin spice pudding left over from my stockpile last year. Eureka! Pie.

This recipe comes from one of those tear off sheets on the display in the grocery store. As is often the case, it is very good. And do you remember Jell-O 1-2-3? If so you will totally get this pie. And if you don't. I'm sorry, you seriously missed out. I have no idea how it worked but Jell-O 1-2-3 was amazing.

The ingredients It was only after I made the pie that I realized that it would qualify as Crap I Make so I had to get stuff out of the garbage for the picture. Hence only one box of pudding and a slightly crumpled label from the pie crust.

Here are the ingredients

2 cups milk

2 small boxes pumpkin spice pudding

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 8 oz tub Cool Whip

1 graham cracker pie crust

Mix pudding, cinnamon and milk together. Pour 1 1/2 cups pudding into bottom of crust. Mix 1/2 the tub of Cool Whip with the rest of the pudding and gently put on top of the pudding. Top the pie with the remaining Cool Whip.

Chill and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

Now, let me answer your questions.

1. Why no, I'm not a food stylist. :)

2. You could totally use any other kind of pudding. I want to make this with chocolate and see how it turns out.

3. Sure, you can lie and say it is just as difficult to make as it looks.

4. Seriously, you don't know what Jell-O 1-2-3 was? Google it.

5. Don't bother using Cool-Whip, use the cheap store bought stuff. I only used the real stuff because that is what my husband picked up at Walgreens. And I totally used the $1 crust from Wal-Mart.

With the holidays coming I wanted to share this recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Christmas Thread Scarf

So, recently I have had a couple comments that what I make isn't crap. I mean there was the super cute football hat and most recently turkey shirts that are so stinking adorable that they would make Martha Stewart cry. And I would like to say that everything I make turns out that way. That I never look at something and laugh so hard I snort because it is just so freaking ugly. But that would make me a liar and I don't want to be a liar liar with my pants on fire. So, that is why I am writing this blog entry. This entry is dedicated to one super crappy scarf.

Saturday my dear friend and I went to a crap, I mean craft show with the little people. There was some cute stuff there and we each bought something. But let's be honest, what we bought was purchased to be a sample for stuff we could totally make. There was also a little covert picture taking so we didn't forget some ideas. Yes, I know it might be rude, but get over it. I don't need embellished dishtowels but they would make cute gifts with a nylon scrubber (which I did buy.) Ok, SuSu bought it and I owe her $1.50. I have no idea why I would go to a crap show and not take any cash. Oh, yeah, because I wasn't going to buy anything.

Well, after soaking up all the inspiration there is only one logical next stop...Hobby Lobby. I had an idea in my head that had nothing to do with what we saw at the show but had been percolating for awhile. Have you seen those super cute thread scarves? They look something like this...

(From the KiltedWoman Etsy store)

And the women who wear them look so together and stylish. I thought that could totally be me. I'm hip, I'm together, I'm stylish. Why are you laughing? Just because you don't see it doesn't mean that I'm not those things on the inside. Someday, when I don't have toddlers or teenagers in the house, you'll see.

I decided I wanted a Christmas string scarf. It would be way cool and slightly gaudy and tacky in that way that only hip Christmas apparel can be.

I bought my supplies at Hobby Lobby and made my scarf.

Here is what I bought.And here is what I made

Words and pictures cannot describe just how ugly this scarf is. It looks like something a reindeer might cough up, and then be embarrassed they coughed something so ugly up. No, really you have to see this thing. I laughed so hard if I had milk it would have come out my nose. And there is no saving this thing. I'll take it apart and make something out of the parts, but no counselor can save this relationship.

So, here it is. The first really crappy crap project I made. And yes, I still want to make a string scarf because when I see them I think, I can totally make that. But friends, I think this scarf reminds us all that sometimes you just need to say no I can't, and buy the freaking scarf.

Please do me a favor. If you see a super trendy, hip Christmas string scarf point me in the direction so I can be hip, cool, and put together for the holidays with a nice black sweater, an awesome string scarf, and snot on my shoulder.

Turkey Shirts

One of this weekends projects (there were a few) are tukey shirts for my little turkeys to wear on Thanksgiving. Now, I don't have photos of the turkeys wearing the turkeys yet becuase I'm not letting them wear the shirts until the actual holiday. Seriously, it would be nice for them to have nice, stain free shirts just once in a while.

The inspiration (pinspirsation?) for these shirts came from This blog provides a great easy to follow tutorial for making turkey shirts.

I did have a problem getting the template for the body and feathers to print. I ended up sizing the image on the computer screen to be the same size as a sheet of paper and then lightly traced it using a pencil. What did I think of this process? Brilliant! Why didn't I think of this before? You could use your computer monitor as a "light box" and make templates of everything. This is totally going to come in handy when I make the little people their quiet books.

Here are the supplies

There just wasn't a good way to take a picture of all the crap, I mean stuff i needed to make these shirts so you'll just need to pretend this picture is amazing. And yes, to answer your question, that is a glass of wine in the background. It was Friday and the kids were sleeping, don't judge.
Becuase the tutorial did such a great job of explaining the process I don't really think I need to tell you everything again. I mean after all, you got here so you can probably read and follow a link. If not, ask your toddler, they'll help. Instead I'm just going to share my lessons/things I learned from this project.

1. I totally need to organize my scrap fabric. What a mess!

2. Everyone has different ideas about what colors turkey feathers should be. I had some help picking these colors out. All I knew is that they were not going to be brown. I had lots of pinks, but there wasn't enough contrast to do all pink feathers for Little Princess. Little Man's was supposed to have some blue in it but I honestly don't know what happened to that fabric-it is in the picture but didn't make it to the shirt.

3. When using fusible interfacing don't use your good iron.

4. You can't iron felt, it will melt on your iron.

5. You can use dryer sheets to get a bunch of guck off your iron. It worked really well for the melted fusible interfacing. Just rub the dryer sheet on the hot iron and it actually comes right off. Just be careful you don't burn your fingers. Most of the melted felt came off the iron, it just took several dryer sheets. I still have some residue but I'm going to try Goo Gone to get that off. I love that stuff-Goo Gone, not melted felt.

6. My smoke detector goes off when I bake something but not when my iron, which is much closer to the detector, gets all smokey becuase of melted felt and dryer sheets. That worries me.

7. This project is pretty quick. Unless...

  • You have to make two. God bless those mom's with more than two babies. I mean I can handle twins but if you were to add a third, I just don't think I could do it. And what if I had 8? That would be a lot of turkey shirts.

  • There is a very exciting football game on TV. Now really, I don't much care about football and I really only thought I would turn it on, see we were getting our butts handed to us, and then move on to something on the Food Network. Nope, had to watch the whole game. And there were points when using a hot iron or a sharp scissors was not a good idea. So, once again I learned that crafting in front of the tv takes much longer than crafting in a quiet space. Quiet space in my house? Ha! That made me laugh.

  • You have two helpers who want to help you with the hand sewing.
8. There are some great tutorials on YouTube on how to make french knots. I used french knots for the eyes and simple embrodery for the beak and legs. I did have to tie off between the face and the legs or the tension got all goofy and the legs didn't work.

9. Sitting in the van in the driveway is a great place to get the hand sewing done. The little people were not having a nap on Saturday so I tricked them by taking them for a ride. Well, if I tried to get them out of the van they were going to wake up, so I just sat with them in the driveway. It was actually pretty nice. I got Little Princesses shirt finished and got to read my Food Network magazine.

10. I could totally sell these shirts. They are way stinking cute. Unfortunatly those sales would involve a lot more work than I am willing to put into things. Plus, making turkey shirts is fun. If it became a job it would be work. But if you need a turkey shirt, just let me know, we can work something out.

But here if the final product. The shirts I used were just plain white turtlenecks from Wal-Mart. I will post pictures of the turkeys in the turkey shirts later in the week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Just In!

Thank you friend for sending me the information on what I can take on the plane.

To answer your most burning questions...

Yes, I can take a crochet hook on the plane.
Yes, I can take a scissors on the plane. However, I cannot take on a circular thread cutter or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint. Luckily, I don't know what those things are.
No, I cannot take my meal cleaver, ice pick, saber, sword, spear gun, hatchet, blasting caps, or realistic replica of a firearm with me. Lucky for me, I just wanted to make hats for my friends, so my plans shouldn't have to change too much.

For more information visit and wonder, did that put that on the list because someone tried or because they were trying to think of everything?

More Hats!

Ok, maybe not more hats, but at least another hat. I'm really liking this whole crocheting hats thing. They are easy and way super dooper cute.

As was discussed in my last post while I love the football hat I made it turned out a bit small for my Little Man. I got the suggestion from the pattern creator at Posh Patterns to try using a hook a size up from what I used (so that woudl be an I) but after reading my blog she suggested that it might be the yarn I used becuase that yarn is a bit smaller. So, trying to cover all my bases I both went up a hook size and used heavier yarn. The yarn I used was some Red Heat Super Saver that I had in my basement stash of yarn from my grandma. It is not soft. Not soft at all. But I didn't want to go buy more yarn for a sample, so I just used it. The good news is the hat turned out way cute. The bad news is that it is scratchy. The other good news is that I love the way the verrigated yarn looked. I imagine I'll be making verrigated hats in pink and blue for Little Man and Little Princess very soon. Now, if I could just find some red and gold verrigated yarn we could have some crazy fun family hats. I would settle for purple and gold if I had to, but would much rather red and gold. Hmmm, I wonder if we would then be known as that family with the crazy matching hats. And I wonder if that would be a bad thing. At least we could find each other in a crowd. And really, I would be fine with being that family. I'm fine with being that mom that opens the animal crackers in the store to get her kids to stop whining, and never thought I would be ok with that.

But anyway, back to the hat. Last night we had to drive to an awards dinner so we were going to be in the car for about 45 minutes and I thought my time would be better used crafting than taking a nap. Being as I can't plug in my sewing machine in the Toyota I thought crocheting would be a good project. I grabbed what I needed and we hit the road. I was able to crochet for about 30 minutes until it got too dark and I couldn't go on. I finished up when I got home so all told this hat probably took me about 1/5-2 hours, not long at all. I did leave off the ear flaps (because I didn't want to do them last night) and added a pom-pom so it would be extra special. And cute. This was my first attempt at a pom-pom. Next time I will add more loops. They weren't kidding when they said add way more than you think you need.

The hat turned out much larger than the other one I made so the use of thicker yarn and a bigger hook really helped.

I wasn't able to get Little Man or Little Princess to model because they were sleeping and I don't think they would have taken well to being woke up to have their picture taken in a hat. So, I had to go with the next best thing.

My only question now is can you take a crochet hook on an airplane. We are going to Vegas in a couple weeks and I thought I could totally get some hats made on the plane. Watch out friends-you are all getting hats!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Football Hat

First things first, and second things second. First-I need to make a little bit of a clarification. My blog is called "52 Weeks of Crap I Make" but that doesn't mean that what I make is really crap, nor should it be taken as a disparaging comment to anyone that I steal inspiration from. Actually, I think I make a lot of fun stuff and usually it turns out pretty good. Ok, if not usually, sometimes. So, really you should just take the title of my blog as my attempt at humor. And just like is the case for my projects, sometimes I'm successful, and sometimes I'm not. But really if you can't see the humor in the title or relate to refering to your projects as crap in someway (either by yourself or someone who loves you) this is probably not the blog for you.

Second-As I write this blog I realize it is probably also not the blog for you if things like grammar and punctuation are important. I try, I really do, but I was never an English major. Also, I tend to ramble and have a pretty stream of consiousness style of writing. So, beware. But stick with me becuase I always get back to the point.

Now on to the fun part. The inagural project. My little man loves football. I mean LOVES football. He loves watching football on tv and cheering for Big Brother (all football players are Big Brother) and when Big Brother isn't at home he is at football. Little Man loves to wear his football shirts. Now, this one is funny because he really only has one shirt with a football on it but he has several football shirts. I don't know, I gave up trying to figure him out a long time ago. And we have about 348 footballs around my living room. Ok, maybe not 348 but at least 5, which at times seems like 348. Little Man (and his sister Little Princess) also love hats, or "hots" as they like to call them. Yeah, that is fun when they are sitting in the backseat yelling "Hot! Hot!" and you think they are hot and are turning up the air conditioning and starting to shivver but really they just can't reach their hat. Anyway, their birthday is coming up so I thought I would make Little Man a football hat for his birthday. Here is how it went.

The Supplies:

My football hat pattern which was purchased from Posh Patterns at Let me just tell you I have had the most amazing experience with Posh Patterns. Not only was delivery of my patterns incrediblly quick the coustomer service has been awesome. I had a question about the pattern and got an almost immediate response. So, if you need any hat patterns, check this site out.

A skein of brown and white yarn.

A crochet hook (I can't remember the size)

A glass of wine (this particular wine was the Sutter Home Pink Moscato)

Not pictured-a yarn needle. I didn't think I would need this...I did.

This project was actually pretty easy. It took me two evenings to complete but I think I'll be able to make the next one in about 4 hours if I don't get distracted by things like Grey's Anatomy. Also, I needed to refresh my memory on a couple crochet techniques (slip stich, joining colors) so I had to watch a couple YouTube videos. Seriously, what did we do before YouTube?

The pattern was really simple to follow and repetitive so it didn't require a whole lot of thought once you got going. I did have a few problems. I totally forgot how to get started using a ciricle so I had to redo that a few times so I could get the right number of stitches. I also needed a reveiw on how to join colors. Once I got past that I was good to go. As I was doing the white boarder I did enter the land of "Oh crap! Are you serious." When I found I didn't tie off correctly on the ear flaps and they started to unravel. But I got them fixed. It happened again when I got to the very end so I think I'm going to have to watch a YouTube video on signing off.

The only issue I had is that my hat turned out very small. I made the largest size (2T-4T) and it just fits on Little Man's head, and he doesn't have a big head. I e-mailed Posh Patterns and got some tips on increasing my size. Next time I will use a larger crochet hook and try not to be so tight with my stitches. I will also follow the suggestion to use double crochets instead of single for the ear flaps to make sure they cover the ears. We do not need more ear infections.

I do plan on making a couple more of these hats. I want to see if I can make a bigger one for Little Man and based on her reaction to the hat I'll need one for Little Princess as well. Hubby and Big Brother want one too, but I'm not sure how to make adult ones so I'll have to find a pattern for that.

Here is the final product...

Friday, November 11, 2011


Hello and welcome to 52 Weeks of Crap I Make. My name is Emily and I will be your guide on this thrilling adventure into the land of "I Can Totally Make That". Yep, I'm that person. I have boards and boards of projects pinned on Pinterest that I just have to make. I see items in stores or at craft shows and think, I can't buy that-I can make that! Never mind the the time and supplies will likely cost 3 times as much as the pre-made one and the end result will likely look like one of my toddler twins made it. It still has to be attempted.

I was inspired to create this blog by one of my friends who created her own daily blog...that I LOVE. However, a daily blog is just too much of a committment for me. Did I mention the twins...and an 11 year old? Weekly, I think I can handle. The question then became, but what do I blog about. I tried a recipe blog once. Yeah, I didn't maintain that one very well. So I thought about what can I do that will also help me do more for me. And that is when I was hit over the head with the Pinterest board. I can make stuff! The initial name for my blog was "52 Weeks of Creativity" but I think "52 Weeks of Crap I Make" is probably more accurate. My intention is that some weeks there will be crafts, some weeks there will be recipes, and some weeks there will be something I haven't even considered yet. Perhaps I'll take a little side trip to the land of accessorizing beyond your wedding ring. Who knows?!

I can't promise you a lot, but I can promise I will bring you the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the UFPs. Yes, let's just admit it right now there will be UFPs. For those of you who are super on top of things and finish everything you start, you might want to stop reading now. UFPs are UnFinished Projects. I have a lot of them. One hope of this blog is to motivate me to pull those things out of their hiding places and finish them up. And while sometimes I will bring you UFPs on their way to completion, I'm guessing I'll also be showing you new projects whose fate may be an eternity as an UFP. Sometimes, life sucks like that.

Whenever I can I will try to provide you with the link to the original source of my inspiration and any appropriate tutorials. Additionally I'm going to try to take pictures of this whole adventure. At least pictures at the start and end. I'm not a photographer and I can't imagine the photos will be the best, but I'll try.

Anyway, I have my first project in mind and just have to make a quick trip to Hobby Lobby after work to pick up my supplies.

Happy Projecting :) Emily