SciFi Mama

Adventures in raising a geeky child

Build and Grow September 11, 2012

Filed under: crafts,Family,fun — scifimama @ 7:15 pm

Lately our Girl Scout troop has been going to Lowe’s Build and Grow events. These are fun and free, which is a complete bonus! You will need to register your child for the events. Lowe’s website makes everything easy. Click on the link and search for your city. I changed mine to Hawaii for this post. Once you find your local Lowe’s, click on register, and fill in the info.

Once you get there the kids will get an apron, and safety goggles. They have small hammers made for the kids to use. After you build the project kids are presented with a certificate and a patch for Scout uniforms. If you aren’t a scout, you can do what you want with it.

We have a nice little collection of wooden toys. Paige enjoys building them and getting to take it home. She proudly shows off what she’s made to everyone who’ll stand still for 30 seconds and look.


Onesie Cupcakes October 11, 2011

Filed under: crafts,Mommy,pics — scifimama @ 9:20 pm

I’m a rather, shall we say, frugal person. So when I came across the most adorable adaption of gourmet cupcakes I about flipped. They were super cute, and would be perfect for the baby shower I was invited to later that month. But, they were $40, plus shipping, and I wasn’t paying that. I found a somewhat tutorial with a list of items. I gathered up my supplies and started.

4 Onesies (I like to use 3-6 month size)

4 receiving blankets

4 coffee filters

curling ribbon

cupcake box

ribbon to decorate box

Start by measuring the height of your cupcake box; mine was 4 inches. Fold a receiving blanket to 1/2 inch shorter than the box. Pick a onesie and fold it so that it fits into the blanket, sticking up that extra 1/2 inch allowance you left. Line up the left edge of the blanket and the butt side of the onesie.

From here, you simply roll them together tightly.

Once you get to the end set the whole thing into a coffee filter. You may want to put a bit of tape on it to hold in place. That wasn’t necessary on the first set I made, but the second set I had to do it. (It could have been the difference in the brands on items I used.) Tie a length of curling ribbon around the center of the coffee filter, making a simple bow.

The onesie looks a bit like icing sticking up on the top of a cupcake at this point. Continue like this until you’ve made all 4 onesie cupcakes. The package of onesies I bought actually had 5 in the pack. I used the last one to put in the bottom of the box for color. You could use a onesie or tissue paper to give that peek of color underneath the other cupcakes.

How you match up the onesies and blankets is all personal preference. I tried to put the brighter colors with the blankets that were more white. If the pattern was similar and one had more bold colors I tried to pair those. How you pair them is up to your personal taste.

To finish off the gourmet cupcake look I decorated the top of the box. I used a wide ribbon to close the box, adding more curling ribbon and a flower to the top. Definitely check out your local Dollar Tree for the ribbon and flower. That’s where I got mine, all matching and the ribbon already curled for me.

The recipient definitely liked her special cupcakes. Everyone at the baby shower thought it was the cutest idea. One of my coworkers overheard me talking about it and asked me to make one for her as well. She said it was the hit of the shower she attended.


Teacher Gift August 8, 2011

Filed under: crafts,Mommy,pics,school — scifimama @ 5:16 am

I’ve been working on a gift for Paige’s new teacher. I didn’t want to do anything super over the top, but I did want to do a little something. At the bottom of our school supply list was a teacher wish list. I’m sure everyone else probably got the same thing. It’s common for teachers to ask for a few extra items that they need for the class in hopes that parents will bring in some of the items. Most of the requested items were already on Paige’s supply list already so I picked up an extra here and there as I shopped. Money is tight for us just like it is for most people that I know. I wanted a cute and fun way to give the teacher the things she had asked for. And here it is, my back to school bouquet.

I found the jar at Old Time Pottery on sale for $1.50. I picked up the school supplies from Walmart once they put out the back to school section. It took 2 boxes of 24 crayons, 2 glue sticks (packaged together in 1 package), 1 bottle of school glue, 1 small hand sanitizer, a pair of safety scissors, and a package of water colors. And here’s where I really got creative. I wanted a good way to hold everything in place yet still be movable for adjustments. I used red aquarium rocks. (Slight digression here, but hey, it’s my blog, right? Anyway, I recently found a tutorial for dying rice. I’ll probably try that next.) The sticks? Bamboo skewers for grilling. I put the sharp ends down into the gravel so no one would get hurt.

I started by lining the jar with crayons. This took most of the 2 packs I bought. I put the jar on it’s side and lined as many as I could, then started putting in the gravel. I found putting it in a measuring cup and pouring it in worked the best. Once I finished placing all the crayons I filled the gravel up to the top of the crayons.

With that done I started preparing the “flowers” for my bouquet. Out came my trusty glue gun. Using hot glue will keep the supplies attached to the skewer securely, but will still allow the teacher to take them apart with no permanent damage to the items. I gave it a more finished look by tying rick rack in coordinating colors on each “flower.” You could use whatever ribbon you have on hand. I had this left over from last years end of school gifts.

This was a quick and easy craft that I think will go over well with Paige’s new teacher. I will also take in a pack of computer paper that was on the wish list; it was just too large to put on a skewer. I posted a picture of it on Facebook the other day and a teacher friend said she really liked it. I’m hoping the bribe, er I mean gift, is a hit with the teacher.


Crafty, crafty July 27, 2011

Filed under: crafts — scifimama @ 8:59 pm

My blog is once again suffering due to a burst of craftiness. It could be I’m suddenly learning new things. It could be I’m getting great ideas from other blogs and a few original ideas of my own. Or more likely it’s because the weather is either a billion degrees outside, I do live in Alabama, or we’re having a severe thunderstorm. Whichever reason you pick, we’re being crafty around here.

Ronnie has completed knitting his Dr. Who scarf. It finished at around 16 feet but will get longer when he adds the tassels. There were a couple of restarts along the way but the knitting of the finished scarf took about 4 weeks. He’s now moved on to a hat for Paige until he goes back to put the tassels on his scarf. Probably the oddest part of the whole process happened by freak chance. Ronnie had been taught the basics but didn’t know how to finish off the scarf. He went along with me to get my oil changed one afternoon. As we’re sitting there in the dealership crocheting and knitting in comes an older woman amazed to see a man knit. The only other man she knows who knits is her own husband. Ronnie asked questions and she answered until he pulled out an extra set of needles and she taught him how to end the scarf. By the end of the lesson several other men had come in and were all talking about it saying they wanted to learn. You just have to love the friendliness of a small Southern town.

I’ve completed my blanket and the one that Paige requested. My current crochet project is a baby blanket for a coworker. I’m trying something different and so far I’m really liking what I’ve got. I will eventually take some pictures and post them here. Last weekend Paige and I made a gnome catapult. I got the idea from a blog by Jonah Lisa. We have all had fun playing with it. And finally, I’ve learned a little sewing. Nothing too big, so no one get too excited. I’m learning to sew straight lines. I know it’s really out there and hard, but I’m starting simple. I’ve made a present for a friend that I hope she likes. I’ll post details next week along with pics.

Hopefully everyone else is having a good summer whether it’s being crafty or getting out and enjoying the weather. If you’ve got some craft ideas please share them.


Crafting Party July 5, 2011

Filed under: crafts,Family,Mommy — scifimama @ 5:21 am

A crafting party may not sound like your idea of fun, but it’s most definitely mine, especially when it involves my favorite cousin, Stephi. We’ve talked about doing one of these for what seems like forever, but we could never get our schedules to match up. Stephi is a sheriff’s deputy and was doing shift work. Her shift work didn’t work well with my traditional Monday through Friday job. When you add in her first responder and fire department shifts, then her photography business and my activities it just got worse and worse. Now Stephi is on a regular schedule and we’re able to get together more. We finally managed to get some time together Saturday in order to craft.

Saturday morning I loaded up my car with scrapbook supplies and my crochet basket and headed over. I was given a curfew and had to be home in time for dinner, so our scrapbooking party didn’t last as long as I would have liked. Once we got in our groove it was just about time to pack up and drive home. I did get more crocheting done, but more importantly I got to show my progress to one of the two people who taught me.

Stephi moved around her living room furniture, put two folding tables up end to end, and we each took a table. We had pictures, paper and all kinds of supplies scattered all over her living room. We made a huge mess and enjoyed every second of it. As we scrapbooked we had other family members drop in. Stephi doesn’t have much choice in her neighbors- they’re all aunts, uncles and cousins. (You could call that the advantage or disadvantage of your family owning 40 acres all attached to each other in 10 acre increments.) We scrapbooked, crocheted, and chatted with my Mom, a couple of cousins and an aunt.

It definitely wasn’t a bad way to spend a day. We enjoyed it so much that we’re going to try to get together like that every other month. We’re trying to be realistic with all of the other commitments that she and I have. It’s not easy to get together as often as we would like. We’re hoping to increase our participants as well. Our almost cousin Amber likes to scrapbook so we’re trying to arrange it with her work schedule as well. The more people we add in, the harder it gets, but the more fun it gets as well.


Housework? Blah! June 23, 2011

Filed under: crafts,Daddy,Mommy,Paige — scifimama @ 4:25 am

Who needs to do housework?  Not me.  I’ve got clean laundry in the hampers, unfolded, waiting for me to wear them.  The kitchen has been cleaned & the living room is a mess.  The coffee table is covered in a 500 piece puzzle we’re working on as a family.  The kitchen table?  Well, we’re not going there.  You see, it’s been covered in skeins of yarn.

Skeins of yarn you ask?  Yes, most definitely, yes.  I’m completely obsessed with crocheting.  I’ve got a basket overflowing with yarn to finish my blanket.  I keep getting where I think is halfway done, only to realize it’s not big enough, and I have to add more than I thought.  What started out as a bright green and almost neon multi colored yarn has grown to include a bright blue and a bright pink as well.  I’m rotating the colors around so that I have extra large stripes of a solid, then multi colored, then solid.  The hardest part is trying to keep the pattern balanced and looking nice.  Once I get a bit further I’ll share my throw blanket.  Throw blanket may be an understatement.  I wanted something large that wouldn’t be skimpy at all.  It covers my feet to my shoulders and has room for more than one underneath.  It should be a great snuggling blanket when I’m done.

Not only am I crocheting a blanket, but Ronnie has learned to knit.  You read that right, my husband learned to knit.  He could already crochet, but he needed to knit in order to make a scarf like the one worn by Dr Who.  He’s currently working on a replica of a 14 foot scarf  worn by Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor.  He hopes that he can have it finished in time to wear on Halloween.  He may even wear it to my cousin Steven’s wedding in March.  Steven and his super amazingly cool fiancee Amber are having a Dr Who themed wedding.  I don’t know who’s more excited: the bride and groom or the geeky cousin!

With Ronnie and I both spending hours sitting on the couch with yarn we had to find something to keep Paige occupied.  Why not teach her to crochet?  That’s exactly what we did.  She can’t crochet very well or even do more than a simple chain stitch.  The important thing is she’s happy doing it.  She was super excited to learn to crochet and likes to sit down between us on the couch with her crochet hook and pink sparkly yarn and make chain stitches.  Our cats even got in on the action.  Ronan took over a skein of yarn that was left out one night last weekend.  She had a blast and left yarn all over the living room.  Ronnie cut it from the rest of the skein and rolled it up for her.  Now she leaves our stuff alone to play with hers.

It looks like for now we are a family of yarn fools.  Housework may be suffering, my Facebook games have most definitely suffered, and it looks like the blog is second priority as well.  I guess like any new hobby we have dived in and aren’t ready to come up for air yet.  Hopefully soon though.  I’m getting tired of digging to the bottom of the basket for clean bras every morning.


Catch up June 10, 2011

Filed under: crafts,Family,Paige — scifimama @ 4:47 am

I’ll try to condense two months down as much as I can.  I can sum up a lot of it with the word work.  Ronnie & I have both been working our regular schedules with some added hours here and there.  In between work we’ve done our share of running around.  I last blogged about our trip to the zoo.  Since then Paige has taken up, and finished a season of, soccer.  Her team lost every game.  Not that it mattered to us.  She had fun out there playing, and definitely improved.  She started the season on the field twirling her hair and sucking her thumb.  She ended digging her cleats in the dirt and chasing the ball.  I consider that a successful season no matter what the scoreboard said.

Ronnie is in Tampa on another business trip.  He was, once again, offered a job down there.  And once again he turned it down.  He’s now turned down jobs in Dallas, Chattanooga, and Tampa within the last 6 months.  I would consider Orlando though.  I have a little thing for Mickey, so living close to his house is a definite possibility for me.  He’s been gone a week and will be back late Friday night.  Paige is excited to see Daddy again.

My grandmother had triple bypass recently.  She’s recovering nicely and should be back up and running her store in no time.  Yes, even into her late 70’s Granny still works 7 days a week running a grocery store.  While sitting in the hospital waiting (since the 3 hour surgery was longer) I took the chance to learn to crochet.  I’ve been wanting to learn for a while now.  My cousin brought her crochet stuff and I asked, so she and my aunt taught me.  Good cheap hobby to pick up.  I enjoy it, just don’t have as much time as I would like to crochet.  For now I’m still working on the first throw blanket I started.  It’s for me, so no rush at all.

We have continued our big girl panties at night.  Paige still has a few accidents here and there, but usually less than one a week.  She may go two weeks with no accident then have one.  I’m good with an extra load of sheets every so often and have happily stopped buying pull ups.  We celebrated by buying new Tinkerbell panties.  I know, how exciting, but Paige loves them.

I did get to meet Loralyn last weekend just as I hoped.  We had an absolute blast at the beach!  I figured if she could drive almost 12 hours overnight, I could drive about 2 hours to meet her.  It seemed only fair since she drove so far herself.  Our girls had fun playing with each other and Paige wants to know when she can see her new friends again.  We sat down on the beach chatting while our kids played in the water and ran around like little hooligans catching fish in the water and torturing hermit crabs.  No, we did NOT bring one home.  Hermit crabs stink and I certainly don’t want one in the house.  We’re already making plans for her trip down here next year.

Paige graduated from K-4 and is all excited about big girl school.  Our public schools wear uniforms and I’ve been hitting up the end of school clearance sales.  I’ve spent $64, $11 of that in shipping, and bought everything she needs to start except for shoes.  I’ve gotten 6 polos, 1 brown belt, 8 pair of socks, 1 skirt, 2 pair of shorts, 1 skort and 1 jumper.  The skort and jumper are from French Toast and while they were on sale, and I had additional coupon codes, I still had to pay shipping on both orders.  My best deal would have been the shorts for 42 cents.  Yep, 42 cents for a pair of shorts.  Not too bad.  I picked them up from the thrift store and I can’t tell they were ever worn, so maybe they weren’t.  I’ll wait until closer to school starting before I buy her shoes.  The size 11 sandals we bought earlier this summer are already looking a bit small.

I think that’s a decent recap of our lives the past couple of months.  Things are hectic and fun and we’re looking forward to having some good times this summer.


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