Friday, March 23, 2012

Collge Spirit Day t-shirts - Freezer Paper Stencils

College Spirit!

The kids elementary school has college spirit day once a month and the kids are supposed to wear a shirt from their favorite university. A while ago my super artistic brother made shirts for the kids (hand drawn with fabric marker). Well Mr. Z's shirt was too big so I tried to fix it and ended up ruining it. He's been asking me for a BYU shirt ever since. I'm not as artistic as Stephen so I struggled to figure out how to do it without just buying one. Then I learned about freezer paper stencils! It was so much fun I ended up making two shirts. So little brother M has his own shirt too.

I made a more detailed explanation of the process at my southpawcrafts blog.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Amazon, cheaper?

I have recently discovered the benefits of checking out the "used" options when I'm looking for things on  For instance, I bought a set of Pyrex bowls with lids.  (I know - who would buy used Pyrex, right?)  Normally, I wouldn't even consider anything used when it comes to kitchenware, but for some reason, I clicked on it anyway.

Amazon warehousedeals was selling a used-like new set for about half the price, so I decided to take a chance.  The set came, and I never would have been able to tell that it was "used."  It was in the original box with the original packaging, and the box was still sealed like you would expect from the factory.

I liked the set so much, I decided to get another one, this time from warehousedeals, used-very good.  It too was in the original packaging, but this time the box had been resealed with packing tape - I can deal with that!

So, next time you're looking for a household item on Amazon, take a look to see if there are any used items being offered from Amazon warehousedeals - it could be a REAL bargain!  Or, if you're feeling adventurous, see what warehousedeals has to offer.  It's home site says it offers "deep discounts on open-box, like-new, refurbished, and used products from

Margaret's Addition: I recently bought a sewing machine from warehousedeals. Retail price $299, warehousedeals price $126. It was a "like new" product. The box had been resealed, but the instruction manuals and accessories were still in the original plastic. (For my sisters curiosity I now own two sewing machines. The girls are learning how to sew. And I now have a few decorative stitches YIPPEE!)

So Anna collects pyrex bowls and I collect sewing machines? :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homemade Playdough

My two-year-old loves playdough, especially if I'm willing to roll it out for her to "make shapes" using cookie cutters I keep in a separate bag especially for playing with playdough.

I don't remember where we got this recipe for homemade playdough but it works as well as, or better, than the name brand stuff. Especially if you have a few tupperware containers or old Playdough canisters to put it in so that it doesn't dry out as quickly as in ziploc bags.

Best Playdough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 Tablespoon oil

Mix ingredients together.

Add food coloring. (I find it best to separate the batch into 2 or 3 portions and then color and cook each portion separately. That way you get more colors in smaller quantities. Dividing the recipe into thirds makes each color the perfect size to fit into old Playdough cannisters.)

Cook slowly, stirring constantly until it becomes so thick you can hardly stir. Keep stirring and turning the dough over and over until thoroughly heated.

On the counter knead warm dough for a few minutes to finish mixing it.

Important note: The cream of tartar is essential! I once made a batch using only half the amount because I was running out. It looked fine when I made it, but a few days later when we got it out to play with again, it was oozey, gooey, wet, and way too sticky to play with. I tried reheating it, but that didn't fix it. There's something about the cream of tartar that keeps it from doing that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Use your phone as a baby monitor

I don't have a baby monitor - they cost too much for good quality ones, and my home isn't big enough to make it absolutely necessary.  There are times, though, when I wish I had one.  Well... turns out I do!

I finally got around to figuring out the features on the phones that we inherited two years ago because the previous owners didn't want to go to the trouble of buying new batteries for them.  It's a Uniden cordless set with three handsets - and you can set two of them us a monitors - and still use the third to receive calls.  It works as long as both handsets are within range of the base - and from experience I know that's pretty far.  You can also use two handsets like walky-talkies, too!

So, keep in mind when shopping for a new phone or monitor that you might be able to get one that will do double duty.  Talk about a great deal!
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