Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Painting Tips Learned the Hard Way:

     I mentioned my battle with painting the bathroom a couple of post ago. I’m planning on doing a big before and after post, but I thought that in the mean time I’ll share what I’ve learned so far as a huge Tuesday’s Lesson.

     But first, I just have to mention this amazing site I found. I think I might be the only one who had never heard of them, but I still want to recommend Young House Love to anyone who is thinking about any kind of home renovation, or even just painting a bathroom. I really wish I had read their painting tips post before I started.

Painting Tips Learned the Hard Way:

1.         Don’t spray a roller brush with a high powdered hose. Actually, that one turns out kinda cool, but only if you are wearing painting clothes and aren’t standing near anything important.

2.         Painter's tape works, but if you are working in a room that gives the dehumidifier a full bucket twice a day, it only works if you forcefully press it against the wall. And make sure the wall you’re applying it to is really and truly dry.

3.         Wait for each coat of paint to dry fully before putting on the next one. That is, unless you like walls that are slightly sticky for days after they have been painted.

4.         Don’t expect to get more than one coat on in a day when the humidity is so high that you can almost wring the air out.

5.         Keep a wet rag nearby. Always. But said rag will also work as a dandy paint brush if you’re not careful. Rinse it out a few times every painting session.

6.         Even if your orange is completely the wrong shade of orange, don’t pour it into the yellow paint until you are absolutely certain you won’t need any more yellow paint. It does make a lovely shade of Caribbean orange, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still need yellow paint.

7.         Paint drips. Even if you by some miracle keep it off the floor, it will drip down the wall if you try and put too thick of a coat on. And it will most likely do this dripping only after you have left the room and gone into town.

8.         And drop cloths actually have to be flush against the wall if you want them to work. After painting my bedroom, I was forced to get creative about furniture and rug placement to keep my parents from knowing exactly how bad some of the spills were. I didn’t think about what would happen when I moved out, but luckily I was in Arkansas at the time, and couldn’t be fussed at!

9.         If while reloading your roller brush, you stand up too close to the wall you’re painting, you will get paint in your hair. A lot of paint. And you won’t know why everyone is laughing at you until you go to shower. I can’t see the top of my own head, but everyone else over the age of about 13 can.
10.     Pull painters tape off slowly, and keep your pulling hand (if that makes any sense) fairly close to the wall, I had a big problem with the paint coming with the tape. I had much more success when I pulled the tape off while the paint was still wet as Young House Love suggested.

Colors I used :    Valspar Island Orange
                          Behr Caribe
                          Behr Twenty Carrot
                          Martha Stewart’s High Gloss White
                                                                                                                                   I linked to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Water Fun

     Yesterday, my parents bought a baby pool for my niece, Miss G. She didn't have much interest, but the hose captured her attention for almost 30 minutes.

     But when she figured out that everyone jumps back to keep from geeting sprayed, her day was made! She chased anyone that came close, laughing the whole time.

    She never lost interest, the hose just magically disapeared when she started shivering. When she was dry and warm again, she had a blast discovering the joy of making faces through windows.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Cake Recipe

     I got the recipe! And I will do a step-by-step tutorial soon, but I am battling with painting the downstairs bathroom (it's going on a full week now) so it will probably wait till next week. Tip- don't paint when it is this humid. It's just not worth it, especially if you are painting in a basement room with almost no ventilation.

     Sorry for rambling, back to the topic at hand, the recipe!


1 Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
1/4 c sugar
1 c sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
4 eggs

Blend on low and then beat at high speed at least 4 min. Pour batter into 3 (9-in greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for 20-22 min. Cool on wire racks, then return to pans to add strawberry juice.


2 pt. fresh strawberries - sugar to taste

Slice and sugar your strawberries overnight (or if you are in a hurry, or just impatient like me, just for a couple of hours)


1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 (12 oz) cool whip

Blend together sugar and sour cream and allow to sit 15-20 min. or until sugar has dissolved. Fold in cool whip. Poke holes in cake layers. Spread on first strawberry juice, second frosting and third a layer of strawberries. Repeat- Refrigerate. I put the Cool Whip mixture over the whole cake and decorate with berries. (Note ~ it makes a very tall cake, you may have to move things round in your fridge to get it to fit.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Strawberry Cake


     My mother-in-law makes one of the world's best cake. It is almost always requested for birthdays and coming home dinners. The boys have an on going contest to see who can get away with the biggest piece. I would love to join them but that wouldn't be lady-like, so I stick to pieces smaller than my head.

     This is what that huge cake looks like after about five servings. It's tall, it's so fluffy! Truly the perfect warm weather dessert choice, it is served cold and mounded with strawberries. I'm going to see if I can get the recipe to so I can share it with you rather than torturing everyone.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dress Up Bandanna

     This is one of the many projects that I start as soon as the idea pops into my head.  It was simple enough that I didn't take the time to sketch it out or mull over it. And now looking at the finished result, I'm really not sure if it is nearly as cool as I thought it was. Anyone else have projects like that? I'm still not sure if this is great or stupid, but I'm going to share it with you anyways. 

My old iron leaked something awful, and soaked everything I tried to iron. But I have a new one now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

photobooth fun

      Two of the our good friends got married recently. Their wedding was simply fantastic.  Everything that could possibye be done by hand was, from hand dyed coffee-filer flowers to this amazing photo booth.  

     The concept couldn't be simpler, but it ended up being one of the highlights of the night. They created two walls that hinged together at a slight angle, and wallpapered them. Mounting thrift store frames, they simply cut holes through the wall, and watched the shenanigans start.

     Adding to the fun, they spray painted a patio table and two chairs (the wedding colors were aqua and fuchsia) and placed them in front of the "cafe" walls. There were soon sneak attacks, stolen kisses, and a huge amount of fun as the guests were given all the time they wanted to pose, act, and react.

      I would steal this idea if I could (but already being married, its hard to throw another wedding reception) it would also be a great idea for birthday parties or any other sort of bash where there is even a few feet of extra room.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Swing Set

     As a part of my brother's birthday present, he and my dad spent most of the weekend building Miss G a swing set. And withperfect timing, as soon as they finished, the clouds broke, and the sun came out!

     Miss G has a blast. She's too little for much other than the swing so far, but that didn't seem to bother her in the least.

     Her fun was contagious, and soon everyone was gathered around to hear her laugh and babble. Aren't swings the best?

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Sewing Buddy

     Its hard to sew with one hand, even with the help of a sewing machine and seam guide. But for this guy, it is totally worth the hassle. Don't you think?

      My brother's dog Bear is staying with us while he and his family get settled for the summer. And I have to admit I'm thrilled. He's one of the best dogs I have ever met. He is beyond wonderful with Miss G, he is so friendly and playful that you cant help smiling whenever he enters a room, and he even smiles back (I love dogs who smile.) But for me, the most amazing thing he's done is convince The Husbandman that not all dogs are loud trouble makers!

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You Know You Live in the Country When...

     Your trip to town to use the WiFi at Panera is delayed by turkeys.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Today I Feasted Upon...

     Strawberries! Lovely, red, deciduous, sun-warmed, perfectly-ripened, strawberries.

     This is my absolute favorite way to eat strawberries. I know I'm taking most of the healthiness away by pouring on the cream and sprinkling it all with sugar, but it is so worth it. And if you use a small condiment bowl, it's not really all that bad!


     Wanna know the best part? This is only the first picking, there are hundreds more! Sooo, I’m asking for your favorite strawberry recipes. I usually just make strawberry jam, but I’d like to try something new this year.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Top Tutorial

     Every winter I forget why I complained so bitterly that we don't have a/c. Every spring and summer I am reminded.  This summer I hope to beat the heat by wearing light weight and billowy linens and cottons. One of my favorite summer tops is just a few inches too short (which is very unusably for me, being 5 feet 2 3/4 inches) so I decided to see if I could remake it, just a little longer.  This is the first time I have worked without a paper pattern, so I really wanted to see what y'all thought. Then I thought that since it was easy enough for me to make without a pattern, you could do it too!  So here it is, my Beat the Heat Tank Top.

     This pattern is about as simple as it gets. You can easily make it for any age, and from almost any relatively lightweight fabric. (Unless you want to line it of wear a cami under it, you might want to make sure that it is not so lightweight as to be sheer though) This version is a halter top, but I have anther that that has spaghetti straps, and it could easily have any variation you could think out, or have no straps at all. You’ll need two large rectangles of fabric, mine were 22 inches by 20 inches, two narrow rectangles of fabric, mine were 3 inches by 22 inches, two pieces of elastic, and some ribbon.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mum Monday

the curious incident of the pear blossoms in the night time

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Lesson

     My lesson for today may not be relevant for everyone. But I know I am not the only one who needs to relearn old lessons. I happen to be pale.  Rather extremely pale. In fact, I have been called "see-through." After getting my back scorched in Italy when I was 11, I gave up all hope of ever being tan, even slightly tan.  I gave into long sleeve tees shirts at the beach, and floppy hats, and most important of all, lots and lots of high SPF sunscreen.
     When Neutrogena came out with their Ultra Sheer sunscreen, it made my summers so much happier.  The greasy feeling I had begun to live with was gone! And I faithfully applied it every time I knew I was going to spend more than five minutes in the sun. Until this Saturday.  I left it in the car. And the husbandman took the car to go see Fast 5 before I realized that it held my key to a painless outdoor venture. And it was so nice outside, that I did what I knew I should never do. I spent the whole afternoon lying in the sun happily reading my book.  I was in the shade, I thought that would be good enough. When the wind picked up, I even went in a put on a long sleeve shirt.  What I didn't realize is that is my shade moved throughout the afternoon, and the wind picked up, and I didn't notice.

     Long story story short, I burned the living daylights out of the back of my legs. And the sad thing is that I knew better.

Lesson for today:  Take care of yourself, take the time to do it right.  We only get one body, and it hurts when we are "to busy" to take care of it.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Pretty Print

     This Saturday I decided to take advantage of the amazing weather and go outside to read. (More tomorrow about the adventures that you would never guess from this bland, simple sentence.) I spent most of the day reading, but since I had taken my camera with me (its just habit now.) I decided to take some pictures. Most of them are nothing special, but there was come that caught my attention even as I was taking them.  I just lay on my back under the dogwood tree and shot pictures from every angle I could think of.

     Wouldn't this make a really pretty print? I kinda wish I had some way to make printed fabric, because I would love to play with it. The print on a large scale for a loose, billowy summer top, or on a smaller scale for pillows or sheets, or even smaller yet for a vintage style dress for little ones.

      Are you ever caught unaware by the simple things?   

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GiveAway Winner!

     Thanks to everyone who entered.  There were only three of you so your chances of winning were really good! I think I might try another giveaway later, maybe for 50 followers. Would anyone be interested?

     But onto the good stuff. The Winner (chosen by random.org) of the book How To Sew A Button is Meri!!  Her small victory was "Hmmm, for me, it was turning thirty without having one bit of anxiety about it. lol" Congratulations Meri! If you would send me a mailing address to thelittlewifeblog(at)gmail(dot)com, I will put the book in the mail as soon as possible!

     And for anyone who was interested but didn't win, amazon is selling the book (which is really recommended reading) for ridiculously low price.  It is so worth it for anyone who is on the fence. Thanks again to all my followers and to everyone who entered!
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