Sunday, May 17, 2015

Three years later: Rag Rug update

I've had a lot of questions about this fun rag rug I made a few years ago.


Lots of people want to know if it is worth the effort (because, man it was a long project) and if it can withstand the test of time, so I decided to take a picture to show you how it is doing 3 years later. We re-created a moment. Here it is when my middle daughter was only 2 1/2.

And here it is now that she is approaching 5 1/2. 

Ha! Such a cute girl who has grown so much but changed little. :)
 You can see a few things about the rug. 
The pros:
She still loves it. 
It still looks cute and has not fallen apart
So many memories of sitting on that rug reading stories at the end of the day!

The cons:
The fabric is pretty matted. 
Strips do fall out, and I do have to put them back in. 

I have never put it into the washing machine--I think that would destroy it. Once I really felt like it needed to be cleaned, so I put it into a bathtub full of soapy water and washed it by hand. That worked great.

The verdict: Totally worth the effort and I'm so glad I made it!
Also, as I've mentioned lots lately, we are moving and redoing the girls' rooms, and this rug (I am pretty sure) will still look cute in her new room despite the decorating overhaul. yay!

Here is the original post if you want that link, but here are the instructions below again just for kicks!

The rug really was simple to make, just time-consuming. Basically, I used strips of quilting fabric (1000s of them. I have no way of actually knowing how much I used, but I would estimate around 15 yards!) cut about 1 inch x 5 inches. I stuffed these strips into an old non-skid rug mat (purchased at Big Lots, but also available at big box stores like Walmart or Kmart) that was about 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet and voila! I didn't even bother tying the strips. I still think this was the right choice, but about once every 3 days or so my 2-year-old pulls out a strip or two. No biggy though, just shove them back in. Over time, the fabric does fray, but it's pretty minimal.

You can see the rug mat in this image and about how often I skipped holes. Obviously, I certainly could have made it more full by skipping less holes, but there really wasn't a need to make it any more full (and in all honesty, I was ready to move onto something else!).

Here's an image-tutorial of how to make one yourself: 

Hope you enjoy this fun project! Linda over at Craftaholics Anonymous selected it for a feature--head on over and check out her great blog. :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kids room redo progress: mural begins!

And we've started!
It's going to be so cute!

I even got someone tall, dark-ish, and handsome to help me. :)

Here is the post with our plans and inspirational boards.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We are now officially Bee Keepers!

 Well, we've talked about having bees for years, and this season everything just fell into our laps and we knew it was time. Well, mostly we are finally settling in and can do all these fun things we have thought of over the years. :) 
Such a fun day!

Well, really, it started earlier in the week with us assembling lots and lots of bee boxes. And even more frames. Wow that took a lot of time! But we did it. Then we painted them, then we bought some bee supplies and then we were ready to go!

When the big day arrived, we donned our bee suits. Guess which daughter is MOST excited for bees? Our biggest honey-lover of course. ;)

So many bees! We bought 8 lbs of bees--about 20,000 of them!

Isn't it interesting how they all mass together like that?

Well, first thing first: the queen.
Here she is in her special queen cage. Don't want to loose her!

 These next few shots show the queen bee in her box with attending bees--the ones that will feed her and take care of her. Since she is vital, it is too risky to let her out in case she flies away. So there is a super high-tech way of doing it: take the cork out that is stoppering up the entrance to her cage and quickly replace it with a mini marshmallow. Then, when she is placed into the hive, she will secrete her pheromones and the other bees will get used to her. Her attendants will eventually eat their way through the marshmallow, thereby releasing her. In the few days that this will take, the rest of the bees will usually have accepted her as their ruling queen. :)

Next, dump in the bees! Literally.
Take the lid off and dump them into the hive. 



Put the lids on, put out some sugary syrup water and away they go making cells to lay their eggs in and start making some honey! 
And now we have bees!
Such a fun day and we are excited for this next adventure.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Family trip to the California coast

Living in landlocked America, we rarely get the opportunity to enjoy the ocean--but this past week we were lucky enough to go!
And oh, what a wonderful trip it was. We were in southern California; most of these photos were taken at El Matador beach, which I recommend whole-heartedly. We even got to see a pod of migrating gray whales!

I love how these girls are silhouetted in this photo:

So many anemones! 

Sigh. I miss it already.