Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Over!!

Yes yes, I know I've been a slacker.... But I've been super busy! And since the only people who read this already know why, I won't bother going into too much detail :)

This is a finished picture... All the decorations are set up but the party hadn't started, so I took the time to take some pictures of it fully adorned and empty of people.

*choir of angels singing*


Here's an in-the-process picture... There is Nellie hanging up lights (thank you Nellie), and Josh and a Hawkins boy helping out (thanks to them too). Also had Melanie Hawkins, her daughter Maddie, and Emma Johnson fluffing the snowballs you see hanging... I seriously owe them my sanity, because there was no way I wanted to spend an hour and a half doing that. So thanks to them too :)


Also, what you can't see going on is Hillari and Curt running twine up to the hooks for the lights to be strung on, and then actually stringing all the lights as well. Curt has nerves of steel, because he was the only one willing to get up on this rickety ladder to do the up-high stuff. (thanks Curt!). And thanks to Hill for bringing the ladder and all her work too... I was able to do what I wanted because she did the grunt work that night. I really really REALLY didn't want to string lights, and she did it without complaint like a rock star.




So these beautiful centerpieces were really pretty easy, just time consuming, so I had a little party one Saturday night to get a jump start on them all... and bless Jill for rolling all those stupid cones for the wreath centerpieces! And to Kristin, Shayla, Hillari and Aimee for putting in the time to do some pillars and wreaths as well. Seriously, that night got about half of the work done and saved my stressed out butt.



And don't you love that pole in the background? I can't even tell you how excited I was to find out that we had a volleyball net pole that would go in the center of our gym... All it took was a little (ok a lot) of ribbon and we had a real live north pole (thanks to Erin for that btw).






Anyway, the day after felt like what I would imagine a hang-over to feel like... but the whole thing seemed to go really well thanks to Aimee and Jer's planning... the roast beef was awesome too.


I got a few awesome comments too: "This is like a small town prom!" and "All we need is a bride and groom!". Heck, if I can make it look like a wedding with only $100, imagine what I can do with more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crafty Lady Lindsay

Hey guys :)


My sister is giving away an awesome necklace from Shabby Apple, so if you want to enter to win in, just go to her blog: http://craftyladylindsay.blogspot.com/

She has the directions to enter (up to 5 times) and the necklace is beautiful.

Have fun!




Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's not girly!

Hey there :)
So I thought I'd post my costume masterpiece of this year... Doug's 'Green Man' outfit.
Ok, so it started out as a tree, but Doug and I both got teased about how girly and dorky his costume was going to look, so I decided to make him the masculine personification of nature... Or something like that.
Anyway, please ignore the mess in the back-ground... this costume was finished amid decorating and cleaning, and I couldn't wait to take pictures.
It started with just a pair of dark brown pants and a green shirt from D.I. that fit him well enough to work with. I had some spare green fabric in my quilt and blanket bin, and was able to cut out a large enough circle to span his shoulders to create the 'yeoman hood and cape'... that's what it's called if you look for the pattern anyway. It's basically just a circle almost 40" across with a hole cut in the middle for the head. Then, so there wasn't a ton of extra fabric flapping around that I'd have to cover with leaves, I had him put his hands on his hips and tailored the fabric to fit snug around his arms, but allowing him enough leeway to move.
After I got the 'cape' the size and fit I wanted, I started hot gluing the leaves I'd been collecting off of clearance racks for a month or so onto it. I started at the bottom so that I wouldn't have to fuss with layering leaves under other leaves... Doing it from the bottom let me layer leaves on top of eachother.
The sleeves were pretty simple... Just strips of green fabric attached to the ends of the shirt sleeves cut into 6 tassels, and kinda wound/braided around his forearm. I'll probably try to come up with some kind of cuff for the wrist so the ends aren't dangling around annoying him...
The pants were really easy... I found another pair of pants with the color and texture I wanted at D.I., and cut them into small diamond shapes. I layered them the same way as the leaves, but instead of doing the whole leg, I did the bottom and intermittently towards the top, tapering off the higher they went.

I found a tutorial online for making your own masks at home (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBelIutha-8), and that's how I made this one for Doug. It was basically layers of tin foil molded to his face, then cut out and covered in a few layers of paper mache, then painted. It took a long time to do one this intricate, but I love the result!


So there it is, Doug's not girly 'tree' costume... I think it turned out pretty good :)





Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Trees



My sister Lindsay has been telling me that I really need to post Halloween projects BEFORE Halloween.... But that would reveal all my secrets! So in an attempt to appease her, I'm posting about my FULLY AWESOME Halloween trees. No, I didn't think to take any during-the-process pictures (sorry), but I'll explain what I did and how I did it.

It all started when two of my maple trees died in the back yard. I was looking at them thinking "what a waste of a perfectly good tree"... so I cut them down at the base and found they were dry all the way through. Good for me, but bad for the trees :( But because they were completely dry, they were very light and easy to handle.


I was able to get them in the house to measure how much I would need to cut off so they would fit. Luckily I have a vaulted ceiling in my living room, so I was able to keep them about 12 feet-ish.

I took them back outside and after trimming off all the dried leaves that were still hanging on, and trimming off any broken twigs and such I spray painted them both black. I used about 1 whole Krylon can of black satin spray paint each. Sounds like alot, but spray painting a tree is different from spray painting a flat shelf of picture frame or whatnot... I did however try to stack them on each other so that any spray that missed one branch might hit another.


Once I had them painted, I used wire hangers (straightened out) to secure them into the pots.

These pots housed my tomato plants, but I decided they would be better used as decorations... A better way to go if you ask me. They are plastic, and I used a drill bit to punch 4 holes just under the lip of the rim of the pot to thread the hangers through.

Ok bear with me as I try to explain how I did this hanger-securing part. (and yes, that is the correct way to spell bear... I looked it up.)

I started by pushing my tree trunk into the largest floral-foam block I could find.... probably 12"x12"x12". Then I wedged it into the bottom of my pot, which was just under 12" at the bottom... It was quite snug, and allowed me to work with the hangers and not worry about the tree toppling down on me.


After straightening out each hanger and tying a knot in the very end of just one side (using pliers... I should have taken pictures of the blisters) I threaded a hanger through one of the 4 holes in the pot. Then I went around the left of the tree trunk 270*, and put the straight end of the hanger into the drilled hole on the right (90* away from starting hole), making the hanger into an 'L' shape.


Does that even make sense?


Aaaaanway, I pulled the hanger as far as I could while keeping the tree completely vertical, and used the pliers again to bend a hook in the hanger as close as possible to the outside of the drilled hole. The more rotated my pliers, the tighter the hanger got, since the hooked hanger was too big to fit back through the hole I drilled. I used the second hanger in the same way using the remaining two holes, but I pulled that one as tight as I could, putting as much pressure on both hangers as possible.


SO.... with the foam block at the bottom keeping the tree from tipping, and the hangers keeping the tree from wobbling, I came out with a very sturdy and balanced base for my trees.

Keep in mind this was NOT easy, but SO worth it... Because I took all that time, I don't have to worry about my tree tipping, I can just set it on its base and it wont lean or wobble.


If this sounds like WAY too much work to you, you could plug the holes at the bottom of your pot and fill it with small river rocks to make the base heavy enough it won't allow the tree to tip. Obviously, that's alot heavier, and it cant be transported on its side, nor lifted by the trunk of the tree with just one hand (wow, do I sound biased?), but it is much faster. I will still recommend the foam block at the bottom however.


After that I used a hot glue gun to secure my very large chunk of spanish moss to the inside of the pot, and voila, you have a super cool halloween tree.


Keep in mind, this is SO easy to personalize... I spray painted my pots black and my moss lime green for Halloween, but it would be so easy to decorate the pots as gifts with moss painted white for christmas, or a pink tree and pot with red moss for valentines day, the list goes on!



*sigh*.... If only I had more dead maple trees....







Sunday, September 18, 2011

What a sad, sad day for BYU... Doug sure was happy though!



And yes, that is a giant 'U' shaved into the back of his head....


We went to Doug's brother's house to watch the game, and the party present was split BYU vs. UofU, so Doug wanted to show his UofU pride.... I kept looking at him from the wrong angle and thinking he had mange.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Little Jasper Love

So I wanted to make sure Jasper wasn't left out.... We recently went to a friends new pool, and Jasper had a BLAST jumping off the edge... Until he saw one of the big boys jumping off the diving board, and then he just HAD to do it too, and continued to do it for over 30 minutes. This kid has no fear! So here's a picture of him in his swimsuit getup, and the video below is of him jumping off the diving board. So fun!







video


So I'll post again soon... I've been working on a TON of Halloween stuff already, and I've been told in no uncertain terms that I really really need to post about it.... so that's in the works.


Loves!

Ash

Friday, September 9, 2011











Yes yes, I know I've been horribly remiss in my management of this blog. Life has just been a little busy :)


Anyway, I figured if I was going to start posting again, I'd better start with Finn. So you saw the pictures, and here's is a video of him rolling over at 2 weeks, 1 day, no joke.




video



Soooo crazy. Jasper did that too, but I didn't have a camera then :(


So here are a few pictures of the new little bug as well for your viewing pleasure.


Love,


Ashley

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oregon Road Trip!

So I have about a million pictures of the road trip that Jasper, my mom and I took to Oregon, but I tried to pare it down to the good stuff. We left on a Thursday morning very early (6 a.m. and yes, that is very early for me) luckily just before a snow storm hit, and drove straight through Utah, Idaho, Oregon and onto Washington where my mom's parents live. Great weather the whole way for driving, yay! We stayed with them two nights and they were, as always, extremely generous. They live in Goldendale, WA and are surrounded by hundreds of windmills! Mom and I thought they were so beautiful, and Jasper was curious about them, so we stopped that first day in Washington to get close to one. After that, any time Jasper saw a windmill, no matter where we were, he would yell 'Meeeeeeel', and we would say 'Yes, a windmill'. Then, because there were hundreds, he would yell 'Meeeeeeel' again, and we would reply 'Yes, a windmill'. Imagine that for about 45 minutes on end, until we got out of windmill country....




Goldendale also has a very cool replica of Stonehenge as a WWII memorial that we stopped at. Apparently during important religious times, hundreds of druids come from miles around to celebrate solstices and such here. Luckily, there were no druids that day, just alot of wind.



Jasper was having a blast jumping off of what was, I'm sure, some sort of sacrificial alter... Again, luckily there were no druids. And don't make fun of my hoodie, it was COLD!


This is Jasper with Great Grandma Dori (Dorene). No, he's not trying to wiggle away, it was a steep little incline, and nowhere for the little guy to sit. He really fell in love with Grandma Dori by the end of the two days there in Washington.

My mom with Jasper at an old cemetery just a mile or so away from Stonehenge. Mom has this crazy obsession with graves, and loves to take pictures of them and walk through cemeteries. Oh well, Jasper looks like he had a good time :)

Grandma Dori has this awesome pond just a few hundred meters behind her house, and we took a walk over there to find some frogs... which all disappeared when we got close. But Grandma's land is beautiful, and it was a fun adventure for Jasper. Grandma Dori has this great swing in her back yard, but was having to shield her eyes from the sun... Jasper couldn't figure out what she was doing, but wanted to be included anyway, so he's "shielding his eyes" too. He's so cute, hu?


So after a few days with the Greats, we headed out to Tillamook, Oregon for some cheese! We used to go there often when we lived in Sherwood, and it was so fun to take Jasper there. Here he is being a cow, but he wasn't quite big enough to get up the the farmer cut out...


This is the factory where they make all the cheese and cut it into loaves and such. I thought it was pretty cool, but Jasper had enough after about 30 seconds.

A cow! How exciting!

Oh and by the way, if you've never had Tillamook Squeaky Cheese, you've never lived. It is so so good. You'll never go back to any other squeaky cheese again after trying it. It's seriously little nuggets of golden goodness. And it really squeaks when you eat it! Mmmm........ wish I had some right now.

After our stop in Tillamook, we checked into our hotel in Siletz Bay, and took Jasper to his very first time on the beach! Yay!



It was a bit of a blustery day, but we managed to spend out half hour looking at gulls and sand and seaweed before it got too cold and windy to be out any longer.

The next day we went to the Newport Beach Aquarium. It was alot of fun, and waaaay better than our aquarium here in Utah (for obvious reasons). We got a few great shots of the creatures there, and here is their huge octopus! It was moving around like crazy, and Jasper just stood so still and watched, and kept pointing to the suckers. A little creepy, but we were lucky apparently to have seen him so active... or so said a guide there.

Jasper also got up close and personal with the puffins in the aviary. Again, he stood so still and quite that the worker there said she was very impressed, and usually the birds stay far away from the little kids because they are so loud and move so much. Anyway, this particular puffin came within inches of Jasper over and over again, and at first I was afraid he was going to get his finger or nose tweaked by this guy, but they just wanted to check each other out. Very cool :)

We went through this great big tunnel that used to be where they kept keiko the killer whale, but they turned it into this underwater shark tank thing. Was fun to walk through, and Jasper really seemed to like looking at all the sharks and big fish and rays go by.

The aquarium had a great touch pool with alot of starfish and anemones (sp?). J was hesitant at first about touching anything, but finally got in there and had fun.

They also had some really cook jellyfish tanks...

After the aquarium we went to Historic Newport where they have a bunch of great shops and galleries and docks. Jasper decided he wanted a pigeon for a pet, but couldn't quite catch them.

There is this dock that has been there ever since I can remember, where the fishermen throw out their scraps and chum, and because of that there is this group of GIANT sea lions that hang out there just getting fat and happy. They were barking up a storm when we were there, and fighting each other off this little floating dock for good sun-tanning space.

We stopped by the 'Devil's Punchbowl' on the way back to the hotel. It was low tide unfortunately, but during high tide the water rushes in through that opening there and sprays up over the edge of the bowl and onto the people standing there. It is quite a sight when it really gets going, but we were glad not to get wet :)

Our last day there we were able to go down to the beach again for an hour or so. I was sad to leave, but ready to be home... I'm glad my mom was willing to go down there with me, and I'm glad I got to take Jasper to all these places I remember loving as a kid. He was SO good the whole time, I really would not mind doing it again next year.... maybe.

Anyway, there you have it, our great trip to Oregon. Glad to be home!

Jasper and the Wii

So Jasper has seen everyone around him playing video games and the like, and so has decided that he wants to play! As soon as we get upstairs in Grandma and Grandpa Connelly's house, he runs to grab the Wii controllers and grunts in the direction of the tv, obviously wanting us to turn it on. So we do, and truth be told, we do very little coaching once the games on Wii Resort are started... Jasper knows when to shake his remote, when to steer, and all you have to do is say 'Jasper, push the button', and he will find and push the 'A'. No kidding, he wins half the time!

So here he is with Daddy, steering away...

And once he gets tired of standing, he usually finds a lap to lay in (typically grandpa's).



He is just too funny! He gets so excited, and if you ask him if he's ready, he'll shout 'Rea-eeee' really loud and I love it!


Oh, and no I haven't found my camera. These are pictures my mom took and sent to me... I'm sure I'll end up getting a new camera, and the old one will show up (sounds like a common problem around here), but I really don't know how much longer I can go without one.


*twitch*


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Help!

Ok, I'm sending out a desperate plea for help! Doug and I have searched and searched our house, our cars and my purse (which has been emptied countless times in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, I missed it the first twenty times I looked)... But I can no longer be in denial, so I'll just say it: The camera is gone.


So if anyone knows where it is, or may have accidentally taken it home with them, or if I left it somewhere at someones house because I'm a moron, would you let me know? I've already missed some classic picture-taking moments, and I'm dying that I don't have them recorded.... AAAAHHHH!


Thanks... Hopefully if it is found my left eye will stop twitching.

*twitch twitch*

P.S. Thanks Shayla for reminding me to add one important piece of info.... what it looks like... duh....


It is quite small and silver with no viewfinder, and a digital screen taking up most of the back side of it. It's a little beat up, and no bigger than 2.5 x 3.5 inches.


*twitch*


Friday, April 1, 2011

No Camera....

So Doug and I are in the process of putting a jungle gym in the back yard, and I've been taking before and during pictures that I was going to post, and now I can't find my stupid camera. Where could it be? Obviously I have no idea. Ugh.


So anyway, when I find it, I'll be posting our progress. I even dumped a few bags of our rubber mulch this morning *YAY*, it's going to be great!