Teen Girl Spa Party

Spa Party for a Teen Girl - the simple hive

Two months ago, I was temporarily insane and agreed to letting my teen-aged daughter have a slumber party for her birthday.  Not only did I agree to the sleepover, but told her I would make all the party favors and goodies.  The goal was for the party to be fun, but also budget-friendly.  She agreed to help, so we plunged head-first into party-planning mode.

First, we needed a theme.  We decided on a spa party, or as I like to call it, a spaaaahhhh party.  I’m cool like that.

After searching for invitations and finding nothing ready-made that she liked, she decided to make her own.  As a friend said, “That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.”  Using blank notecards, pre-cut tags and a rubber stamp, she created a very spa-like invitation with a little bling, of course.

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Sushi Dishcloth – Free Crochet Pattern

Free Sushi Dishcloth Crochet Pattern by The Simple Hive.

For years, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I need a clone.  In a perfectly cloned life, I’m showering my family with love and affection and the other woman house cleaning. So, if anyone reading this is in need of a test subject, I’m your gal!

My problem isn’t unique.  Moms all over the world have to balance out the wants and needs of their families while keeping themselves in balance because if Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy.

In order to keep my balance and find rest for myself, I must sometimes force it.  One way I keep my balance, literally, is through yoga.  Another way to give my body rest when I’ve been running for everyone else, is to crochet.  It forces me off my feet and my perpetually busy mind is calmed through the repetitive motion of hooking yarn.

One of my favorite things to crochet are dishcloths.  Quirky, I know, but follow me.  I have my reasons.

  • They work up quickly and can be finished in one sitting, thereby providing immediate gratification.  Results, people!
  • They are functional.  Everyone must was dishes.
  • And in the case of this sushi dishcloth, they are kitschy and cute!

Work up a few dishcloths with this free crochet pattern and give a little sushi love.  Who doesn’t love kitschy kitchen crochet thingys?

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DIY Clothespin Bag

DIY Clothespin Bag Tutorial - The Simple Hive

Last year, about this time of year, I wrote about our clothes dryer kicking the bucket and building a solar clothes dryer out of necessity.  Because we live in the country with horses for neighbors, we can hang out our laundry with reckless abandon.  The horses don’t judge us when they see our laundry hanging on the line.  At least not that we know.  You never can tell with horses.

Because we get much use from our clothesline, our clothespin bag has seen better days.  Much better days.

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Cupcake Crochet Dishcloth

 

Cupcake crochet and flower dishcloths - the simple hive

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While perusing the yarn aisle at my local craft store, I happened upon a free crochet pattern for a cupcake dishcloth. The sign said “Take One”, so I did, because I always do what I’m told. Yep.

Then I got home and promptly put it away and completely forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I woke up with an excruciating pain in my foot. The first step out of bed and a severe pain in my foot told me I wasn’t going anywhere.

Because I have a difficult time not doing anything, I shuffled and crawled over to the yarn bag and came across this pattern by Twinkie Chan.  I grabbed my yarn and went to work

I think the name Twinkie Chan is partly why I decided to work up the pattern. With a name like that, surely it would be cute!

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Expensive Items You Can Make at Home

Expensive Items to Make at Home - the simple hive

We do what we can to be frugal in our home, much to the chagrin of the teen-aged girl who resides here.  If it were up to her, everything we own would be expensive, shiny and modern.  Our home is nothing like that.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  We live in an old house filled with antique furniture and simple, mostly handmade furnishings. Hubby and I love the fact our home has a unique look and feel.  It’s groovy.

I just said groovy.  I’m a hippie at heart.  It drives the teen girl crazy that I don’t like to shop, except at thrift stores and flea markets.  Shopping malls deflate me.  Even when I can find a restaurant that can accommodate our food allergies, they are too noisy and rushed.  I would much rather make something at home and enjoy it at my leisure with my family and a good movie.

Also, in yoga pants.  Don’t forget the yoga pants.

Many expensive foods are easy to make at home.  Many home décor items are simple to make with a few basics skills.  With a little practice and patience, you can save money and not have to get dressed up, fight traffic or wait in long lines.

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DIY Chalk Painted Dresser

diy chalk paint

My world has been rocked. It has occurred to me that I need to change the names of all my kids.

Originally, I started this blog with College Bee, Teen Bee, Tween Bee and Baby Honeybee. Now it all must change. You see, College Bee graduated and landed a great job in a fun city and moved out. I don’t what to call him anymore.

Teen Bee is now a in his final year of homeschool and it taking dual-credit classed at our local community college. Should his name be College Bee now?

Tween Bee is the one that is most rocking my world right now. She just turned thirteen. Since she is my oldest daughter, this is the first time to cohabit with a teen-aged girl. I’m not sure how we can both survive this.

Finally, Baby Honeybee isn’t really a baby anymore. She wasn’t even when I started this blog, but she’s my baby and always will be, so Baby Honeybee remains Baby Honeybee and that’s final.

Now that I’ve muddied the waters in regards to my growing children and the names by which they are known, let’s move along to the real reason for this post.

Chalk paint.

Specifically, a DIY recipe for chalk paint.

With all these kids wrecking my house on a daily basis (homeschooling is hard on a house, folks!), I needed an easy way to revitalize my home without spending much money. In perfect timing, my awesome sister-in-law passed along her childhood furniture to my girls.

Enter this dresser.

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It really isn’t missing a drawer.  I just forgot to get a BEFORE photo.  I’m a dork.

After seeing on Pinterest all the colorful ways people have revamped this style of dresser, I opted for a more classic approach. After all, we know from the intro of this post, these kids aren’t staying the same age, no matter how hard I try to keep them small.  Sure the aqua dresser would be cool now, but what about in five years when their tastes change, or in five minutes when they change their favorite color. It happens.

So, I went with white. But, with a twist. The top is stained dark brown and slightly distressed. I figured I would get a head start on the wear so when they girls scratched and dinged the furniture it might look intentional and I might not let it bother me as much as if it were perfect.  That was a very long sentence and probably grammatically incorrect, but I don’t care.  What I’m trying to say is, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Onto the extremely easy chalk paint recipe:

1/4 cup Plaster of Paris
1/4 cup water
1 cup latex paint

I used a fine mesh sieve to make sure the plaster of Paris was free from any lumps. This made a big difference in the end result, so I would recommend it.

plaster of paris

Add the water to the plaster of Paris and stir thoroughly to combine.

Add this mixture to 1 cup of latex paint. Stir to combine. The paint will begin to thicken. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more paint.

This recipe is very forgiving and the amounts don’t have to be exact, but this is the recipe I found I liked best.

Before I began painting, I had already stripped and sanded the top and applied 2 coats of Minwax gel stain in Hickory.  I forgot to take a picture of the stained top, so let’s pretend this beautifully sanded dresser top has a dark hickory stain.  Thank you .

sanded dresser top

To work the chalk paint into the details and crevices, I used a 1.5″ sash brush then I rolled over the whole area with a foam roller for a smooth finish. The beauty of chalk paint is that it dries quickly if applied thinly, so after I completed one coat I was able to begin the next within a few minutes. Overall the dresser took 4 coats of paint.

I let the final coat dry overnight before sanding. I used a fine grit sanding block to lightly sand the whole dresser. I first sanded the dark top and hit the high spots to reveal bare wood to bring out the details. Then I flipped over the sanding block to a clean side and sanded the body and drawers.

After sanding, I thoroughly wiped down the entire dresser and drawers with a damp cloth.

For the finish, I used a paste wax. for the top, I mixed a small amount of gel stain into the clear wax. I wanted to lessen the contrast between the stain and the areas I sanded to reveal bare wood. For the white areas, I used the clear wax straight from the can.

Minwax gell stain and finishing pastedark wax

I applied the dark wax with a piece of cotton t-shirt material. After the wax began to look hazy, I used a clean rag to buff to a shine.

Since the body of the dresser has several recessed areas, I applied the wax using an angled, round fitch brush. I found mine at Home Depot for about 8 bucks near the Ralph Lauren paint display with their faux finish paint tools.

wax brush and buffer

After the first coat of wax was applied, I used a mushroom buffer by Ryobi that I attached to a drill. You can buff by hand, but this attachment made quick work of getting into the crevices.

Finally, because I wanted a slightly warmer tone to the dresser, I took the same dark wax I made for the top and wiped it all over the dresser, concentrating on the recessed areas. I worked quickly, not letting the wax dry. I buffed the dark wax into the paint, wiping off as much as possible. I didn’t want the dresser to look dirty or too old, as the teen-aged girl child would have definitely given me grief about that. She’s a little opinionated.

So that’s how this:

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Became this:

after

chalk painted dresser with dark top

after

And now I need a nap.

 

 

before and after

DIY wood-burned spoons

DIYwood-burned spoons

Psst…..yes, you. Do you need a quick gift because you don’t have your act together and you don’t have a gift for your sweet Aunt’s birthday?  For those of you who said “yes”, stop talking to your computer. You will look a bit off your rocker to those who are blessed to be in your presence.

I’m not judging.

But if you need a gift in a hurry, for whatever reason, these are quick and easy. And pretty cute, if you ask me.  But you didn’t.

DSC_0240

A few, plain wooden spoons and a wood burning tool is all you need.

And a pencil.

Plain wooden spoons, a wood burning tool and pencil are all you need.

(Is this post reminding you of The Jerk, yet?)

You’ll need some food-grade mineral oil if you want to seal them.  It’s optional, but I opted for it.

Plain wooden spoons, a wood burning tool, a pencil and mineral oil.  That’s really all you need.

DSC_0242

Lightly trace out your design on the spoons with a pencil.

Use the wood burning tool to go over the pencil lines.  You can shade areas at this point.  When finished, rub food-grade mineral oil into the wood and wipe off.

after oiling

after oiling

That’s all there is to it!

mom's spoons

This is a set I made for my mom for Mother’s Day last year.  I didn’t have my act together then either.  No surprise there.

I’m going to watch The Jerk now.

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