Masquerade Mask

Ah….masquerade balls or costume parties could be fun, right? But what do you do if you have glasses? Paint the glasses? Glue a mask onto the glasses? Fit something to glasses? The usual custom curved masks templates don’t work well because they can’t fit with the glasses.

Actually, website had a good method. However, I found that cutting through cardboard got dicey when I just had scissors, so I ended up going with a mask on a stick. But I did use her method of tracing out the glasses.

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First attempt at tracing glasses shape on paper and then cutting out holes for the eyes and smaller holes to loop onto the glasses. This is Bunny’s website’s method. Because it was paper, I could just fold in half to get the outer outlines even on both sides :). Unfortunately, because of the side glasses holes, It looked like i couldn’t actually do a mask with smooth pointy edges. This sort of looks like an Owl, doesn’t it?

 

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This is a satin template mask I bought. However, it still didn’t work with glasses, so I was just goofing with possible designs. I decided to use an unsharpened pencil as the mask “stick”.

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So, I cut out the mask shape (loosely based on the paper cut out I had before and the satin mask in order to get symmetrical lines) . I did this for cardboard and black cardstock. Then I glued the black cardstock onto the cardboard. Every time I made the eyes holes, they got smaller because I was tracing off each cut out…haha.

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Then, I tried to plan the mask. Sequins seems good on the outside, but what to do for the rest?

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So, I used Elmer’s All Purpose glue on the sequins and waited. Then, I started using gold glitter glue to google on the mask.

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All done glitter glue doodling!

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I used a glue gun to glue the black gem and feathers to the top of the mask. Then I wrapped black ribbon around an unsharpened pencil, glue gunned the ends, and then glue-gunned the pencil/ribbon to the back of the mask. I would recommend glue-gunning the ribbon to the pencil in the top, bottom, and middle. I didn’t glue-gun the middle, so the ribbon came loose after the event this mask was used for. But anyway, if you want to make your own mask with just cardboard, glue, and random stuff, here you go!

 

Gingerbread Houses…wait, what? FOAM?

Gingerbread houses are pretty awesome since you can always eat them (if the gingerbread/candy isn’t too hard by the time you decide to eat them) after you’re done!

While surfing for craft supplies, I stumbled upon Foam kits! I guess I never really noticed them before, but this year they were gracing the craft stores all round. So, happening upon two crafts stores, AC Moore and Michaels, I decided to buy a foam kit from each of them and test drive which sets are better for the kiddies. I may still do an edible gingerbread house, but… that shall have to wait.

Nicole Kids foam kit (AC Moore) and Creatology foam kit (Michaels)

Nicole Kids foam kit (AC Moore) on the left, and Creatology foam kit (Michaels) on the right

Yes, they do say it’s for 6 years old and up! We’re all kids at heart, right?!! But I’ll break this down further in detail.  The Nicole kit on the right looks more like a gingerbread house. That one is from AC Moore, and currently, you can get it for $5.00 USD. I was able to use a 50% off coupon, so I got that for even less.  Pricewise, the Creatology Michaels one on the left was also $5.00 because it was on sale for half price. Luckily, I got to use a 20% off sale coupon, so….I also got it for less than $5.00 USD.

Finished Foam kits

Finished – Front!

The Nicole gingerbread house was pretty easy to put together. It consisted of stickers and foam, and everything you needed was in the kit. I made sure not to have the sticky parts stick the roof onto the rest of the house. This way, I can still remove the roof and shove a tealight inside the house, and it’ll glow! Simple and nice. Too bad there’s no design on the back…although you could put extra stickers on the back…

Finished Foam kits

Finished- Back View

As you can see, the Creatology one is a bit more complicated. You need glue, and I question if 6 year olds can do this! Besides the fact that the kit came with broken pieces (some of the foam was super thin, and it was already broken. I hid the broken window behind the squirrel.) and missing pieces (you can see I am missing one of the red ribbons for the roof. They are supposed to be on both sides of the house.), some of the pieces were very flimsy and thin and the stickers were not very sticky. Since these pieces had to be torn out of their frames to use, I’d be afraid that the kids would break the whole piece while trying to take the pieces out. As for the sticker pieces, some are already unsticking after only a day after assembly. It actually feels like it’d be better to glue everything instead of using the sticker stickiness.

So, I think I enjoyed the Nicole’s one better. It is much simpler and doesn’t require any additional supplies. Additionally, I think the quality of the stickers is much better. For the younger kids, I would recommend going with the Nicole’s kit.  However, if you are not afraid of them breaking thin pieces and getting upset, the Creatology set is good and will keep them occupied for much longer. Creatology offers several other kits including nativity ones as well. You might even be able to build a foam holiday village from the sets.

Have you built any gingerbread houses, miniature villages lately? I always find miniature villages cute.

Dusty Woes on Kitchen Cabinets

With the arrival of the end of the lease comes the move into another place after all those woes of searching for new potential places to live. I’ve just recently moved once again, and it seems that with each move, I encounter new problems.

This particular place has got to the be most poorly cleaned place I have ever encountered, and as I clean, I find myself sometimes looking online to see if there are any good solutions. Or maybe you might have some advice for me as well!

The kitchen cabinets looked fine on the outside, but oh my. The insides and the top were terrible. For the insides of the cabinets, I tried vacuuming with a hose, scrubbing with a sponge, scrub, and Lysol wipes. The stains mostly came off. My guess is the previous renter stored a ton of leaky food or drinks…and was a slob. Unfortunately, some stickiness still remained, and even after multiple wipes and scrubs, stickiness still prevailed. My temporary solution has been just to line the cabinet shelves with plastic liner or clean white kitchen trash bags. Any other suggestions appreciated!

Next  came the top of the cabinets. This is just a whole new level of dustiness. The dust was caked onto the cabinets; it must have simply been a paradise! Vacuuming failed to budge that beach of dust, and even scrubbing and wipes didn’t make so much a dent. Alas, I gave up, and found out that instead of cleaning, some people line the tops of their cabinets with wax paper and then change out the wax paper once in a while. It turns out that the wax paper catches the dust. Well, I guess I failed in removing all that dust stuck onto the tops of the cabinets, but at least I can try to use the wax paper to catch future dust…

Linkies Which Recommended Wax Paper Battling Dust:

Mum ‘n Oven

Deflect Dust

June Fitness Challenge

There’s always all these exercise challenges going on, and I haven’t been particularly athletic lately due to sports injuries. However, a friend suggested doing one just to get moving, and here it is! It’s a month of abdominal muscle exercises, building up day by day with Sundays as rest days.

Want to do it? We passed Week 1 already. Obviously, the dates don’t match up as this challenge appear to be from a different year. We started Monday May 26th. So, our schedule is:

Week 1: Starting Mon May 26

Week 2: Starting Mon June 2

Week 3: Starting Mon June 9

Week 4: Starting Mon June 16

I think my voice started to sound like a Pikachu while counting the crunches today…

 

Look for other fitness challenges. Ashild did a 100 push up challenge here!

Frozen Bubbles Make for a Pretty Sight

Frozen Bubble - Source: Richard's Article

While We All Hid Indoors, This Boy And His Mom Tried A Crazy Experiment In The Freezing Cold Weather

As some parts of the world go through a cold front, isn’t it wonderful to see how simply things can be pretty?

Just wanted to share something interesting for the new year! 🙂 This creative mom and her son blew bubbles and the frozen state of the bubbles created images that look like marbles! Click the link to the article above and enjoy! If you’ve done something like this, feel free to share and post pictures!

Curse of the Shower Curtain

Ah…. the luxury of having a hot shower is mighty delightful on a cold day or after a nice workout. In fact, it would be grand if your shower head didn’t break.  Due to this unfortunate event, my shower head was replaced.   All appeared to be well until the next shower….when I was assaulted by my shower curtain flying into me and apparently intent on sticking to me so much that it even blocked the water from the shower head… Fail. Apparently, a new problem had presented itself… I can see it now.  Harry Potter and his colleagues have been beset with the siege of shower curtains. Apparently, Voldemort foobarred a spell and came up with a nice accidental surprise, and now the world is dealing with shower curtains that just won’t stay down and allow people to shower….

~HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSE OF THE SHOWER CURTAIN!~

So, what do you do if your shower curtain wants to hugs you?

There are two ways to address this.

1) Modify your shower curtain, or

2) Modify your shower head by getting one with less pressure.

In my case, my old shower head didn’t spray as much water with as much force, and so I never encountered a flying curtain situation before. This new shower head was much more powerful and even after trying to adjust it to have less pressure, the curtain still flew up.  I opted to modify the curtain. Here are the curtain solutions.

1) Get a heavier shower curtain/liner. Some have magnets on the bottom and suction cups on the side. This may work for some, but apparently, my shower pressure was still too strong.  I bought the heaviest shower liner I could find. It didn’t work. The magnets didn’t stick at all, and the two tiny suction cups on each side of the curtain certainly couldn’t keep the bottom of the curtain from hugging me still from the bottom.

2) Reinforce your curtain with heavy objects. You can staple, glue, cut holes at the bottle of the curtain, clip heavy objects to the curtain. Heavy clips work though if the clips are metal you may have to worry about them rusting. The other downside if that there may be clanging noises. Others have tried heavy washers. Don’t try to put your shampoo bottles on the bathtub floor to keep the curtain from flying. The bathtub inside is wet, so the shampoo bottle will just fall. Besides, the weight of the shampoo bottle varies as you keep using the shampoo from the bottle! I didn’t want to modify my curtain and cut holes in it because the curtain is my mother’s….and she wouldn’t be happy if I did something to it.

3) Fold the bottom of your curtain over and sew in a line, then stick a tension coil in so you can prop the ends of the tension rod against the sides of the bathtub. Or… find a heavy pipe that won’t break your curtain and put it through the slot you made. The benefit of the tension coil is that it is extendable so you can adjust it. The downside is that it may not be heavy enough. The benefit of the heavy pipe or rod is that it is heavy, but you cannot adjust it, so you may not be able to just push the curtain aside depending on how long the rod/pipe is. However, now the pressure blowing the curtain will have to push the whole curtain together instead of parts of the curtain because the rod keeps the curtain stiffer than without the rod.

Tension Coil Rod

Tension Coil Rod

Many tension coil rods of different lengths

Many tension coil rods of different lengths

4) Best permanent solution: Get a shower door instead of a shower curtain. That shower door isn’t going to flap in your face.

5) Shorten you curtain and magnetize it.  Downside is that you can’t just slide the curtain aside when you’re done with your shower. This way, the curtain will be held flat against the wall because there is no room for the curtain to billow while it is anchored by the magnets at the bottom. You can use stick on magnets you can stick on to the curtain or, if you don’t want to permanently have magnets on your curtain, use clip magnets.

Stick on Magnets

Stick on Magnets

My Solution – Magnets/Sandwich Bags/Slightly Folded Curtain Bottom – Variation of #5

Clip Magnets

Clip Magnets

I didn’t want to permanently alter my shower curtain. So, I opted to find strong magnets. The two strongest ones I found are the clip magnets in the picture.

Problem 1: What size magnets should I use?

Solution 1: The larger blue ones were too big to stick properly to the bathtub on curves, so I went with the smaller ones.

Problem 2: Rusting – Since I was using metal clips, I was afraid that the water and dampness from the showers would eventually rust it.

Solution 2: Put the clips inside the sandwich bags. Make sure the opening of the sandwich bag is facing downward. You can seal the bag to make sure water doesn’t get in.

Problem 3: Clips too strong and might rip curtain?

Solution 3: I folded the bottom of the curtain up so that the clip was clipping two layers of curtain instead of one.

Magnets in Sandwich bags on Curtain

Magnets in Sandwich bags on Curtain- The Right Magnet is clipped on the side. The Left Magnet is clipped on the bottom.

Problem 4: Does it matter where to place the magnets?

Solution 4:
Yes. We already know to put them on the bottom of the curtain so that the bottom stays down. You also want them to attach tot he bathtub wall so that your curtain is as straight as possible.  At the left bottom side of the curtain, instead of clipping the magnet at the bottom, I did it on the left side of the curtain. This way, it accounts for the bathtub curve. Do the same for the right side of the curtain (but this is not necessary since the important part is the front/left of the curtain). The rest you can space evenly out on the bottom.

I used 5 magnets total! You can do it too! Just get clip magnets and sandwich bags!

Feel free to share your own curtain solutions too! 🙂  Do any of these work for you? Do you have flying curtain problems?