Day 27: Behind the black door ~heavy equipment obsessed

My son is a boy. Not only because his chromosomes, and anatomy tell me so, he is a true – likes to get dirty, obsessed with anything with wheels, enjoys anything he can kick or throw, grunts when he sees heavy equipment, and plays with trucks, tractors and trailers every waking moment, BOY.

I would fool no one if I were conducting the next Baby X experiment. Maybe his hair, would fool the able minded.

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I must admit, I have just recently discovered the power of YouTube. I know, I am slightly behind the times, but I never really saw a use for it, until now. Hubby gets sucked in the “tube vortex” all of the time, so I guess I have always resented it. Now, I stick ‘the boy’ in front of the computer, with a drink and snack, and turn on heavy equipment videos. Just tractors in action. He LOVES it. I get to take a shower, do my make-up, and dry my hair, all in silence. Well, I occasionally have to get up to change videos, and I do hear an occasional grunt, but otherwise – pure bliss.

I probably shouldn’t be proud of my new-found babysitter, but I am.

I think it is better than half of the stuff on TV.

Granted, I do have to be careful…the other day he clicked on video that had some rather vulgar language…but it could have been worse. He may have found one his dads files. Hee hee.

Aside from his heavy equipment obsession, I can’t seem to get him to wear any shirts that do not have Thomas, of Thomas and friends, on the front (like shown above). I can sometimes distract him with a Dinosaur shirt if one of his three Thomas shirts are not available (aka, dirty). Crazy. Even my daughter isn’t that picky…he is not even two years old for crying-out-loud.

I do like that he knows what he likes. He gets that from me.

The other day, I picked up a plain long-sleeved t-shirt for him on the clearance rack at Target, with the intent of making it something great.

Can’t beat that.

Well, brand new anyway.

After I realized that I could trace directly from the computer screen, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I searched Google for some heavy equipment images, and I chose some that seemed best suited for a silhouette shape. Not a lot of details, but had strong graphics.

I got right to work.

Using the same technique I used to make the felt pieces for my kid’s school, I placed the shirt directly on the computer screen. The screen was wearing the shirt.

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I just took a chance on placement, and chose my favorite machines that I knew he would love.

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I LOVE how it turned out.

I, initially thought, I would fill in the shapes, but after completing them all, I love the modern vintage feel they bring in sketch form.

Don’t you?

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A big thanks to my friend, Esther (Happy Birthday!), who inspired me to make shirts for my son using a sharpie.

Her sons have many “Esther originals,” and I love the humor, originality, and love that they emulate.

I have got say, it feels good to use my creativity in different ways.

I wonder what I will do next?

Magazine Mom


To see what else has taken place behind the black door, click here.


Thrift shop Love.

I’m gonna (did) pop some tags… I have (had) twenty dollars in my pocket…I-I-I was huntin’, looking for a come up (found some), this is f#>king awesome.

Seriously, this song, and Pinterest, revolutionized the thrifting world – almost to the point I am convinced they are “jacking” up the prices at these local treasure shops. Oh, well, it makes for a really good song, and constant entertainment as it plays in my head the whole time I perusing the isles trying to steal granddaddy’s style. More like grand-momma’s style, but you catch my drift.

I am hugely into the shabby chic décor these days, something I used to purge as fast as I could in my childhood bedroom. My dad’s voice is ringing in my ear as he said repeatedly growing up, “that everything comes back in style.” I really had a hard time believing that bell bottom pants where going to once again grace the clothing racks of Wet Seal, when I was pegging my pants to get the bottom of my jeans as tight as they could go around my ankle. Now, thank the Lord that skinny jeans are in style. If they are ever not, I will single-handedly bring them back. I am just sayin’.

On Mother’s day, I went to the antique flea-market in Sacramento. I was amazed with how many vendors there were, and astonished at the high prices. I went there thinking I could find old wooden chairs, for like $10 bucks, and frames for a couple bucks (two things on my thrifting list). Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some great deals, but NOT thrift shop deals. I guess they need to make a profit. I get it…I just don’t like it.

Here are some of the amazing things I found, that I DID NOT buy…but would have liked to


Truly, I think had I not been on a budget, and didn’t drive a Corolla, I may have just taken these jems home. I do plan on making some of these on my own with treasures I find at local thrift stores.

I did manage to snag these amazing items at an awesome deal…


this one was a splurge at $40, but it is pretty awesome. It will have a new home in my kitchen, when I get around to re-doing my nook

joining the uber cool calendar thingy in my kitchen, will be this beauty

Sure, it is a little rough now, but I plan on turning it into a chalk board window…just you wait!

I also scored this frame (which I had the card already waiting for the perfect mate)
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES $3 dollars…what, what…what.

I also got this apothecary jar for $3 dollars too. Another steal!


and lastly, a booze decanter (another new collection obsession) for hubby that I picked up for $5


The one on the right is the one I got at the antique flea, the other rounded one, I got at a garage sale for $3

Driving home that day, I saw this billboard, and got REALLY excited.

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So , this weekend, I went to the new Goodwill here in town. Apparently, they do not consider themselves “thrift”, but in my world, I do.

I found these gems…


I love the vintage charm of this, and it will be fabulous in the boy’s room. My intent is for little cars and trinkets, but right now, he just dumps it over and tries to open all the drawers. It doesn’t have wheels, and he can’t really push it around (they only things that interest him), so I think I will use it in the office for now, until he decides it is suitable.

I also got this owl…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESain’t it a hoot? Really, I just love it and for $2.99 I had to have it. I won’t lie, I thought it was a little pricey, but worth it.
I am not sure where it will reside. Hubby wants it outside, Elle wants it in her room, and I like it in the living room. I was thinking of spray painting it too, but Now I kind of like the gold. Thoughts?

I also got a paper-cutter (true Martha style) for $2.99 and a brand new Converse dress for $5.99…not bad for a Sunday outing…

Or for twenty dollars!

Thrifting is simply awesome.

You should try it sometime. Really.

Thrifting, and the Powers that be

Seriously, one of the best things I have learned in my recent years of my stay-at-home, low-budget lifestyle, is the power of thrifting. I have my friend Nicole to thank for this loveliness, and hopefully, by the end of this post, you will be thanking me. Fortunately, I live in a college town so our local thrift store (SPCA) is filled with broke college kids, mothers like me, and diy-ers, not transients or trailer trash (a common misconception of the thrifting community) although a few sneak in on occasion. I have always been one for a good deal, and love to shop at places like Ross and Marshalls (thrift stores to some). So, it only seemed natural to give true thrift stores a shot. I mean if you can search through the mixed matched disastrous racks of Ross, and the housewares isle at Marshalls, then you got this. Sure, it won’t have the same aroma in the air, but it will offer your bargain detecting eyes, a thrill. I promise. If it doesn’t, than at least the people watching will (one of my favorite pass times). I will say that most of what I thrift, is child related – Disney VHS’s, stuffed animals for my daughters stuffed friends obsession, kids clothes, toys, costumes, etc. On occasion, I actually shop for myself and strike gold. 

Awhile back when I was in HomeGoods, I saw this amazing framed cork board. They wanted $50 or so dollars for the thing, way out of my price range, but I figured maybe one day “I could make that” (a phrase my husband has perfected btw). So, a large wooden frame went to the top of my must find thrift/garage sale item list (yes, I have one and so should you). A couple of months ago, I walked up to the SPCA thrift store, and there she was. A real beaut just begging for a new purpose and a new home. 

It sat in the garage for a few months until I had the time, and the right spray paint to do the project. This is what I came up with…

Now, I realize split pea is not for everyone, but it is almost identical to my inspiration “HomeGoods” frame, and I happen to love it ( ironically, not the soup). Next, I went to Office Depot and purchased a roll of cork ($14) and a foam board ($6), my hubby already had some spray adhesive, so we were set. I say ‘we’ because this is where Brandon always takes over to steal my DIY thunder (which, I secretly love most of the time). His next steps went as follows…

   cut the board to fit the frame

cut the cork to fit the board

spray the adhesive on the cork

here is Brandon using a cold beer can to roll the glued side to the board (he then drank it, of course)

Voila! Here she is in all her glory – and more than half the price of its inspiration. I think this is my favorite project to date. It is in our entry way, and houses Doodles art work at the moment. I plan to use it as rotating seasonal decor, and one day be the sounding board for my kids crazy schedules (i.e. soccer, ballet, cub scouts, etc.).

On another thrifting adventure, I came across the holy grail. Literally. It was as if God’s light was shinning down on himself

Now, I am a mostly, non-practicing, feel good Catholic who loves me a good gag gift. I mean who could resist this? I actually couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been snatched up, but maybe they too were sticker shocked. Two dollars and fifty cents can get me 6 VHS movies for Doodle, for crying out loud. However, this was worth every penny. To fully grasp its holiness here are some close-ups…

please note that Jesus’s belly is in fact a mirror (displaying my fingers)

If you still can’t read it, it says amaze ball things such as “takes the edge off of sinning”, “get tight with Christ”…who wouldn’t want to christen their skin with dazzling sparkle cream while thinking pure thoughts? This sinfully fabulous kit, went to our dear friends Dax and Annie for their engagement gift. I am not sure they thought it was as perfectly funny as Brandon and myself did, but I stand by my decision. Afterall, it came to me by the powers that be.

If these items don’t get you to at least carouse your local thrift store (or a nicer neighboring cities) than I don’t know what will.

The god’s have spoken.

Holy, spray paint!

I originally saw this idea on Pinterest and I just knew, I had to do it. I already had one vase lying around that I knew one day I could use again (the big brown one). The others I got at a local thrift store (the little glass one .30 cents) and at a local garage sale last weekend. Luckily, my dad is a “collector”. He even collects trash, yes recycled trash. He goes down to the local recycler (his in Martinez, CA) and picks up FREE cans of spray paint (among many other ‘useful’ items). I gave him a call and asked if he could bring by some colors in the yellow, gray and blue families and anything else “fun” on his next visit up to see the kiddos.

Two days later, he showed up with a box of options. He has over 1,000 to choose from and I was very pleased with the assortment he gave me. I then called up my friend, and fellow crafter/blogger, Molly, to see if she wanted to have a spray paint playdate. Our daughters are BFF’s so we thought we could swing it. After lots and LOTS of child neglect, a bag of popcorn and a movie, and 3 meltdowns later, we had finished. I will say that they look better from a far (I had some issues with the spray paint clogging and running out before all coats), but all-in-all a win.

   Ta da!

Both the yellow and little white one went through multiple colors before settling into their current coat. I had no idea how easy it is to spray over mistakes or dislikes in the push of a finger…so go for it! Don’t be timid. If I can do it, anyone can. I will say, I am WAY to impulsive to wait the 10 minutes in between the “light” coats you are supposed to do. I just sprayed the shit out of them and It worked. Molly was much more patient with it. She did the little Buddha you see in the left hand corner, as well as helped me with mine. I also did 4 frames for a project I am doing in our home office (I am sure a future post).

I really encourage everyone to repurpose something with spraypaint…instant gratification! Happy painting!