Halloween Countdown Chain


Handy Boy has been hounding me lately, asking “When’s Halloween?!?!” He is 9 and has a better sense of time than younger kids, but a month still seems like ages to him.

I decided to make him a Halloween Countdown chain.  I have made Christmas countdown chains for him in the past, so why not Halloween?  This was very easy to do.  You could also make a countdown chain for a birthday, or a big trip, using different paper.

I used 12×12″ scrapbook paper.  I chose Halloween colors, and cut them into 1 inch wide strips, using my  Making Memories trimmer.  You can buy this trimmer at craft stores.  I LOVE THIS TRIMMER!  I highly recommend it for any kind of scrapbooking or paper crafting.

Here are all of the Halloween colors I used.  Different shades of orange, gray, brown, black, etc.

I stapled all of the rings together.  After, I noticed that some of my scrapbook paper was white on one side, but Handy Boy won’t care.  He’ll take one ring off every night before he goes to bed.

Here it is!  I decided to make enough rings for the rest of September.  Why not?  Handy Boy loved it.  I was going to work on this when he came home from school today, but I couldn’t wait.  😉

Linking to: The Gypsy’s Corner/All Thingz Related/A Silly Little Sparrow/It’s a Blog Party/My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia/Lucky Star Lane/My Backyard Eden/We are That Family/Blue Cricket Design/Someday Crafts/The Thrifty Home/Seven Thirty Three/Tales from Bloggeritaville/somewhat simple/Fireflies and Jellybeans/House of Hepworths/The Shabby Nest/My Romantic Home/Fingerprints on the Fridge/Remodelaholic/Funky Junk Interiors/I Heart Naptime/It’s So Very Cheri/Keeping it Simple/The Girl Creative/Skip to My Lou


The Great Lego Project, Continued…

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Handy Boy and I recently decided that we were going to keep working on sorting his Legos.  This is a project that we started in the winter…but we all got SICK for ages and it fell by the wayside.  See this prior post about our start.

We’re sorting by “type” of Lego into different bins.  It’s really, really time consuming because he has about ten billion pieces.  There are also a ton of really tiny “specialty” pieces that I’m not sure what to do with yet.  More photos as the progress continues.  We are just trying to work on it 15 minutes at a time.  We’ll get through it, eventually!

Handy Boy said that it’s much easier to build his creations now that his Legos are at least somewhat sorted.

Handy Man has finished siding the shed!  Photos to come soon.  One project left to do is to run wiring from the garage into the shed: Rob needs a light in there, and the ability to run the generator in the shed. This is going to involve digging a trench through the backyard.

Anyone want to come over for some ditch digging? Ha!  🙂

I’ll have some simple fall crafty projects to show you soon as well.  Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Thrifty Clothing Finds


This week, I went shopping for some clothes that Handy Boy needs for fall.  I went to a few stores and hit the clearance racks.  I never shop for “back to school clothes” before school starts.  Handy Boy can still wear his shorts and t-shirts for a while, and he seems to have a growth spurt every fall.

I would love to be able to get clothes for Handy Boy at thrift and consignment stores, but unfortunately, that’s not possible any more.  Second hand stores have more clothing for babies, toddlers, and younger children.  Handy Boy is a size 10 now, and I just can’t find clothes in that size in second hand stores.

I found some shirts on sale at Kohl’s and Sears.  I bought two short sleeved shirts and three long sleeved shirts.

I also took out these three shirts.  I had stored these shirts in Handy Boy’s dresser.  We bought them back in the spring from a clearance rack for $2.49 each!!  Can you believe it?

Here’s the proof:

I don’t like the idea of paying $24 for ONE SHIRT for a child, but $2.49?! Awesome!

Here are the two short sleeved shirts that I bought:

I recently found a site called thredup.  It’s an online site where you can trade gently used children’s clothing.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much for boy’s size 10 clothing there, either; but I thought I would pass along the info.

I absolutely hate paying full price for clothing for myself, Handy Man or Handy Boy.  We always check clearance racks, second hand stores and sales.  Last year, I bought Handy Boy a nice winter coat for $1 in a thrift store! ONE dollar!  Check out this post about some thrifty winter items I bought for Handy Boy last winter.  Click here to see the nice rain coat I bought for the Boy for $1.99.

Linking to: The Thrifty Home/It’s a Blog Party

How do you save money on clothing?

Back to School


Labor Day always means “Back to School” time to me.  When Handy Man and I were children, we always started school after Labor Day.  Handy Boy started last week.  Many children in different areas of the country have already been in school for several weeks.

I was (secretly) glad that Handy Boy started school last week so I can have some quiet time.  I have so many projects I want to work on!  I will start working part time in a couple of weeks, but until then, there’s lots to do…blogging, scrapbooking, laundry, dishes, more laundry, more dishes…

I had some fun buying new school supplies for the Boy.  He didn’t need much, thankfully.  I’ve heard of some school lists that are huge!

Good ole’ Crayola.  Remember how Crayola crayons smelled when you opened the box?  Sniffffff…ahhhhh!! They still smell the same.

Pink Pearl erasers, however, do not smell the same as when we were kids.  Handy Man agreed with me, they smell different.

Yeah, we spent some time sniffing school supplies.  You wanna make something of it?!

Here is the rainbow of papers that I had to fill out for Handy Boy this year…emergency contact forms and this and that.  Homework for mom…oh YAY.  It took me a couple of days to slog through all of it.

Even if you don’t have children (or don’t have children in school anymore), do you have projects planned for fall?  Some people do fall cleaning…fall organizing…get back into scrapbooking, sewing or other crafts.  Soon, it will be time to do fall chores around the yard as well.  Handy Man is trying to squeeze in as many projects as he can while the weather is still nice.

How about you?

So, Who is Ready for Halloween?


Yesterday, Handy Boy and I were in Rite Aid, and I saw a worker putting out some HALLOWEEN CANDY.  Yes, candy corn and snack  sized Halloween items.  Already.

I still have to buy Handy Boy some school supplies.  I know, nothing like waiting until the last minute.  Thankfully, the list is short, and I already have some of the supplies needed at home.  I think it’s a bit weird, though, to be looking for school supplies near Halloween Candy!

I’m not a fan of really hot weather, but I’m just not ready for fall yet.  We are having too much fun doing “summery” things.  Last summer in New England, it POURED most of the summer, and it really limited a lot of the things we wanted to do.  I think we are trying to make up for it this summer.  School starts soon, and there are still a few more things I wanted to squeeze in first, but I think we are going to run out of time.

Are there any home or yard projects you want to finish before back to school time (if you have kids?).  Many states have started school already.  Please write in the comments section about which projects you want to complete before fall really starts.  I refuse to believe that fall starts when they put out the Halloween candy!

There are several projects that I want to complete before school starts.  I need to order some photos for scrapbooking, do some actual SCRAPBOOKING, organize a few areas of the house, and put some photos of our old houses up on this blog.

Yikes.  I’d better get crackin’.

School’s Out!

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Handy Boy brought home a big pile of school papers, notebooks, workbooks and art projects this week.

I just realized, this isn’t even the whole pile! I’ve gone through some of it already. Several papers are repetitive and can be recycled. Some papers will be saved for his school year scrapbook. During the school year, I put the papers I want to save in an accordion-type file; and go through it again at the end of the year. This is the final sort that I do to determine what I’ll save or toss.

Since I scrapbook, I put some papers (and his report cards) into the album. There are other items that I save in a large manilla envelope and label “3rd Grade.” I then put the large envelope into a canvas box I bought at Target:

This way, I don’t feel like I’m overrun with school papers, even though there are several that I want to keep.

One more tip: if your child has a large art project that is difficult to store, take a photo of it and keep the photo.  I don’t toss all of Handy Boy’s bulky art projects, but I just can’t keep them all, either.

Do you have any children’s school papers to deal with?  How do you handle it?

The Boy’s Room is Clean (for the moment)!

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So!  It took some time on and off over 3 days, but Handy Boy and I finished cleaning up his room!

This bookcase is from my childhood.  My dad made it for us, and behind the dolls on the top shelf it says “1 2 3” and “P Q R.”

I guess when I was learning the alphabet, my favorite letters were “P Q R” and I used to repeat that a lot.

The antique desk is something that Handy Man and I bought before we even had Handy Boy.  He loves to sit at the desk and color, draw and play Legos.  Sometimes he does homework on it.  He usually does his homework in the kitchen.

Handy Boy’s closet is a masterpiece inside!  I will show how Handy Man built special shelves in the closet some time, to store all of Handy Boy’s “stuff.”  I just wanted a picture of the floor that will stay clean for about 5 minutes.

No picture of his bed at the moment, because I was washing sheets and blankets.

Oh, and the Wicked Big Lego Project?  That was sort of put on hold for a while, since we’ve all been taking turns being sick and such.  But we do hope to get back to it, eventually.  Handy Boy still loves his Legos, and he’s been good about keeping the sorted ones organized.

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