Happy (belated) 10th Anniversary, GrungeZombie.net!

The holidays were so busy that I totally forgot to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of GrungeZombie.net! Shame on me. It should have been November 6, 2012, as grungezombie.net was officially registered back in 2002 (you know, before every imaginable domain name was troll-bot-registered).

To make up for my tardiness, here’s a BLAST FROM THE PAST:

GrungeZombie.net Version 12 (2003)

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New Bookshelf (of shame)

My awesome little desktop bookshelf from Ecolok arrived yesterday! It’s EXACTLY what I was looking for! and well within my price-range! I’ve already spotted at least three other places around the house where we can nestle more of these — heaven knows we could use the extra book storage.

Ecolok desktop booshelf + Pile of Shame

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Packing Away the Christmas Tree

For years now, I’ve been trying different methods for cinching the Christmas Tree pieces so it will fit back in its original box for storage. I’ve tried: large zip-ties (too expensive for one-time use), various strings and twines (cut up my fingers something awful), bungee cords (awkward and ill-fitting), and even strips of muslin (left strings all over the tree branches). I was getting really frustrated. $5 Christmas Tree Storage Solution: Use thrifted belts to cinch down artificial tree branches for storage in original box or tight space.

Then I thought of trying cinch-straps, but they are not cheap and kind of complicated. Then one day at the local Goodwill, I was slapped in the face by an idea: BELTS. DUH.


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Handmade Christmas 2012

I made blankets for the kids this year for Christmas, and gave them on Christmas Eve. They both look exhausted in this photo because it was 9:30 at night and we had just gotten back from a long night of dinner and festivities with family.


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Halloween 2012: Finn saves Frog Princess with Lady Rainicorn!

We had a great Halloween! Nola as Frog Princess, Gunner as Finn the Human, and me as (at least half of) Lady Rainicorn!

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Printable Animal Masks

UPDATE: There is now a PDF available to download for these masks!

Today, Nola asked me if she could be a tiger. I told her she could not draw on herself with that black Sharpie she had in her hands from who-knows-where. Thankfully, she asked first! Needless to say, I had dashed her little two-year-old dreams to bits, and the dejected look on her face damn near broke my heart. So I asked if she would like a tiger mask instead, and she was so excited about it she was literally jumping up and down in anticipation. “Yeah, yeah, yeah!!”

I Googled “printable Tiger Mask”, and from the results found a really cool-looking one, which led me to an Angelfire page called “Child’s Play” FULL of printable animal masks! We printed out ten different animals, and they are beautiful! The kids are having a blast, and no Sharpie on the toddler.

I couldn’t wait to Pin it — but, lo-and-behold, “no pinnable images”.  What the spark?! So, I decided post a blog entry, complete with pinnable thumbnail preview, and direct readers to this great resource.

Printable Animal Masks from preschoolkids.net

Source: PreschoolKids.net Printable Masks

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Summer’s End

Cramming in some last-minute summer fun, before Gunner’s return to school on Monday for second grade! The summer break went by way too fast, as usual. Gunner has all his school supplies, complete with an “Annoying Orange” backpack, and today he got a slick haircut at JCPenney’s for FREE (always nice). Then we went to lunch with Grandpa, and he had a super-cool surprise!



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My Own Blanket

I finally made a blanket for me.


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Feather Indentification

We seem to have the beginnings of a feather collection. Three of these were found in one day!


Of course, my impulse is to identify, catalogue, and display them (sound familiar?).
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Wayne’s Mom’s Basement Afghan

A couple months ago, some friends came over to my house for a “girl’s night” and we had a Wayne’s World “marathon” (so, Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2). We ate way too much food, laughed our butts off, and there was a sweet thunderstorm — great night!!

I also noticed, for the first time, maybe, the amazeballs hexagonal afghan on the couch in Wayne’s mom’s basement. The pic below is the best (wide) shot I could get of it. I AM SO TOTALLY GOING TO MAKE MYSELF ONE! … SOMEDAY

The one in the movie is crocheted, but it could be done with cotton, quilt-style, which is what I plan on doing… at some point, in the unbeknownst future. You’ll know I’ve done it, when I post it here on le blog.

Wayne's Mom's Basement Afghan

“It will be mine. Oh, yes. It will be mine.”

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Green Onions + Meal Plan

First harvest from our tire garden is: Green Onions! They smell so good… of course, I have no idea what to do with them. Other than lots of salads. And giving some to family members (to… put on salads?)


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Our Tire Garden

I just realized that I haven’t posted anything about our awesome-sauce tire garden setup that we’ve got going new this year. What the hell, ME?! So, yeah… BEHOLD, in all its raised-bed glory! <insert dramatic reveal music>

Tire Garden

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Weekend Project: Dog Mattresses

I resolved this weekend to complete a simple project: cushions for our three dogs’ kennels. You see, our dogs used to have a couch — a couch we got for free from my husband’s grandmother — but they systematically destroyed it to the point where it was just black lining over box springs with clumps of shredded upholstery and foam clinging to jagged staples and nails sticking out everywhere. Not exactly the best place for dogs to sleep. We considered trying to find another “free” couch, but my paranoia of bringing bed bugs or cockroaches into the house from some “stranger’s” couch, and the fact that we knew damn well the dogs would do the exact same thing over again to a “new” couch, we decided against it. Instead we moved the old couch out (to be sacrificially burned at some later point this summer), and moved the rarely-used-until-now kennels over to where the couch used to be.

My job was to make cushions so the dogs will be comfy with this new arrangement. I can’t remember the last time I completed a project within 48-hours of initial planning… but it actually happened!


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Moth Series: Moved to Flickr

Nerd alert! In case you didn’t already know: one of the more studious hobbies I enjoy is photographing and classifying (and hanging out at night getting swarmed by) moths. I decided to clear out my Flickr account and dedicate it wholly to this pursuit. It’s coming along nicely; I’ve got about half of my photos from 2005 thru now edited, identified and posted. There are some really awesome moths! Check them out!

Anavitrinella pampinaria

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KCWC Spring 2012 Results

So, yeah, I’m a bit late in posting this. HA-HA! Go figure!

I applied myself to the Elsie Marley Kids Clothing Week Challenge Spring 2012 with blazing ferocity, and the result is a cute little Southerny apron-style sundress! Even I was not expecting it to turn out so “country”, but that’s where the fabric led me. Seems appropriate, since we live in the country, after all.


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Bunny Poops & Bunny Tails!

Do-it-yourself snacks for those Easter baskets! Fill snack-sized plastic zipper bags with 1/2 cup cocoa puffs for “Bunny Poops”, or 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows for “Bunny Tails”. If you’re buying a fresh bag of marshmallows, you may want to spread them out on a paper plate and let them air-dry for about 30 minutes; they tend to clump together in sticky lumps if you put them in the zipper bag too fresh (learned the hard way).

Bunny Poops & Bunny Tails

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Kids Clothes Week Challenge 2012

I will be participating with the Elsie Marley Kids Clothes Week Challenge for Spring 2012 (April 23-30). This sounds wonderful! (and cathartic) — February and March have been so hectic and stressful, I’ve barely had time for any “leisure” sewing (or much leisure any-crafts or anything else). I’ve got pants to convert to shorts and summer dresses to make! This challenge will be a great impetus. Can’t wait to see what everyone does!

Elsie Marley Kids Clothes Week Challenge Spring 2012 (April 23-30)

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Gunner’s Birthday: It’sa Mario Time!

My little boy is 7-years-old!

To celebrate, we had planned a morning-to-night birthday Saturday — with family in the morning, friends in the afternoon, and a couple friends staying over night. BUT THEN: Ear infection sneak-attack the night before the party. Arg!

At the last second, had to push the friends/sleepover party back a week (with lots of phone calls at 10:30-at-night to attendees’ parents, *awkward*). Luckily we kept the “family” party as planned, so it wasn’t a total destructo-bummer for the birthday boy, who had been waiting in great anticipation of epic-birthday-party-day. Still had grammas, grampas, aunt & uncle, presents and decorations — and I forced the dozen family members there to eat the 4-dozen cupcakes I had prepared for the weekend. Who doesn’t love a birthday cupcake brunch?!

Cupcakes with toppers

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