Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ten Things Tuesday

1.  I woke up today at 5:05 AM and couldn't fall back asleep.  I'm usually still hitting snooze right now and, instead, I'm wide-awake with time to blog.

2.  I turned in my last paper on Sunday which means I'm done with school until January 4.  And you have NO idea how happy I am that I  won't have to sit in class for the next three weeks.

3.  I am donezo with my Christmas shopping.  I placed my last order yesterday morning and I'm pretty sure everything has shipped.  It feels good.

4.  Last week I ordered a pair of brown, faux leather, tall boots.  They were from Avenue, a plus size clothing store, and promised wide calves. I was excited for my boots to arrive and ripped into the package when it arrived yesterday.  I kicked my sneakers off and pulled the right boot on only to find that my wide calf boots from the big girl store aren't quite wide enough for my massive calves.  So today I will be going to a shoe repair shop so that I can look into having gussets put in the boots.  Sigh...

5.  Last night I hung up clothes that I washed a month ago.  It's done now.  Don't judge me.

6.  I plan to dye sugar Wednesday night to prepare for cookie baking Thursday night.  Please say a prayer or two that this endeavor goes the way I want it to.

7.  On Friday night I accidentally yelled at the woman at Hallmark so that she wouldn't make me inadvertently shop lift.  I had one item sitting on another and she only scanned the bottom item.  I had to stop her.  It turns out she knew that they were two separate items.  Ooops...

8.  Yesterday I dropped my leftover meat loaf and roasted red potatoes on the floor at work.  I had just pulled my food out of the microwave and for some reason I just dropped it all on the floor.  Nothing was salvaged, I uttered some words that aren't found in the bible, and I was forced to have the world's worst can of soup for lunch. 

9.  I think it's foul that Bath and Body Works only stocks Vanilla Bean Noel at Christmas.  It's their very best scent and I have to wait all year for new products.  I will be rationing this year's body spray in order to make it to November 2012. 

10.  My cousin, Tiffany, got married this weekend and, in addition to a beautiful wedding, I got to watch Paul and my cousin Lisa's husband, Jermey, team-lift a bowl full of punch.  It  doesn't sound like it at all, but watching two grown men gingerly lift and carry a bowl of punch is hilarious.  Just trust.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm in Love, I'm in Love and I Don't Care Who Knows It!

Name that movie to win the satisfaction of knowing you're awesome.

As I mentioned a few posts a go, best friend/roomie for life, Beth, and her husband, Kyle, have been expecting their first child, a little boy!  He was born on Tuesday night after a long day of laboring by his Momma.  I went to the hospital for a little visit yesterday and I tell you, I'm in love with this little guy.  Meet Jude! 

He makes the cutest little sounds and is just so tiny and precious.  I can't wait to be able to watch him grow up.  Beth and Kyle are already wonderful parents to him and it's so amazing to watch my friend transform into this new role in front of my eyes. 

If you want to read more about the past 9 months of Beth's life, check out her blog, A Life Less Ordinary.

P.S.-- Please ignore what my bangs are doing in that picture.  What is that?!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Regression Night

I spent my evening reading books by Judy Blume, Kevin Henkes and Mercy Mayer.  I got to revisit characters I loved when I was little, like Lilly and Little Critter, all in the name of grad school.  After I got out of the shower I turned on the tv and found Space Jam playing on encore.  Tonight has been a top night!

Holiday Rules

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and, given my recent absence, a happy November, in general.

I love almost everything about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't love the crowds in stores and I don't love the heavy commercialization of Christmas that has pretty much stomped out all that Thanksgiving stands for, but I'm a fan of everything else.

Weirdly, I have a lot of rules for myself when it comes to Christmas and the holidays. 

1.  I always adopt two Angels from the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  And I always adopt one boy and one girl.  And I always get them the toy of their  choice and a couple outfits.  Sorry kids who want bikes and video games, someone else will have to pick you.  I just can't afford it.  But Barbies and Cars?  I'm all over that!

2.  The only Christmas shopping I allow myself to do before Thanksgiving is Angel Tree shopping.  Why?  Because I refuse to deal with toy aisles when I get too much closer to Christmas.  Also, the deadline for having gifts purchased, wrapped and back at the tree is December 11, which doesn't give me a lot of time after Thanksgiving to get it all done.

3.  I love peppermint mochas, but I cannot allow myself to order one before Thanksgiving.  It feels too much like I'm cheating on pumpkin spice lattes.  I expressed to Paul the other night how much I wanted a peppermint mocha and how bummed I was that I couldn't have one.  He didn't quite understand my plight.

4.  I love gravy on dressing, preferably when combined with mashed potatoes and turkey.  But the ONLY time of the year when I can eat this is Thanksgiving.  Otherwise it just tastes wrong, delicious, but wrong. 

5.  Christmas music must not purposefully be played until after Thanksgiving.  Though I'm not going to lie, I cheated on this one this year.  I caved to the pressure of every store I've walked into since Halloween and listened to some Christmas tunes a few days before Thanksgiving.  But I didn't enjoy it as much because it's just wrong.

6.  Christmas decorations do NOT go up until the month of December.  I don't care if the mall was decorated a week after Halloween.  I don't care if Thanksgiving is over, so now I'm "allowed" to do it.  I will decorate in December, like the good lord intended.

Do you have any weird rules that you can't let yourself break?  And what's your favorite seasonal coffee?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Still Here

I'm still here, but life has been pretty boring lately.  The last few weeks have been filled with work, the gym, homework, church-searching and relaxing in what little time is left.  I haven't been doing any crafting at all.  I've just been on a search the perfect Christmas wreath project.  Which I haven't found yet.  I promise I'll be back as soon as things get more exciting!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Things I Don't Like

1.  Adele's Music.
I don't have anything against Adele as a person, but I really can't stand her music.  It puts me to sleep, it's depressing, and it makes me change the radio every. single. time. she comes on.  Her lyrics may be okay, but I can't deal with the music behind it long enough to listen to the lyrics.  And I don't feel compelled to look them up.  And when other people quote them on Facebook all the freaking time, I'm not inspired or moved at all.  I understand that you probably love her, and that's fine, but I do not.  And I'm not going to. 

2.  People Who Back Into Parking Spaces
Okay, in general, it's not so bad.  I get that it's worth it to them to spend more time backing into a space than it would take to back out.  That's fine.  But it's not fine when they're doing it at 6:58 in the morning in the parking garage and holding up everyone behind them.  That's rude.  I make the effort to get up and leave my house in time to get to work on time.  And then I'm thwarted by you and your massive SUV that you can barely control.  You're making me late for work and I don't appreciate it.

3.  Inconsiderate Drive-Thru Users
You know how some fast food places have the double drive-thru, where you order at two different speakers but you have to merge into one line to actually pay and get your food?  Well I'm a believer in taking turns and not skipping in line.  I payed attention in preschool like that.  So when I place my order and then 30 seconds later you pull into the neighboring speaker and place your order, it would only make sense for me to pay and get my food first, right?  Apparently not.  The other day the food and payment windows got backed up so the speakers got backed up.  I placed my order and 30 seconds later some woman pulls up beside me.  When the payment and food windows finally cleared up, she sped in front of me.  She knew I was there first.  That was rude, ma'am! 

4.  Amaretto
It's gross.  A friend of mine who was also a waiter used to be convinced that I loved Amaretto sours.  So no matter what I would actually order, he would always bring me an Amaretto sour.  Gross.  Gross.

5.  I Can't Put My Hair in a Proper Ponytail Right Now
I love my hair when it's down, but sometimes you just want to throw your hair up and not deal with it.  But I can't do that without clips or a headband.  It makes gym time a little inconvenient.

6.  Pears
What's with that grainy texture? 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Big Girl Rant

I'm not small.  And I haven't been since I was about 4.  I didn't like shopping in the Juniors section of the store when I was a little girl and I didn't like shopping in the Women's section when I was a "Junior."  Over the years I came to terms with the fact that I was not meant to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister.  And I was perfectly okay with that.  Much to my mother's chagrine, I was also not meant to shop at Lane Bryant.  Do you realize how humiliating it is to shop at Lane Bryant when you're 15?  I hope not. 

I do the bulk of my shopping at Old Navy and Target because they carry my size and I like their clothing.  I also really like the clothing at The Limited and Ann Taylor Loft, but, with the exception of a couple sweaters that I've found over the years, their clothing either doesn't come in my size or my size  is only available online.  I can't buy clothes without trying them on because I never know how certain brands or items will fit on my body.  I think it comes with the territory of being plus size.   Some people think that Lane Bryant is a plus size substitute for those stores, but it's definitely not.   Not at 15 and not at 25. 

A few months ago I found out that The Limited had plans to expand to accomodate plus size ladies.  I was ecstatic!  I assumed that they would expand their current sizes and that I could treat myself every now and then or destroy their clearance section.  But what they are actually doing is creating a new line called eloquii.  They haven't released the line yet, but I can only assume that the items that are available at The Limited will not be available in the eloquii line. This is what the website says,

"eloquii celebrates your love of fashion with styles that look fabulous and fit your curves. This is women's clothing, designed for you and inspired by you.  Our online store will feature a range of fashion apparel and accessories for plus-size women such as dresses, suits, outerwear, pants, tops, shirts and accessories." 

I really can't stand that.  It's like they're saying that plus size women are the only women who have curves on their body.  And "women's clothing, designed for you and inspired by you?"  It's like saying that the only thing that makes me, me, is the fact that I'm plus size, fat, chubby, zaftig, obese...whatever.  I'm calling bullshit on eloquii.  eloquii was not created so we poor, fashion-deprived, fat ladies would have more selection when it comes to shopping for over priced business-casual-wear.  eloquii was created so that The Limited could make money off of us without actually allowing us to wear their brand. And notice how it said that those items would be available in their online store?  Great, now we dont even have to clutter up their stores with our big butts, thunder thighs and sausage arms! 

Poor form, The Limited, poor form.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

DIY: No Sew Infinity Scarf

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I cannot sew.  At all.  I mean, I sewed a button on a dress the other day and it was crooked.  I didn't even know it was possible to make a button crooked.  But it totally is.  I digress.  The point is, I can't sew (and I've never succeeded at knitting or crocheting, either) so I assumed that nearly all fabric-based crafts were out of my reach.  Folks, I. Was. Wrong.

I was on Pinterest the other day (of course) when I saw a tutorial for a no sew infinity scarf from My World Made By Hand.  Since it was no sew I figured I could do it and since I'm on a scarf kick I wanted to get a new one anyway.  So today while I was running errands I picked up a tshirt because that's all you need!

What You'll Need

Men's tshirt.  The bigger the shirt, the more scarf you'll have to work with.  I used XXL Fruit of the Loom, 100% Cotton. 


What You'll Do

1.  Lay the tshirt flat and cut straight across the bottom, removing the seam. 

2.  Cut straight across, under the sleeves.  Here's a really awful picture of this step.

3.  You'll end up with a band of sorts.  Stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch it some more. 

4.  Enjoy!

I was really pleased with how my first non-decor craft turned out.  I'm not the best fabric cutter but it didn't matter because the cut edges curl up and you can't see the cuts.  I can't wait to make more in tons of colors!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today I Found It, the Rainbow Connection

A few months ago I was clicking around on Pinterest and stumbling across nail polish inspired by the Muppets.  I thought to myself, "hmm, fun concept,"  moved on with my life, and didn't think about it again.  Until today.  I was catching up on some blogs and was reminded of the line.  I decided to google it and fell in love with, among others, The Rainbow Connection.
Is it not amazing?!  But then I thought, "Yeah, it looks good in the bottle, but how would it look on my hands?"  And then I saw this:

I'm not really a big nail person but I knew that it had to be mine.  But I was prepared to find it in stores.  So you can imagine my surprise when one minute I was stairing at the pretty colors and sparkles and the next I was adding it to my cart, confirming my shipping information and changing the available balance in my check book. When it comes in I'm going to treat myself to a pedicure and maybe even a manicure.  But probably just the pedicure. Because I'm cheap.  And because I usually ruin a manicure before I'm out the door.

I encourage you to check out all the other colors in the collection. I'm also partial to Gettin' Miss Piggy With It.  Do you have any favorites?

Edit:  I just noticed on my order confirmation that I ordered, "Opi Holliday 2011 Muppets Collection Rainbow Conection."  Part of me is afraid that someone is mixing together glue and glitter in their basement right now and that is what will be delivered to me.  I hope I'm not right.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Showers Bring November Babies

Beth, my BFF/R4L (that's roomie for life, if you don't know) is prego and I threw her a shower last Saturday to celebrate her and baby Jude.  In attendance were our college buddies, Beth's husband, Kyle, Beth's mom and Maw and my Mama.

This was the first real event that I've hosted since Paul and I moved into the house and I was putting crazy pressure on myself to deliver a good time to my guests.  Hopefully I succeeded!

 I was really excited that I got to use some of the cake stands and drink dispensers from the wedding.  I was also excited that those veggie and dip cups stacked, because that table it t-tiny.  We had hummus and triscuits, cheese cubes, fall-colored snack mix, veggie and dip cups, ham and cheese sammies, cucumber sandwiches, nuts and owl cupcakes.  To drink there was water and punch dyed blue with duckies floating on top. 

 The owls were made with oreos and junior mints for the eyes and candy corn for the nose. Jude's nursery is filled with wide-eyed forest creatures so I thought the owls were fitting.

I'm really not a huge fan of "traditional" baby shower games.  I didn't want anyone to have to eat baby food, guess the size of Beth's stomach or look at melted chocolate bars in diapers.  And that You-Can't-Say-Baby game?  I don't think I hate anything more.  As an alternative, we decorated onesies with bubble paint and markers.  The best part is that the onesies act as a decoration for the rest of the shower!  Here are just a few of the ones we created. 

All the amazing ladies from RC who were in attendance.

Baby Jude is due to arrive the day after Thanksgiving and I can't wait to meet him.  If anyone was ever born to be a mommy, it's Beth, and I know she and Kyle are going to be amazing parents.

By the way, feel free to follow Beth's pregnancy journey at A Life Less Ordinary.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fighting Crime

Yesterday was, in a word, exhausting.  I cooked, I cleaned, I baked, I decorated, I mulched and I laundered.  Then around 7 o'clock Paul and I took a break to eat dinner and go on the Ghost Tour that we bought tickets for last week.  The ghost tour was a lot of fun and I strongly recommend that anyone in the Roanoke area  try to catch it .  It's going on every Saturday until the end of the month.  But that's not what this post is about.  This post is about fighting crime.

After the ghost tour we went by Walmart so that I could pick up last minute supplies for the baby shower I hosted today.  While we were wandering the aisles, Paul, who used to work in loss ,  prevention and can spot a shoplifter a mile away said, "That guy's stealing that coat."  Sure enough, a man had just taken a coat off a hanger, put it on, and walked away.  A few seconds later we saw him walking toward us and he was tugging at the sleeve, trying to rip out the tags.  We were both angry that he was trying to steal the coat but couldn't really do anything about it. 

A few minutes later, we went to check out and I saw, "Hey, it's that guy."  He was standing a few lines over with a woman and a baby and he was still wearing the coat.  So I commenced glaring in his general direction using my judging eyes.  Then Paul did the same.  And all of a sudden, he turned around walked toward the back of the store.  When he returned he wasn't wearing the coat.  And I'm pretty sure it was because of my judging stare. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

When Paul and I got married I married really simple table center pieces out of wide mouth mason jars and fresh cut flowers.  Not only was it an inexpensive, cute way to decorate at the time, but I ended up with 12 mason jars to do with what I want.  When I first joined pinterest I pinned a mason jar soap dispenser and kind of forgot about it, but since I had A LOT to do today and aimed to procrastinate as much as possible, I decided that today was the day I would make my own mason jar soap dispenser. 

When I put the drill together, for some reason I couldn't get it to work.  But as I was trying to coordinate all the parts of the drill, Paul walked in and saved the day!  And that's for the best, because according to Paul, if I'd have tried to use the bit that I put into the drill I would have destroyed it. 

Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

What You'll Need

Mason jar with lid and ring
Drill with the proper bits
Flathead screwdriver
Soap bottle pump

What You'll Do

1.  Using the drill make a hole in the center of the lid.

2.  Using the hammer and screwdriver, hammer at the sides of the hole until it's big enough for your pump to fit.  We drilled and hammered with the lid on the jar.

3.  Put the pump in the hole.  I thought I would need to use epoxy to secure the pump to the lid, but it was a pretty snug fit.

4.  Fill your jar with soap and then put the lid back on.

How did I forget to take an up close picture of the finished product and not realize it until just now?  Oh well, you get the idea.

Some tutorial suggest that you put scrapbook paper or fabric on the lid so that it's prettier, but I think some of the charm of this project is how it still looks like a mason jar when all is said and done.

I used a quart size jar.  At first I tried to take the pump out of the dial soap that was already on the counter, but it was too short.   Then I remembered that I had a bottle of soap from Bath and Body Works that I hadn't used yet.  Since it was taller than the Dial, it was the perfect length for the jar. 

I'm planning on making another one for the kitchen because I really love how this one turned out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flavor of the Week: Cookies and Cream Chex

I've stumbled upon the world's most glorious snack, y'all!  This morning a coworker was telling me that she saw Cookies and Cream Chex Mix at Sheetz and that she wanted to go try it.  I had never heard of it and googled it.  What I found was the following description:  "Delicious sweet coated corn chex with real chocolate cookie crumbs."  So I obviously agreed to take a trip with her to Sheetz where we picked it up to try for ourselves. 

It was amazing!  It tasted just like people puppy chow but was crunchier, I suppose because of the little oreo pieces that are scattered around in there.  I suggest you pick up a bag for yourself as soon as humanly possible.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nananananananananananananananana Bat Wreath!

I finally tackled the Halloween yarn wreath that I posted about a few weeks ago. 

I was home sick yesterday because my throat felt about the size of a tennis ball and, after reading for class, moving picture frames around and clipping coupons, I started wrapping yarn like no body's business.  Here's what I came up with.

I'm not going to lie, I wasn't a huge fan of the wreath form I used this time.  Michael's was out of the kind that I used for my argyle wreath and this one was a little more rough. It was more difficult to correct spacing issues with this type so up close, the final product doesn't look as finished as I'd have liked.  Overall I'm happy though.

Bat Yarn Wreath

What You Need

Wreath Form
Gray Yarn
Yellow Felt
Black Felt
Bat Jack-o-Lantern Stencil
Googley Eyes
Hot Glue Gun
Grosgrain Ribbon

What You Do

1.  Tie the string around the wreath and then wrap it around the wreath until it is completely covered.  It's going to take a while. Tie the end of the yarn to the leftover string from the knot you tied when you started.
2.  Cut a circle out of the yellow felt to make a moon.  I used the lid of an oatmeal canister as a stencil.
3.  Using the Jack-o-Lantern stencil as a model, cut the bat out of the black felt.  I traced the bat from the computer onto a piece of notebook paper and then laid the paper on the felt.  Then I cut out the paper bat and felt bat at the same time.
4.  Glue googley eyes on the bat.
5.  Glue the moon onto the back of the wreath, just to the left of center.
6.  Glue the bat onto the bottom of the wreath, to the right of center.
7.  Loop a ribbon around the wreath and glue the ends together.  I glued the top of one end to the bottom of the other so it was flat.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Semi-DIY iPhone Case

Since I got Pinterest, I've ad an unending supply of craft/project ideas.  Let's face it, Pinterest is what inspired me to get crafty in the first place.  A few weeks ago I found a tutorial to make my own iPhone case. When I got my phone the only case options available were solid colors or designs that involved skulls or hearts.  No thank you.  I settled for a plain purple case that I was far from in love with.  When I saw that I could make my own case I knew I had to tackle the project.

Warning:  AWFUL picture ahead. 

Semi-DIY iPhone Case

What You Need

Clear iPhone case (I found mine for about $2 on Amazong)
scrapbooking paper, photographs...really anything you want to

What You Do

1.  Trace your iPhone onto your paper, photograph, etc.
2.  Cut out the background.  Make sure you cut out a spot for the flash.

3. Insert the paper into the back of the case, facing out.

4.  Put your phone in its case.

Here is a really terribe picture of my finished product, standing up courtesy of my ottoman.

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty obsessed with my phone.  Okay, I was already obsessed with my phone, but it feels so new now!  I love the design and I love that I can make a new one so easily!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

True Life: I'm Obsessed

In the past few weeks I've done quite a bit of bargain shopping to build my wardrobe for fall. I've bought 11 tops.  Six of those tops were cardigans.  I bought 3 of those tops so that I could wear them underneath cardigans.  I think a fashion preference has turned into an obsession.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Gallery Wall to Call My Own

I've been collecting pictures, frames, signs and everything else that catches my eye to put on my gallery wall since we moved into our house at the beginning of August.  The problem is that I'm awful at hanging pictures and hate hammering so I was dreading transferring everything from a messy pile to nicely arranged on the wall.  But tonight, probably inspired by the houseguest that Paul will have over this weekend, I decided that it was time to get those frames hung. 

First I placed all my pictures on the floor in an arrangement I liked.

Then I realized that I'd left out a picture so I moved things around a little bit.


Next, thanks to a tip from Young House Love I cut out newspaper the size of each of the frames/signs and taped them to the wall using painter's tape in the arrangement I'd already made up. 

Then I nailed nails near the top-center or each piece of newspaper.  This was the worst part because It seemed like every nail was going into a stud and I bent more nails beyond repair than not.  Next I removed the paper and hung the pictures.  Here's the final product.

And here's what it looks like with everything else in that particular corner of the living room.

Overall the project wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I'm really happy with the results. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My First Award

Jess from Just Rainbows and Butterflys gave me my first blog award the other day, the I Dig Your Blog Award.  You have no idea how excited I was to get Jess's facebook message the other day.  It was just what I needed to perk up an otherwise meh kind of day.  Thanks, Jess!!

The award comes with a few stipulations...

Thank the person who gave you the award.
Share three random facts about yourself

1.  I have a thing for a cappella music.  I'm super-excited that The Sing-Off is back!

2.  I hate talking on the phone, probably because I do it all day at work.  Give me a coffee date or a long rambling email anyday.

3.  I could eat a cheeseburger and fries at every meal and would probably never get sick of it.

I'm passing the award along to

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cup o' Joe*

Sometimes you just need a cup o' joe to get you through the day.

Sometimes you really need a cup o' joe.

And sometimes you just want to relax with an empty mug and watch some tv.

*I don't actually give my dog coffee.  I do, however, let her lick vanilla icecream off the sides of the mug.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Congratulations Zach and Jess

This weekend my and Paul's friends Zach and Jess, from justrainbowsandbutterflys, got married and we were lucky enough to celebrate with them. 
Zach and Jess have a beautiful love story and it was amazing to look back over the past two years and reflect on everything they have been through together during that time. 

Friday night was their rehearsal dinner at the O. Winston Link Museum in downtown Roanoke. Thanks to having immersed myself in the world of weddings a year ago, I'd heard of people doing events in museums. I am now a huge believer in non-traditional venues.  After dinner the museum was open so that everyone could roam around and look at the exhibits.   Paul and I even thought to take a minute to take a picture.

First Paul looked like he was about to throw his drink on his friend Daniel, who was taking the picture for us.

Then he looked a little more civilized.

Just between you and me, the first picture is my favorite.

Saturday was Zach and Jess's wedding day and I'm serious when I say that everything from the ceremony to the bride to the speeches to the first dance to the venue was just beautiful. 

One of the many things I loved about the reception (including the shrimp and pimento cheese on a fried green tomato.  Oh. My God.) was the signature cocktail, the Brenborne.  It was served in a mason jar and perfect for the farm setting.

Congratulations Zach and Jess, and thank you for allowing us to be part of such an amazing day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

DIY Wreath Form

The most expensive part of making my argyle wreath that I previously wrote about was the wreath form.  It was a round piece of styrofoam that looked like this:

Thanks to a very lucky yarn sale at the craft store, I paid less for both my yarn and felt than I did for this stupid wreath form that set me back about $6.  I know, I know, $6 isn't THAT expensive, but why would I spend that when I can spend less than a dollar?  Exactly, I wouldn't!

I found this tutorial on making your own wreath form for less than a dollar from Amanda at The Penny Parlor, by way of Pinterest, and can't wait to try it. 

Please note that I haven't personally tried this tip, but I plan to when I make the Halloween yarn wreath in my yarn wreath post. 

First, go to the plumbing department of Home Depot or Lowes and get a 6 foot piece of foam tubing.  It's less than a dollar!  Next, cut the tubing to the length you want, form it into a ring and then use duct tape to secure it. 

I'll definitely update you to let you know how my own DIY wreath form and Halloween wreath go as soon as I'm done with it.

Also, check out what Amanda did with this wreath form and some coffee filters. 

Wow!  I'm not worthy!

Do you have any favorite money-saving crafting tips?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kitchen Art

I couldn't help but feel bothered by how bland my kitchen walls have felt lately, despite the bright yellow paint everywhere.  I decided to take the framed monogram that I did for my gallery wall and do something similar.  I decided  I was going to frame eating utensils and I was pumped about the idea.  And I love how it turned out.  Once again I forgot to take before and process pictures and am instead left with nothing more than a pretty blurry phone picture, but you get the idea.

Custom Kitchen Art

What You'll Need

1 picture frame, mine is 9x12*
Fabric (or scrapbooking paper)
1 spoon, 1 fork, 1 knife**
Spray paint
Hot glue gun***
Spray adhesive

What You're Going to Do

1.   Take the frame apart and paint the front of the frame.  Mine comes out from the wall a bit so I had to paint the front and back.**** 
2.  Paint the front of the  utensils the same color as the frame. 
3.  While your paint dries, cut your fabric to measure the length and width of the glass or plastic from the frame.  
4.  Using spray adhesive, attach the fabric to the plastic/glass.  Let dry.
5.  If your spray paint is dry, flip over the frame and utensils and paint the back of them.
6.  After everything is dry, put the glass back in the frame.
7.  Using a tape measure, make three marks on your fabric, equidistant from each other.  
8.  Using hot glue, attach your utensils in whatever order you desire. 

*Goodwill is AWESOME for picture frames.  If they're empty they're only .50 each and if they have art in them, they aren't too much more and you can chuck the art.  I'm telling you, a little spray paint goes a LONG way!
** I bought my utensils from Walmart for a total of three dollars.  I got 5 forks, 5 knives and 5 spoons.  The extras will be donated to my office's break room.
***I found a hot glue gun and glue sticks for less than $5 at Joann Fabrics.  It's small but it does the trick.
****PLEASE do all your spraying outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage. 

I'm more proud of my kitchen art than of anything else I've crafted lately, probably because I wasn't copying anyone--it was all my idea.  I have one other large gaping space on another wall so I'm considering doing the same thing as this one, just using a wooden spoon instead.

Do you have any "custom art" in your house?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Framed letters and Adventures in Upholstery

Lately I've been feeling pretty crafty. And I've been super-inspired by pinterest .

First I worked on a project for my gallery wall. Inspired by this little beauty:

I created this: All it took was one trip to Goodwill, one trip to Michael's and a final trip to Jo-Ann Fabric. I spray painted the frame and the letter was already white. I used spray adhesive to attach the fabric to a piece of cardboard then super glued the letter to the fabric and set a Yankee Candle on the letter for a few days so it would be good and stuck. Admittedly, I'm not the best planner when it comes to projects, hence the trip to Jo-Ann's and the slightly-off-center Y, but I like the way this one turned out.

The second project was inspired by this, another Pinterest find.

I started with this drab, pretty plain coffee table that we've used for the past two years but don't really need anymore since we got a super-sweet ottoman/coffee table combo. Conveniently, the legs screwed right off so I was left with a giant easy-to-work with slab. First I laid my fabric on the floor with the underside facing up. Then I laid batting on top of it. I was originally going to use foam padding too, but as I said before, I'm a bad project planner and I didn't have enough foam. So I just used batting and fabric. We likely won't have many people sitting on it so plush-ness isn't a huge concern. Plus, that helped this project come in at just under $20!

Next I laid the table on the batting, bottom side up.

Next I pulled the fabric and batting tight around the side and secured it with a staple gun. Fun fact though, "universal staples" aren't universal. Universal staples do not fit the staple gun that I purchased, despite the fact that they were 6mm and the gun is supposed to take 6mm staples. But the kind Lowes employee in the door department had me covered.
Then all I had to do was screw the legs back in and flip her over. I really like how it turned out. I still need to paint the legs brown since it was raining today, but I'm doing that this weekend.

I've since painted the legs brown to match the fabric, but it's not showing up well in photos and not really worth showing, so let's use our imaginations, shall we?  Good.

Before my little makeover this table was sitting across from the front door and was where I threw my purse and mail when I came in the door. It will still do that, it will just look snazzier doing it now.

Gallery Walls

I'm absolutely obsessed with gallery walls these days.

Seriously people, how awesome are these?

There are some out there that are made up of lots of frames of the same color, but that's really just not my style. I love how these include signs and graphics and not just photos. There are still some boxes to be unpacked, an office to organize and a guest bed to put together (stop judging me), but this is one project that I'm looking forward to tackling someday soon.

Blast From My Past

I was perusing Pinterest on my phone just now and one of the first items I saw was shoe clips. I guess I'd seen them before but I forgot about them. Basically, you just clip the little bow, flower, whatever, on your shoe to jazz them up a little.

Cute, right? But this post is not about shoe clips. This post is about what shoe clips made me think of...

I'm pretty sure I had this exact pair. I loved the squeaky sound they made when they "bit" down on my laces. I also had a more rubbery Treasure Troll version but stuff always got stuck in their hair. I'm pretty sure my brother had Ninja Turtles. I only hope that one day when I have kids I'll be able to find bow biters for them.

Thank you Pinterest for this little walk down memory lane. Did you have bow biters when you were a kid? Did you love them as much as I did (and still do)?