Friday, March 30, 2012

Week two of linking-up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition.

Let's get these confessions out of my system....

1)  When I think of a confessional the first thought that comes to mind is The Real World and not religion or a priest.

2)  I love Blake Shelton on The Voice but I do not like him in any other interviews.  A little too crass for my taste.  Bet you didn't think we'd ever find that level, did you?!

3)  I don't like Blake's humor, but I love Bill's humor.  I can't bring myself to use the new coasters he gave me because I love them too much.
Even Skanks say Thanks is my favorite! 

4)  I got all of Grant's birthday party ideas from Pinterest.  One would think this creative mind could wrangle up an idea or two on her own, but no.  Pinterest all the way.  I'll be posting on that later.

5)  I can never, I mean NEVER, remember how to hard boil eggs.  Lid?  No lid?  12 minutes?  17 minutes? Let them sit?  Put them in cold water right way?  I have to look it up every single time.

6)  I do not want to be at work today.  My sis and her family just arrived and my Papa is coming in to town tomorrow and we have a big family get together tomorrow afternoon and next week will be crazy so I just want this week to be over so I can enjoy my weekend!

7)  I really loved that my brother-in-law referred to my craft island as Hobby Lobby.

What are you confessing this week?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I am attempting link-up number two!  I know, look at me go.  This time it's with Shannon, at Life After I 'Dew'.    This is another that Miss Suzanne introduced me to.  At least she's introducing me to these types of things and not crack, a gang life or prostitution, right?  Hey, wait.  I'm not saying she's into those things.  I better get back on track!  Back to the link-up.  Shannon's link-up theme is "So what if..."

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...

  • ...if I enjoyed my last evening before the Baughman Invasion (aka: sis and her family arriving) with no pants on.  You know me...the best pants is no pants
  • ...if I don't buy high quality roller brushes so I can throw them away after I'm done with a painting project instead of spending forever cleaning them.  Toss and done!
  • ...if I, a strong independent woman, like wildly inappropriate and degrading rap music.  ('I have ho's in different area codes' is playing right now.  Thank goodness for earbuds at work!)
  • ...if I have more unfinished craft projects than finished craft projects.
  • ...if I bought the beginnings of a Smash Book back in December with a birthday gift card and still haven't started it.  I want to, but I can't seem to get started. (see bullet above.)
  • ...if I am terrified my house will start to look like a day care and be overrun by Grant's toys.  Don't get me wrong, I love my nephew and can't wait to play with him, but I am scared my house will soon look like Grant's play house.
  • ...if I am looking forward to teaching Grant funny things.  When he was 8 months old I taught him to "shake his booty."  I wonder what I can teach him at 1?!
  • ...if I have anxiety that my work email inbox has 942 emails right now.  I can't seem to keep up with them all.  Oh well.
  • ...if a guilty pleasure of mine is cheap wine and Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers.  I like to keep it classy.  See rap music bullet above.
What are you saying SO WHAT to this week?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remember the $15 craigslist green chair I love but most people hate?
See this post for a refresher.

Well, Luna has chosen a side.  Her behind is firmly planted in team LOVE.   That's my girl!
I tried to catch her belly up when I turned on the light this morning,
but she was too quick for my camera.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I love me some organization.  The actual organizing...not so much...but I did it.  A friend brought over an island for my utility room from a house he is remodeling.  Being the genius that he is, he suggested I use it for craft storage since I'm losing my craft storage from my guest room when sis arrives.  Today I tackled that project and I'm giddy as a little school girl.

The island (with Luna, of course)

The crafting organization!

This isn't everything, trust me, not everything at all...but it's the basics that I use for most of my creative needs.  I'm excited to have the big marble work surface for bigger projects (like the quiet books from a previous post).

On another organizational note, remember the silver tray I bought at Goodwill way back when for a chalkboard project?
This isn't my actual tray, but it's similar. 

I had the tray and I had the paint, but the two haven't met just yet. (Yes, I too am learning I'm one hell of a procrastinator.) In the meantime, I decided to put my tray to use on the vanity!

Now I'll have a place to rest my flat iron or curling iron without damaging the surface of the vanity.  It also holds my many beauty supplies.

Search your Goodwill for a $3.00 tray and let me know how you put it to good use.

On another side note, the can of Short Sexy Hair Play Dirty is my new favorite hair product.  It's a spray wax that gives your hair texture without the weight of mud or waxes.  It is one of those products that is a little pricey, but so worth the money.  Give it a try!

Friday, March 23, 2012

My great friend, Suzanne, was the one to get me started on this blogging obsession.  She always shows me the most interesting blogs she follows and I love reading hers.  You can find Suzanne at Already Right Where I Belong.  The first blog, and still one of my favorites, she's shared with me is written by Jen Lancaster, jennsylvania.  Jen is one of the funniest women on the planet.  

Anyway, back on topic.  I caught a post of Suzanne's about "confessions" and decided to give it a go.  (This is my first link-up.  Yes, I'm a link-up virgin.)  I'm linking up with Leslie at A Blonde Ambition to share today's confessions with you lovely peeps.  

Here goes...

1)  I really love the look of home improvement projects when they're done, but I don't really love the actual home improvement process.  About the 3rd coat of paint I get kind of annoyed.

2)  I know many of you will think less of me so go ahead a put your judgy pants on.  I'm so very excited for the 6th season of Jersey Shore because it will include a preggo Snooki and a fresh from rehab "Situation."  Go ahead, start judging if you hadn't already.

3)  I'm almost as addicted to Diet Sunkist orange soda as I am Diet Mt. Dew.  Don't mess with my sodas.  Yes, I say soda.

4)  I have a huge fear of developing a thick southern accent.  HUGE!

5)  I have had the paint for my bedroom and kitchen since September and still haven't painted those rooms.  What is that?  7 months?  Wow.  Even I'm starting to judge myself.

6)  When my brother-in-law mentioned he was painting his hallway before they moved to Oklahoma, my first comment was, "Great!  You're practicing for painting my kitchen!"  He said, "You are your father's daughter."  Here's the confession part, I took pride in that statement!

7)  Last night, Bill asked if I ever got annoyed by the fact that we rearrange furniture EVERY SINGLE time he comes over to visit.  I said, "No, but before you arrive I always wonder what will be different when you leave!"

8)  After my mom passed away I thought there'd be nobody who could make me laugh as hard as she could.  Boy, can Bill ever give her a run for her money.  My sides still hurt from laughing so hard last night.  Such a great bestie.

9)  I love the reality show Tough Love on VH1.  What I like about this wacky show is that it shows a group of women supporting and encouraging each other instead of tearing each other down like the other shows I love.

10)  Like Suzanne, I want GCB to be on every day.

11)  After proofing this post I realized I watch entirely too much TV and have no plans on changing that any time soon.

12) I will only eat Starburst jelly beans.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

If you're ever looking for a great blog to find some recipes, Plain Chicken is the place to go.

Her recipes are easy and those are the only recipes I like to try!  Click here to learn more about the woman behind Plain Chicken.  These are some of the recipes I've tried.  If you click on the name of the recipe it will take you to the original site and straight to the recipe.  Let me know what you think.  Also let me know if you try any of her recipes.  Mmm Mmm Good!

Rotel Chicken Spaghetti

You probly think this song is about you, don't you?  (sorry, I couldn't help myself. It's now stuck in my head.  I'm also sorry if it's stuck in your head too.  If you don't know what song I'm talking about, I'll be rethinking our friendship.  Or watch this video and have it stuck in your head too.  Either way, you're welcome.)

Now, on to the vanity post.  My sis and her family will be moving in with me for a little bit starting next week.  With one bathroom, I was worried about the Olympics that would take place for everyone to get ready in the mornings.  That's when it hit me, Bill had left a vanity in the house that he said I could give a coat of paint or three.  After going to Lowe's and holding the can of red paint in my hand, I finally went for it.  I committed.  I went back to Lowe's and bought a quart of "Gloss Sunrise Red" oil paint.

I sanded the vanity and gave it a good cleaning before moving it inside to start painting it last Friday night.

It was a little beat up, but I knew she'd be a beauty once she was done.  I gave her three coats so far.  I may give her another later on, but three was what I could get done over the weekend.  It took all the self control Luna had not to jump on it while I was painting it.  There's no way I was leaving it unattended during the week for her to lose control and run rampant like I know she would.

My friend happened to have a stool she wasn't using anymore that she said would be a good pairing with the vanity.  At first she said I could borrow it, but then later said it was all mine to do with as I pleased.  I grabbed some of the fabric I'd mentioned in a post from last year (from Heather Bailey's collection) and headed down the street to Lowe's AGAIN. The closest match I could find was Valspar's "Ocean Soul" aqua colored gloss spray paint. (Yes, again with the spray paints.)

Here's what the stool looked like before (without the cushion):

After a few coats of the spray paint, she was quite bright.  This picture makes it look like a brighter blue, but it's really an aqua, trust me on this one.

After a weekend of painting, the two came out great!  I picked up a "candle mirror" at Hobby Lobby for $4.  Gotta love their 50% off glass sales every other week.  I mounted that in the center of the vanity.  I also picked up two crystal knobs for the drawers during the same 50% off sale.  Those ran me $2.50 each.  I just need to pick up a handle for the center drawer and I'm done!

She's ready for her close up.

Now I have a space in my bedroom to get ready in the mornings.  The mirror is a little low so I might put it up on some blocks painted red or something so I'm a little more comfortable when I primp.  We shall see.  Needless to say, between the oil paint fumes in the house, and the spray paint fumes outside, I had a great weekend!  And productive to boot.

PS:  After trying to clean oil paint off my hands I googled how to clean oil paint off skin and learned COOKING SPRAY of all thinks will get the paint off.  I whipped out the can of Pam and sure enough, it worked!  Again, you're welcome.
With an adorable niece, Sahari, and a handsome little nephew, Grant, I needed to find a creative way to spoil them rotten.  Kids out grow toys and they out grow clothes, but they never out grow books!  Since I am familiar with working with felt from making the felt stockings for my family that I would look for felt quiet book patterns and ideas.

Insert shameless pictures of Grant and Sahari here:

Back to the quiet books...I started surfing Pinterest and came up with a few ideas, but not enough to make an entire book, let alone several books.  The blogs I found were hard to navigate and had poor patterns.  Then I found it.  I struck gold. Someone pinned a pattern for Shelley Wallace Designs!

Shelley has a store on Etsy where she sells quiet book patterns, kits and other various patterns and hand made items.  Her patterns are fairly priced at $6.50-9.50 (there are a couple of bigger patterns that cost more) and since they are sent to you via a PDF file, there are no shipping charges.

At first I just bought one pattern to make sure I could follow it since I'm pattern illiterate for most crafts.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  Any beginner could follow her instructions and patterns.  Her list of supplies needed page is fantastic.  I loved the first pattern so much, I bought three more!  Now, I just need to get my butt in gear and actually make the books.  I'll post pictures once they're complete.

You can follow Shelley on Facebook under "SW Designs" or on Etsy under "ShelleyWallace."  If you add her you get a heads up on special sales and new products (like her new spring book pattern).  I picked up a couple of these patterns on her 29% off Leap Day sale.  Shelley has always been prompt with emailing the patterns.  I can't say enough wonderful things about this Etsy store.  Be sure to check her out!

Here are some of the patterns I've purchased over the last couple of months:
On the Farm

The Zoo

Rain Forest Friends

My Tools

Let's Go

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I'm hooked on spray painting.  Not for the fumes, that's just a bonus.  I kid.  I'm hooked on it because it easily changes the look of something in moments.  It also dries quickly.  I like quick projects!

My sis and her family are moving in with me, temporarily, next week.  I wanted to give the guest room a little lift so they feel a little more comfortable when they arrive.  I picked up these lamps at Garden Ridge a few months back for $7 each.  I was going to put them in my bedroom but figured they'd be better suited for the guest room.

I gave them a quick coat of brown primer and then hit them with a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Hammered "Dark Bronze" paint.
I like that they are two different shapes
but have the same finish now.

These are the finished products with
shades from Target I had picked up a while back.

While I was waiting for the coat of paint to dry on the lamp, I was relaxing on my patio chairs.  I was trying to think of a way to make the two sets seem more like a matched set when I remembered a post from one of my favorite blogs, YoungHouseLove.  They gave their patio chairs a face lift with a simple coat of paint in this post.

These are the Young House Love chairs.

I primed and painted my chairs with the same Hammered paint I used on the lamps.  They couldn't look better!

Solid brown is the new version, the stripes are the old version.

I love the way the texture came out once they were a solid color.  I just painted one for now to make sure the paint would hold up on this surface.  It's been a week and it has held up beautifully.  Once we recover from the Noah like rains we've been having here this week, I'll give the other chair it's makeover and I'll have a matching set again.  Not too bad for a little spray paint!  What else can I paint?
Every year, when the daffodils popped up, Mom would always say, "Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the flowers is?"  I think of that memory every time I see daffodils popping up.

I was in a bit of a springy mood a few weeks back and decided my front door needed a little color.  I had spotted this wreath on, you guessed it, Pinterest.

I ran over to my second home, Hobby Lobby, and picked up a wreath form, some yarn, and daisy flowers. I didn't even need hot glue, just some pins to pin the flowers down. It really is the easiest wreath I've ever made.

My only tip for you is to get two things of yarn.  I would have liked mind to be more dense than it ended up being.  This would be easy to add little eggs to for Easter or different flowers to change it up.  Give it a try and let me know how yours turns out.

This post was obviously delayed because I couldn't post about Christmas presents I was making and then advertise them.  I just didn't mean for this post to be three months delayed.  Oh well.  Onward and upward.

Funds were tight this past Christmas and the list of people to shop for had nearly doubled.  There was no way my pocket book could handle a list like that so I relied heavily on my crafty genes and good ol' Pinterest.  I ended up making gifts for over 25 people this year.  (Yes, TWENTY FIVE!  Now you can see why I wasn't blogging!)  Here are some of the highlights of gifts I made and some of their finished products.

Bird's Nest Necklaces

These have been a huge hit.  They fall under the two things I love to make most...inexpensive and easy crafts.  Here's a great tutorial on how to make the Bird's Nest Necklaces.  Sarah's instructions are easy to follow and have step by step instructions.  You can get all the supplies in one stop at a store like Hobby Lobby or Michael's.  You can personalize them by choosing the "eggs" in some one's birthstone colors.  I made these for some special ladies this Christmas and then came home and made myself some in all sorts of colors. 
This is the necklace I made for my sister.  The larger
beads represent her and her husband while the
smaller bead represents their son.

This is the necklace in action.  I like the
iridescence of the beads in the light.

I made this one for my Papa's wife, LaDonna.  These
beads represent her grandson and two great
grandsons that were born last year.

Sugar Scrubs
Next up, I made a lot of sugar scrubs.  You can find all sorts of recipes on Pinterest or on Google.  I made two different types, Vanilla Brown Sugar and an Orange Honey Sugar that I made up as I went along.  That one was simply white sugar, orange extract, honey, sunflower oil and some orange food coloring to help give it some vibrancy.  I collected an assortment of jars from Hobby Lobby (50% off glass sale) and mason jars (by the box to save some change), filled them with the scrubs, added a ribbon and a tag.  They were a huge hit.

Spice Mixes
My office group nearly doubled this year.  I didn't want to make baked good because we drown in them during the holidays.  Then I figured, everyone in the office cooks.  Why not make some spice mixes?  I hit a Hobby Lobby 50% off glass sale and got some cute little jars.  They were a steal!  I decided to make a Paula Deen House Seasoning in one and an Outback Steak seasoning mix in the other.  I love the Paula Deen house seasoning.  It's perfect on just about any cut of meat.  I use it to season cut up chicken in recipes.  I packaged the jars with some of the left over sugar scrub supplies and I was done!  

Camera Strap Cover
My brother-in-law, Chris, is quite the photographer.  His camera is never far out of reach but he's always wondering where he set his lens cap.  When I saw this sewing tutorial, I just had to make it for him.  
The best part is, I had scraps left over from making his, and from the Halloween apron, that I had enough to make another one for my sister's camera too.  They didn't take long to make either.  
This is the cover for Chris
And this is the cover for Bethany

Stocking Rod
One last item of business, some decorations.  I now have a fireplace to hang stockings, but I don't like how cluttered the mantle can look when each stocking has a holder.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and had to give it a go.  
I picked up my two stocking holders at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale and I already had a silver curtain rod I wasn't using.  This is how my bargain came together.  Perfection!

Last but not least, it wouldn't be a Christmas wrap up without showing all the presents under the tree!  No lie, I'd say over 75% of the presents under this tree were homemade and on a dime.  

Next Christmas, I don't know if I can undertake so many homemade gifts, but I know I've already started scouring Pinterest for ideas!