Tag Archives: gift

Christmas DIY

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My job is kind of left-brained if ya ask me, but I’m not a totally left-brained person.  Creative projects give me an outlet and help me maintain some semblance of sanity.   So I guess it comes as no surprise that a lot of the things I do related to the holidays/special occasions are projects I want to tackle.  I figured I could share a couple of my holiday DIYs with you here.

Lanterns have become popular over the last year or so…and I lucked out and bought a couple at Homegoods for $12 each a few years back.  Love a deal!  They look great by themselves, but I figured they warranted some dressing up for the holiday.  I got lots of beaded picks and ribbon from a local craft store, rounded up some ornaments, found my garland from last year and went to work.

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I layered the garland and picks in the bottom of the lantern to wrap around the pillar candle.  I attempted to make a pretty bow with gold and navy ribbon and tied it to the handle.  Then, I used raffia to string the ornaments up under the bow at various lengths.  I put some garland behind the bow too, just so things would look a little fuller.  Looks good, no?

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And maybe you remember the Saucy Sauce Jar DIY from long ago?   Well, I’ve been saving the majority of them for Christmas gifts.  I really like to give handmade gifts, but its hard to do that in large quantities for the holidays.  Thankfully, I had done these so far in advance it worked out perfectly.  I picked up some typical holiday candy (peppermint bark, Hershey Kisses, and candy canes) and filled the jars with treats. 

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I tied a bow with jute and adorned each jar with a paper reindeer I cut using the Winter Wonderland cartridge for the Cricut.  I think they came out kinda cute!  Plus, if the recipient wants, she can reuse the jar later for something else.

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Hope you all had a safe holiday and blessings to you and yours in the new year!

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Pin this, not that.

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Ok, Pinteresters!  I’ve tried a couple more pins and I’m gonna share one with you.  So around the beginning of 2013 I agreed to this Creative Pay it Forward pact that I’ve talked about a few times.  My former coworker was my 4th person and she loves a good scarf.  Being a scarf lovermyself, I could get down with this project.  A company called We are Owls makes tons of beautiful scarves.  For people like me, they’re a little unattainable, but nice to look at nonetheless.  I found something similar to this scarf on Pinterest, and one woman’s efforts to recreate on a realistic budget.  All you need is a scarf, a paint product and a message you find inspiring.  The pin suggested Tee Juice and I found it online in tons of colors and I went to World Market for a scarf.  Some people might find it cheesy but I absolutely love this quote by Wilferd Peterson, and I’m inspired by it:

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…”

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Unfortuately, there’s not much practice that can be done on this project unless you plan on ruining your clothes.  You’ve got one shot to make it right or mess it up.  And of course, nothing I make ever comes out perfect.  But sometimes that’s the beauty of a handmade gift, right?  I wish I had been able to “map it out” a little better because I started making the letters huge and I forgot how long the quote was.  Oops.  So the words get smaller and smaller, and the lines aren’t straight BUT when she wears it I’m not sure anyone will notice.  It’ll be pretty illegible at that point.  Ultimately, this pin is a good one, but the ability to practice would have been great.   Tee Juice is a great product too, and I would suggest it for similar projects.  Just make sure to use something behind the fabric because the paint does bleed.

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Happy Pinning…and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tattoos, Tea Parties and MORE!

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Hey to all you new followers out there, so glad you decided to join in on this little piece of my world!  So happy to have you :).  So, what’s been going on in my neck of the woods for the last bit?  It’s been busy and fun, so I’m gonna give you lots of pictures this post too!  For starters, I finally made it to the Lazy 5 Ranch, the local “drive-thru zoo,” if ya will.  If you haven’t been then you must go, and take me.

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“You come here often?”

Then, I went to the finest bridal shower ever…a TEA PARTY for Jenni-Pho with my girlfrands!  It was beautiful!  A wicked windstorm came out of nowhere (thank you North Carolina!) and made us pack up early, but we still had a blast.

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I had a major craft session/sleep over with my friend Katie.  I sassed up my kitchen and gave a naked wall that’s been bothering me a little something to say.  I would post a tutorial but I feel like you guys know how to trace, cut and glue ;).

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Basically, that took me twenty minutes so it left plenty of time for me to micromanage Katie as she tried her hand at the Scrapbooked Frame.  Awesome results!  This is for the new niece or nephew she’s expecting in the months to come!

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She also dropped off my cookie jar I painted many moons ago and I love it!  Now I just gotta make some cookies!

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Soooo, while I’ve been sprinklin’ glitter and playin’ with my pretty papers…my friend, Jenn, has been preparing for war.  Okay, not war, but a long-fought battle to become an IRONMAN.  She blogs about it too: the charity, the training, and the motivation to do tha damn thang.  She’s pretty spectacular, but she didn’t have to swim 2.4, bike 112, and run 26.2 miles to prove it to me!

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I’m so proud of her and I wanted to pay a little respect and talk about how we celebrated!  She had been talking about how eager she would be to get her M-Dot tattoo after the race, the official signature of an IRONMAN.  So with help from Jason, her husband, D and I made a secret appointment with her tattoo artist.  Coincidentally, I had made the perfect Sauce Jar without even knowing it.  I love it when a plan comes together!

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A VT Maroon-colored lid to honor her Alma Mater and charity, a cute knob with a vintage bike printed on it, atop a jar filled with candy and her appointment card tied to the rim.  Surprise!  We’re takin’ you to get your tattoo!!!!

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I killed two birds with one stone here in fulfilling my New Year’s Resolutions for August.  The tattoo surprise is my “something nice” for the month as well as my “something new” as I had never even stepped foot in a tattoo shop before.  It was a good first experience, didn’t hurt me one bit!

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We contemplated a table full of options and little by little she narrowed her choice down to this fine number:

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And this is how it turned out…awesome tattoo.

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I hope yall have a fantastic weekend.  The Charlotte 49ers are about to make history and we’ve got front row seats.  Talk soon!

I swear I’m not a huffer but I’m the next best thing.

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Those of you that know me,  ya know I love a good can of spray paint.  And for those of you that don’t…well, I fricking fracking love a good can of spray paint!  I have a whole shelf in the garage that D begrudgingly surrendered to me and all my cans.  I know what it looks like but I promise you will not see my confused face smeared with spray paint in a mugshot anytime soon.  Spray paint is only meant for good!  Sometimes people are intimidated by it and I gotta say I have learned the hard way.  Don’t waste your time spray painting in the wind because you’re too impatient to start the project another day, paint your fingernails after your project is done, don’t spray paint when it’s humid because your paint will bubble up, invest in a trigger handle and do not spray paint on your daddy’s carport under any circumstances for the love of GOD.  But really, you can spray paint almost anything and sometimes you transform a piece and make it better than when you started.  And since that’s the goal, it’s a good time for all parties involved.

The scrapbooked frame, as I call it, is one of my favorite projects.  I’ve been able to recreate it time and time again without feeling like I’ve done the same project twice since each piece is unique.  To make it you will need:

-A picture frame: Try searching your local thrift store.  The frames are cheap and usually old and more ornate.  And trust me, the uglier, the better. All surfaces work: wood, plastic, metal, you name it.  Only condition: the frame must have a piece of glass that would normally protect the photograph.

-Scrapbooking supplies (paper, embellishments, glue, glue gun, scissors, ya know)

-A clip of some kind: I found a bag of tiny clothespins at Walmart and they work perfect

So let’s do it!

Remove the backing and glass from your frame and set aside.  Find a good place and start painting your frame.  If you have chosen a more ornate frame, make sure you can get into all those little nooks and crannies.  But don’t get impatient, globs of drippy spray paint ain’t cute.  When you have a well coated frame, use a sealer like Patricia Nimocks in gloss for a protective finish.  Allow it to dry completely!  Take the scrapbook paper that’s going to serve as your background and cover the front surface of the glass from your frame.  Use a glue like Tacky Glue to apply that paper.  It should cover the glass completely without lots of excess.  If you do have overhang, just trim it up so that it fits nicely back in the frame.  Put the glass back in the frame, paper exposed, and secure with the frame backing.  This will allow you to visualize the surface for what it really is and you can figure out exactly where your embellishments fit best.   Do your embellishing from this point forward.  Add more paper, buttons, paper flowers, (GLITTER!), and make this frame work!  Add your picture clip where you please, and secure with hot glue.  This allows you to change the photo out from time to time it’s way more versatile than a regular frame.  How simple was that?!  Pardon the poor photo quality in my “after” images and the fact that there are no before images.  I did these projects before I realized I would start a blog, sorry :(.

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My embellishments only vary slightly frame to frame.  So I won’t be terribly specific unless you need me to.  I used self-adhesive rhinestones/pearls for the center of my flowers (I scored those in the dollar section of Michael’s).  In one frame you may notice I used buttons; they were vintage from my Grandma Hilda.  I used pre-made paper flowers if they coordinated with the color scheme of the frame.  Other times I used my Cricut and Martha Stewart craft punches to create multidimensional flowers from paper I had on hand.

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I used scrap fabric from other projects to make rosettes and add texture.  I love this no-sew tutorial on how to make a fabric flower the best.  I used glitter glue to make the swirly vine patterns (these come in tons of colors and can be found for a buck in tiny bottles at Walmart and Michael’s).  If you haven’t done anything with glitter glue before, I suggest practicing a few times on another piece of paper.  The key is consistently increasing the pressure on the bottle to make sure the glue comes out at the same rate, and to keep going until you’re finished with each stroke.  If you get an air bubble that disrupts the flow, continue anyway.  It won’t be perfect, so just slap a paper flower over the gap or the janky parts in the swirl and call it a day, friend.

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I stamp on all my frames, and sometimes use ink pads to drag the perimeter of the paper for added interest and dimension. You can also see that technique hereSometimes, the background paper is the star. So I’ve attempted to show a little restraint and not busy it up unless it was necessary.

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glitter!

Plan the frame out just like you would a scrapbook page, or fly by the seat of your pants.  Up to you, just have fun!  Happy huffing, er, crafting!

I saw that on Pinterest!

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I don’t know about you, or if you’re as obsessed with Pinterest as I am, but we are gonna talk about it today.  I get real pissed off when I find an idea on Pinterest and I expect miracles to occur and the Earth to move based on how much stock people put into said idea.  I mean, if you tell me its the best thing since sliced bread…I expect it to be true.  But sometimes it just ISN’T and you sit around wondering if you actually did it right.  So, let’s dive into a couple of these ideas and I’ll tell you if they’re worth it before you invest your energy.

So did you see the whole “soak your shower head in vinegar” to improve water flow and rid the shower head of any moldy gunk with minimal effort on your part?  Yes?  Ok, I let my shower head get as disgusting as I could stand for the sake of this post.  This was difficult for me since I’m pretty anal retentive about my house being clean.  I have been in living situations so cringe-worthy that I have LITERALLY been reduced to tears in my past.  But that’s just a whole other thing all together.  So here is the before picture:

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Don’t JUDGE me, I did this for you!

And here is the during picture:

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And here is the after:

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So basically, not worth your time.  Obviously, I need my shower head to be spotless.  So I still ended up having to clean it with the old toothbrush like I always have.  Not to mention the fact that I left the vinegar bag hanging for way longer than the post instructed me to just because I wasn’t getting any of the desired effects.  So my whole bathroom smelled like stanky vinegar for over a day.  And if you’re having trouble imagining what that must be like…think about a locker room occupied by a gym class full of sweaty boys knowing they barely place enough value on personal hygiene to be considered “good human code.”  That ought to do it.  Pass on this pin.

Another post that sang to me was the “Sharpie Art Mug” because I think on the whole, nurses consume ungodly amounts of coffee and there are statistics that prove it.  We’ve made the top ten list and when someone brews a fresh pot of coffee at about 3AM this is what my coworkers look like:

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So of course my nursing buddies could appreciate a thoughtful coffee mug.  I got a mug at Dollar Tree and used some sharpies I had on hand.  I do suggest using a fat-tipped marker, not a skinny one.   I think the handwriting just looks better!

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I wrote a real sweetsie note to my friend and baked it in the oven at tree-fiddy for 45 minutes.  Simple as that.  I let it cool off and wrapped it up with all kinds of coffee and coffee-themed snacks.  This pin was totally worth my time.  And It can be worth yours too!  I wish this idea was mine originally, but it ain’t.  I never would have thought to bake a mug in the oven because I wouldn’t want it to shatter in a fiery inferno ball and burn my house down.  But people bake in ceramics all the time so I don’t know what I was afraid of.

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I hope you all have a great week.  Maybe you can actually make something you’ve pinned for once if you’re feeling up to the task!

Craftactular.

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I’ve been doing tons of projects here the last couple of weeks, and I’ve got a couple things to share.  I’ve been trying to consolidate and get the guest bedroom/craft landing pad cleaned up because that room is about to completely transform.  And I’ve also found the more stressful things become, the more I throw myself into whatever creative thing I can find.  At work, everything is always so scientific and methodical, sometimes its nice to turn my music up and sling paint.  Hear me now:  I’m officially on a craft binge!

DSC_1440First off,  I’ve been collecting glass bottles for a few months now so I could make treat jars for muh frands.  I bought two handfuls of decorative knobs from Hobby Lobby. Always 50% off.  Score!  This project was super inexpensive.  Essentially, it really only comes to about $3 each since I was going to trash those jars otherwise and I already had enough spray paint to be considered obsessive.  I used a hammer and nail to start a guide hole for my knob in the center of each lid.  I did this first, so I wouldn’t mess up the paint job trying to punch holes later. I sprayed and sealed each lid, then added my knob and that was it.  It’s a perfect little prize to give to whoever I want, for whatever reason or for no reason at all.  They turned out pretty great!  Now all I need to figure out is what to fill them with and who so deserves my love and affection :).

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DSC_1326I also delivered another “Creative Pay it Forward” gift.  This is the only gift that I haven’t “made” so far.  I was feeling a little guilty about it, especially since she is crafty too.  I snapped out of it though because I really put a lot of thought into it.  Laura is the recipient I know the very least, so I had to do research to discover things she loved.  And by research I am referring to Facebook stalking, of course.  I found out that she loves Pinterest, gourmet foods, crafts of all kinds, and bacon.  Bacon was a recurring theme so I decided I needed to find something awesome related to that.  I researched online and I came across a 50 Shades themed, bacon devoted cookbook.  Every female that has read 50 Shades seems to have loved it and clearly Laura loves bacon so it seemed like a win-win.  When it came it the mail I was super pumped.  It was hilariously suggestive, and the recipes looked like crowd pleasers.  I wrapped it up all pretty and delivered it by way of a mutual friend. 

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She loves it!

I purchased new bedding for the master eons ago, but I haven’t had the right accessories to pull everything together.  I’m getting there, so there are new art projects on tap in the coming weeks.  I’ve also made tons of progress procuring all the right things for the guest bedroom redo too, can’t wait to show it to you!  TONS of DIY fabulosity coming your way…and a trip to Nashville is in the works.  Waaaahooo!

Creativity is Messy & I am Very Creative.

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Let me make a little secret public.  My guest bedroom door is always closed and not to keep the room pristine for a future guest.  Heaven knows I would love for you to believe you could eat off my floors, and that my toilet is always clean, and not a speck of dust hides in any nook or cranny of my house.  But I must confess, most of that is untrue 😉 and that closed bedroom door hides a big fat mess.  Fabric, empty picture frames, scrapbook papers, glitter, ribbons, paint, and every project that I have in progress.  Everything creative lands there until I get time to do what I love.  If you saw it you might think I was awfully hypocritical for harping at D all the time to clean up after himself.  If you saw it, that is.

You will not.

So what have I been up to?  For June I’ve already made good on my “something nice” resolution and cleaned up one small portion of the room in the process.  One guy signed up to be one of my Creative-Pay-It-Forward gift recipients and I couldn’t let a good opportunity to craft for a dude pass me by.  Not all guys would care or appreciate a handmade anything, but I think that’s because most of you boys ain’t in touch with your sensitive side.  Shame on you!  Brandon is very special to me, and he’s been around about as long as D has.  Brandon, Lauren (his wife), D and I dated at the same time and we did all kinds of stuff together (and still do).  And because the boys were so close, it kinda felt like we were a “friend family” which made Brandon my boyfriend-in-law/husband-in-law.  Very complicated I know, but they are the forever kind of friends.  Brandon has gotten into homemade salsa and makes all kinds of flavorings.  At their Super Bowl Party, his salsa concoctions lined the table and people couldn’t get enough!  So I thought, shouldn’t he have an awesome chip & dip bowl to work with?  Yes, he should.  I found a ceramic dish at Target and got to work.  I used chalkboard paint from another project and painted the whole thing.  Turned out pretty awesome!?  Now when someone throws a party he can use that bowl to tell what the salsa is, or (let’s be honest here) to write inappropriate phrases for his friends to enjoy.

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But have bad news to break.  I was surfing Pinterest one night and found out that chalkboard is not a safe serving surface.  Awshitaw.  I had painted that bowl forever ago, and there was no fixing that.  BUT I think that all you would need is a small container for the salsa sit in, inside the dip portion of the dish and you would be fine.  That’s what we decided anyway.  Kind of a Housewife Fail there, but not all the way.  He was happy, I think?!

And Mother Nature paid a visit by way of a wicked Thunderstorm last week.  It knocked the power out for a number of hours, leaving me disconnected from the things that rot my brain: TV namely, and the internet.  So I opened up the guest bedroom to find a project to initiate.  I made that burlap wreath for my mom weeks ago, and I dreaded the thought of making my own.  But there the stuff sat, right where I left it, begging to be used.  So I got to work and by the time the power came on I was ready for some glue gun action to complete it.  It came out perfect!  I love it!

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I hope you all have a great week!  Check back soon for some more adventures into home decor and crafting.  I have tons of cool projects in the works.  And Happy Birthday to my husbing, D!!  Love you!