Friday, January 29, 2010

How do you craft?



Hey guys, I was wondering. What do you do while you craft? Do you listen to music, watch tv, or do it in absolute silence?

Cause I've done all 3. Except I watch my tv online. I think that is an important distinction. Because I don't know about you, but whenever I flip on the tv, I end up watching something dumb, like Judge Judy. It's painful. But watching tv on your computer- that's completely different. It's watching tv with a purpose. You choose the show, and even the episode, and you barely waste any time on commercials.

Yeah, I've put a lot of thought into this.

My favorite way to craft is with friends. But that barely ever happens. So I spend a lot of time watching episodes of my favorite programs: Modern Family, House, Psych, The Office. While I was making the checkerboards, I watched every episode of Make it or Break it. EVERY.EPISODE.

Pandora also gets a lot of use. During Christmastime I listened to it so much, they were all "Guess what? Now we are going to charge you." I sat through your advertisements, Pandora. I think you made enough money off of that. But in the end I coughed up the $1, because really? It was worth it.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Check out these Checker Boards! -giveaway closed-



YOU.GUYS.

Look at these! They turned out even better than I expected.

Here is the traditional Annie's Checkerboard.

Cute as ever, right?

These are the Checker Pieces. They feature a silver flower in the middle (but they don't have to. The plain colors are pretty, too).


And here are my new designs!


Brown and Blue (because this color combination is so hot right now :)

Here is the first checker combination for this board. A sprig of leaves and a Bird.


And here is the second option, with leaves on both. I like both options.

This next board is Brown and White. And the brown squares have little pink lines running through them. Look closely- they are there.

These checkers are 2 shades of pink. This is a really pretty set. Super girly. The images in the center are a dragonfly and the bird.

Green on Green. This one is maybe my favorite.

And here are the pieces. I really love them.

What do you think? And which are your favorites?

And do you want one?

Because today I am being Featured over at Keepin' the Castle, and I am giving one away! The winner gets to choose their favorite set. How awesome is that??

Just click here to see the contest details.

And then the the 3 that aren't chosen will be the first items I list on my Etsy shop!!

Today is a good day :)


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentines Day Tiles



I finally finished a project! I've been dealing with some serious Craft ADD lately. I'll start a project, and get distracted by another project. And then another. And then brownies um, healthy food. So now I have 6 or 7 half finished projects strewn around my living room (and yes, it's driving Kurt crazy).

But last night I forced myself to finish this, so I'd have something to show you guys today. You are my motivation :)


They turned out pretty nice, huh? I love decorating tiles. I got these 6x6 beauties at Lowes for 60 cents (ish) each, and busted out the Mod Podge.


For the 3D flowers, I used this tutorial (it's at the bottom of the page). It's super easy. But it uses hot glue, so be careful- I think I burned myself 6 times last night :/


This project uses pretty paper, Burlap, and Mod Podge. My three favorite things, all in one project! I just wish I could take better pictures- these look so much prettier in person.


To hang them, I glued a square of burlap on the back of the tile (with both hot glue and Mod Podge), and hot glued the Raffia to the Burlap. For instructions and pictures, click here.


Tiles are so in right now.


So that's my Valentines Decoration. If you make some of these, post a link! I want to see what you guys come up with. I'll be linking up to all the parties on the right :)

In other news, I have the hiccups. Again. For the 4th time today. I think my body is trying to entertain itself. It's all "Oh, you have to answer the phones at work? Take that! Let's hear you talk now." It thinks it's just sooo funny.

Not cool, body. Not cool.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I really hate...



Orange fruit snacks. Nasty.

But I love this new blog, Classy Covet. It's only been around for maybe a week, but already I can tell it is going to be addicting. It's a place to go and sigh longingly over expensive, pretty things. It's like my daily dose of fashion.

And right now, she's hosting a Giveaway.

So go check it out. I'll just wait here. And when you come back, I'll share my fruit snacks with you. Especially the orange ones.


Monday, January 25, 2010

ANOTHER Valentines idea???



Oh man. I do not need another Valentines Craft. I still have ten or so I am working on. But then I see stuff like this, and I just can't help but add it to the list!

I found this beautiful decoration over at Under the Table and Dreaming. Click here for instructions!


Friday, January 22, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things



Dear Kurt,

In case you are wondering what to get me for Valentines Day, here are some things I would absolutely love.



CHERRY CHOCOLATE by Bold Minimalist



Arden, by RachelleD



Heatherly Multi-Chain Necklace by AntiquatedPearl (who is also the author of one of my favorite blogs, Ruffles and Stuff ).

This Etsy shop is on hold right now. But since this is a wishlist, I'm adding it anyway. Because someday it won't be on hold, and you can buy it for me then :)



RACHEL(latte) by Bold Minimalist



The BELLA
Vintage Inspired Black and White Damask Full Apron, by Boojiboo



Custom Made Red Fingerless Gloves - Lace and Snowflakes, by Knitting Guru


These are all so pretty, you can't go wrong.

But if you have something else in mind, that's ok too.

Spending time with you is my favorite thing, and that would be enough for me.

(Plus I can buy these myself later :)

Love,

Your Wife






Thursday, January 21, 2010

Salt Lake City



Amber just emailed me some pictures, and I thought I'd share them with you guys.

While we were out in Utah for New Years, my Dad took us all to The Roof. It's this buffet restaurant on top of the Joseph Smith Memorial building in Salt Lake City. And it has the prettiest view ever.





And here is a picture of the Temple.

Breathtaking. Nice job Amber!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pretty heart tree



Add this to my Valentines to-do list.



The lady behind Pleasures of Homemaking made this with sticks from her yard, and old cereal boxes cut into hearts.

Pretty, huh? Now, where can I get a black urn...?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Busted!



I accidentally went to Michaels today. Oops. No, I'm serious! I was driving home after work, and all of the sudden my car was parked and I was walking into the store.

Well, ok. Maybe I thought about it, and decided that it couldn't hurt to just stop in and look around for a minute. Who can remember these details? What is important is that they are having a sale. Maybe you've heard of it? Dollar Days. I wasn't gonna buy anything. Really. But then I saw Paper Packs for $4!!

$4!!!

I couldn't turn that down! I mean, paper is expensive. And I almost bought a few of those packs full price (with a coupon) just a few months ago! So I bought 6.


Kurt was supposed to be on campus until like 10 tonight, so I was gonna just sneak them in and mix them with my other craft supplies. But he came home early.

I walked in and thought "Oh no." Not only was he home, he was updating our bank account. Could I have chosen a worse time to walk in with 4 huge shopping bags??

I quickly stashed them in the hall closet. "Hey dude! So, uh, you're home early."

"Yeah, I thought I'd surprise you and clean the house while you were gone. I even mopped the floors."

Oh, man. I felt like such a traitor.

"Did you have to stay late at work?"

"Um, no. I had to get some gas... and then I accidentally stopped at Michaels."

He gave me this look. The one that says "I do not approve."


So we talked it over, and decided I should maybe wait until I actually get a paycheck to spend money.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.


Presents for Amber



(sorry this one took me so long to post!)

Let me tell you a little bit about my sister Amber. She is 2 years younger than me, but 5 inches taller. When we were really little, people were always asking if we were twins. She got married when she was barely 20, and I kind of set them up. Basically, she owes her happiness to me.

Making Amber's presents was really fun. Giving them away was hard, though- they turned out so good, I just wanted to keep them. She filled out my short and simple Christmas survey, and I discovered that she wanted Christmas stuff for Christmas. And that's the perfect kind of project for December.

The first thing I made her was this frame and tree. It's pretty similar to the one I featured here.

I love these little things :)

The second thing I made her was this cute pillow. I got this idea from Craftaholics Anonymous (except I just used regular stuffing, instead of grocery bags). I love how it turned out. Burlap is my favorite material (the soft kind, from Joann Fabrics), and I was excited to make something a little different than my usual papery crafts. To see the post that inspired me, click here.

And finally, her Big Present. The one I could not stop staring at. I was so proud of it! It's official name is "The Sheet Music and Burlap Frame," and I also got this idea here at Craftaholics Anonymous. Noticing a theme? You should probably go check out that blog. But first, let me explain what I love about this gift.


The Burlap, of course. and the fact that everything is done on top of the glass, so you can touch it if you want to. That just makes it seem so much more friendly than something stuck behind the glass. And I love the music. I asked Amber what her favorite Christmas Carol was, and I printed it off a sheet music website, onto off-white card stock (I love personalized gifts). Then I distressed the edges. It looks kind of like it's been burned when you see it in person.

And finally, the flower. The tutorial for this 2 Minute Fabric Flower is here, also at Craftaholics Anonymous. You might recognize it from the Magnet Board at the bottom of this post.

Pretty classy presents, huh?

Oh, and before I forget, I also made these ornaments.

I made one for each family member; the girls got Trees and the boys got Stars. I was really excited because since we celebrated with my family on New Years, I was able to get these wood ornaments on sale the day after Christmas. Score!

Well, I should probably go. I need to get started on next years presents.


Monday, January 18, 2010

My Plan



Remember how a while ago I decided to boycott oral hygiene? (click here to read about it) After all, that's one of the perks of marrying a future dentist- he can just fix my teeth later.

Well, that was the plan. Until he decided to be a butthead about it.

So I had to come up with a new plan. One that doesn't involve him specializing in Perio just so he can give me implants in 5 years (are all men this difficult??). But I think I've got it: If I drink bottled Michigan well water (tons of fluoride), eat string cheese after anything with sugar, and chew Xylitol sweetened gum a few times per day, my mouth will be healthy no matter what I eat. See? Who needs to brush? Not me. EVER. AGAIN.

What do you have to say to that Mr. Dental Student??

(Just kidding... Or am I...?)


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Sunday



Here is my first Valentines Day craft of the year. The idea is from this post over at Craftaholics Anonymous.

(Annie, the binoculars were for spying on the creepy van while wrapping the twine. That's right. IT'S STILL THERE.)

I think it turned out pretty well. Especially since this was my very first time using twine (I got a few slivers. Is that normal?).

As far as the finished product goes, I definitely like Linda's more. But until I can find a chunkier frame at a decent price, my red one will have to do.

I took a $5 walmart frame, spray painted it red, and distressed the edges. I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF. I've never distressed wood before. I've been wanting to for weeks (I'm loving all the blogs featuring shabby chic furniture makeovers), and I had so much fun with my sandpaper.

Now, which project should I do next? I think I'm craving some Mod Podge. And then maybe some Burlap...

Happy Sunday everyone!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

I'm awful.



I spent all day shopping. I'm gonna be in so much trouble. But I kept all my receipts, so I can return anything I need to. Which has to count for something.

The thing is, I have a job now. And Kurt told me he will give me more spending money each month. But he never actually said how much money we are talking about. And I didn't feel the need to point that out to him. So for now I am just buying whatever I want to, and waiting for him to notice and put a stop to it.

Don't worry, I'm not going all Shopaholic on him. A bunch of this stuff is an investment. I mean, it's not like I'm gonna be buying spray paint every month. So with this one bottle, I'm covered for who knows how long (and by 1 bottle, I actually mean 4). And this new bottle of Mod Podge? Yes, I already have a small supply of the stuff. But I had a 50% off coupon that expires tomorrow. And it will get used, eventually. So why wait and pay full price?

And that tablecloth- it was only $10! I know I won't need it until February, but I might not be able to find one that price last minute. And it goes really well with those curtains I bought last week. That I'll be using in March.

Ok, I know. I'm being a bad wife. But I am keeping my receipts. And I really will return it all, if I have to. Sometimes it is just easier to ask forgiveness than permission, you know?


Valentines Decorating Ideas



I've been thinking a lot about decorating for Valentines Day. Since I decided to go for it, I've been searching my favorite crafty blogs for some good ideas. I don't want to go too crazy- my husband isn't exactly a fan of pink- but some classy, somewhat understated decorations might be nice.

Here are some of the best decor ideas I've seen so far in blogland:

I will be making this.

And this one here.

And a whole bunch of these things (but in more subdued colors).

And definitely this.

Ooh, and this one.

This too, if I have time. I hope I have time.

My goal is to have all this stuff ready to go up February 1st (after all, it all comes down on the 15th). Suddenly, January is looking up :)


Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Ten Favorites



Here are my top ten favorite posts of 2009.

I blog about my life. And my life involves crafts. But my crafty posts just aren't my favorites.

Still, I've included my two favorite projects at the bottom of the list, mostly because the projects are awesome (if I do say so myself), and not because they are particularly well written.

I hope you enjoy reading these, and learning a little bit about me :)


1. I'm not cold

2. Who's the better neighbor NOW??

3. Funniest moment of my life

4. Can I have your money?

5. My very first post

6. Lingerie

7. Roadkill

8. DC, evolution, and chewing on pennies


And here are 2 of my favorite Crafty posts:

9. Annie's checker Board. This is my favorite Craft Project yet! (this one was technically posted in 2010. But I made the project and took all the pictures in 2009, so I'm still counting it)

10. Broken Mirror Project. This one got me Featured on Mod Podge Rocks!


A Grandma with a Facebook Account



Did I mention that my boss is in his late 70's? He's pretty technically savvy for an old guy. He emails, and reads the news online, and heck he can work a computer. Do you know many almost-80-yr-olds who can do that?

One time my Dad was on the phone with my Grandpa (who was around 70), talking him through setting up his VCR.

After a few frustrating minutes, my Dad said; "Ok, just cut the power."

From the other end he heard; "Bea, hand me the scissors, will you?"

"No! Dad, wait!"...but it was too late.

True story.

So even though I have to talk very loudly, and some stuff requires a lot of explanation, I am very impressed with how comfortably my new boss handles new-fangled things. When I'm old, I want to be able to adapt like that. I'll be the 2060 version of a Grandma with a Facebook account.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I think I will.



I was all sad, because with the holidays over, I didn't have any decorating projects to look forward to. And since I just put away all the Christmas decorations yesterday (yes, I really am that lazy), my place is looking kind of empty.

But then I went to Michaels and saw some really cute, classy, not over the top Valentines Day decor. And I thought "heck, why not?" I've never decorated for this holiday before. I've never even been tempted. The light pinks and bright reds kind of stress me out. But dark reds and browns and tans- now that's another story.

See? Pretty.

...except I just noticed a bright pink thing sticking out on the right. And it's stressing me out again. Excuse me while a go download a copy of photoshop and FIX THAT MADNESS.



Here are the decorations I'm just itching to buy:



(sorry about the quality, I was in the store snapping these with my phone)

I think this is so cute! The fabric, the wood, just all of it

And here I am trying to get all artsy up in there. Go camera phone!


I wonder if I could make stuff like this?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

By the way,



I'm a Mormon.


.


Our New Goal




Did I mention that both Kurt and I have gained 15 lbs since our wedding 6 months ago? We think this is really impressive. But we talked it over, and agreed that it would be even more impressive if we lost it again. And so this is our goal: to lose 15 lbs by June.

We started right after we got back from Christmas, by cutting down our portion sizes. Over the holidays I swear we were eating all day, every day. And you know how holiday meals are- lots of stuffing and cassaroles and desserts and breads. I've lost 6 lbs so far, just from this step alone (turns out eating my weight in food every day isn't a good idea). We are also trying to drink more water. Because then you eat less. And your skin is better. And it's just a good idea.

Another goal is to exercise together 3x per week. We're pretty lucky; our complex has a nice little exercise room, which we plan to take full advantage of. And I'm thinking about starting a Yoga class with some of the Wives. I'm a little nervous about that one- I've never tried Yoga before!

We have also begun to eat super healthy, and we are loving the energy boost that comes with that!

Here is our current favorite meal:

Tuna Burgers.

Think Hamburgers, only made out of tuna and oats. Yum. Well, ok, it sounded gross to me, but my sister made some when she had us over for the holidays, and they were so good!

Ingredients:
1 can of tuna
3/4 cup of Oats
1 egg
3 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp garlic (minced or powdered)
1 tsp onion (powdered or flakes)

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Put a little oil (or some cooking spray) into a pan over medium heat.

Seperate the mixture into fourths, and spoon 2 of the piles onto the pan. With your spatula, flatten the lumps out and press in the edges to form 2 patties. The thinner they are, the more evenly they will cook. Watch the edges, and when it looks like the bottom is starting to brown, flip it. You want to wait until then, or the fritter will fall apart.

Once both sides are lightly browned, use a spatula to put them on the buns (whole wheat, maybe?), add a little more oil to the pan, and start on the next two (the first time we made these, I burned them. But they still tasted yummy). This recipe makes 4.

You can treat them like normal burgers. I put BBQ sauce on mine. They are nice and filling, and we usually save the second helping for lunch the next day. And what could be healthier than tuna and oats?

Pair this with a fun salad, and you've got yourself a great meal. My current favorite salad includes Mixed Leafy Greens (Romaine and Baby Spinache are a good combo if you aren't into buying pre-mixed bags), a hard boiled egg, a little cheese, and some light dressing. Simple, and so, so good.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Day dreaming



I've always wanted to go on a cruise. Well, recently I've always wanted to go on a cruise. Kurt was looking at some the other month, and told me that if I got a job, we would go this spring. He thought I needed some extra motivation.

It worked.

That's right!! I got the job for permanent, and we are going to Jamaica!! (or maybe Mexico. Or the Cayman Islands). AND I'll have some spending money. To go buy more craft stuff. And clothes. But mostly craft stuff.

The downside of having a job: less time to craft and watch episodes of Modern Family online. Also less time to blog. And nap.

The upsides of having a job: People will stop looking at me funny when I explain that crafts and blogging are really all I do with my day.

And the best part?? I'm writing this from my work computer :)


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Annie's Checker Board



We didn't send Annie a birthday present this year. Because we suck. And because I couldn't find anything I thought she'd like on the internet. So I just gave up and didn't give her anything.

The end.

Just kidding! I had given up. But then I had a stroke of genius. Annie and Jimmy love games. But they have every game in existence. BUT they don't have any personalized, pretty games. And Annie definitely likes personalized, pretty things.

I knew what I wanted: A cute checkerboard game. I had everything figured out ...except the actual board. Then my awesome sister Amber suggested using particle board. It cost like $3, and they cut it into 4 12x12 squares. So if you are thinking about this as a gift, do it. Totally affordable, and you can make 4 of them.

I really suck, and so I didn't get any step-by-step pictures. But I'll try to explain how to do it.

I Mod Podged the front side of the polka dot and the brown paper (I like to do this first, to make the paper stronger). While was drying, Kurt sanded the edges of the wood. Then I layed down a layer of Mod Podge onto the board, and smoothed on the polka dot paper. And I really do mean smoothed- I took an old book and used it to press out any air bubbles and wrinkles. But you can use anything with a firm edge.

I bought these little wooden circles at Michaels for around $1.50. Amber traced 13 circles on the blue paper, and 13 circles on the orange paper (That's how many circles came in the bag. Which is perfect- 1 extra of each). She cut them out, and Mod Podged them on the wooden circles, making adorable little checker pieces.

While we were doing this, Kurt was using a ruler and cutting out one-and-a-half-inch squares of the brown paper. Once I was sure there were no more air bubbles in the polka dot paper, I grabbed the brown squares. To make sure they were even, I layed down a solid row of squares, and then carefully took off every other one. I recommend doing this for your first row. Then I put some Mod Podge on the back of each square, and permanently placed it on the board.

Once that dried I painted on a few more layers of Mod Podge. Because you can never have enough Mod Podge.

While that was drying, I grabbed some pretty burlap, and made a bag for the checker pieces. I just used a hot glue gun to keep the sides together, and then poked some ribbon through at the top.

I gave it to her on New Years Eve (about an hour after it dried), but waited until the Christmas Presents were finished. Once people were sitting around playing some games, I brought it upstairs and handed it to her. Amber suggested not wrapping it, because it was so cute as it was. I agreed, and I'm glad I did. This is what it looked like when she first saw it.

"Yes! I can totally win this game!" -Annie

She really liked it, and so did everyone else, and for a second I thought I had a riot on my hands. I was about to grab the checker board and run (not to keep it. I would have given it back...probably), but then I realized they were just trying to get a closer look.

It was really easy to make, and I'm going to do some of these to sell at a craft show. My favorite thing about it is that it's made of a lightweight wood, and so it's gonna last a lot longer than cardboard would. My second favorite thing is that it cost less than $5 to make. My 3rd favorite thing? Probably the look on her face when she first saw it.



Happy Birthday Annie!








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