January 28, 2010

Button Earrings

Another project for my online craft class. Button earrings! So easy and fun. I might have to buy more button makers and make more.

Alas, if only all craft experiences were so easy. I've had two craft fails this week. One was this embroidered necklace I was trying to make but the fabric was too stiff and everything kept fraying or not staying tight enough. Ugh, it was a mess.

The other was a stuffed animal who's tail was not cooperating. Oh, and the cat kept trying to eat the paws I made out but had not yet attatched to the body. I think I'm still missing one. I realized what went wrong with the tail but now I've decided to start over from scratch. I've cut out the new pieces and sewn eyes and a mouth but that's it so far. When I'm finished I'll post a nifty tutorial. It will be a super cute animal. I promise!

January 25, 2010

This weekend I...

Made this for my online craft class - chalkboard painted clip boards.

Ripped apart my sewing machine to clean it and made this pillow, also from that class.

Saw the best cat in the world go to a loving new home.

Signed up to volunteer for this year's South By South West. I hope I get on the crew I want!

Ate dinner at Adriane's place with her and her sister Anna and Jordyn. We made our own take on Indian food. Jordyn was doing art homework. Made me want to go home and paint something.

an attempt at samosas, still really good


crafty paint

Added more candles to my shop

I got my Real Simple issue in the mail today. Excited to read it!

January 24, 2010

Houdini has a new home

Houdini, my foster cat got adopted yesterday by a really nice guy and his girlfriend. I'm so happy she's going to a great home but I will miss her a lot. She grew on me and she was an awesome cat. At least I will finally be able to breathe! My allergies are terrible. It'll probably be another couple of days before I'm cat histamine free.

Bye Houdini! You be a good cat for your new family!

(Houdini was a face licker, weirdo)

January 22, 2010

Style School Wreath

Another project from my Style School craft class a cute little yarn wreath. It is currently hanging from my bedroom door. Made with regular and fuzzy yarn, buttons, scrapbook paper, pearl strangs and tulle


I've been feeling very inspired lately so I made a couple layouts this week featuring some of my very favorite kids.

My cousin Raven.

Harrison and Gavin

I found this lovely little Canadian shop online, Papier Valise, that sells all sorts of nifty little things that can be used for scrapbooking and jewelry and collage and all sorts of projects that your heart desires and the prices aren't bad either.

Too bad I'm broke or else I would find something to make with all of these wonderful embellishments.

They also have a very cool collection of vintage product labels. I'd probably use them on fun cards or something.

Hope everyone likes the new blog design! Have a great weekend!

The Perfect Yellow?

I'm going for it. I'm going to paint my bedroom yellow. I've already planned a painting party for it and if you're reading this then you're invited! (unless you're some strange serial killer or something, in that case you can stay home)

But I need your help. I bought three samples and painted spots on my wall. Which do you think is best? I've already decided against the smaller one on the left. I think it's too bright for the look I'm going for. Here are some pictures with different lighting. These pictures have not been enhanced in any way so you get a clear idea of how they look.

Just afternoon daylight through the big window with no other lights on.

Afternoon window light with the fan lights on.

At night with only the fan light on, no outside light.

January 20, 2010

Craft Class

I'm taking an online craft class for 6 weeks hosted by a couple of crafty bloggers I like. There are five projects per week and I'm trying my best to keep up. We'll see.

Here are a few completed ones:

Inspiration binder: I'm supposed to fill it with pretty pictures and goals.

Colored Pencil Sketchbook: cute little notebook cover with pockets

Photo Frame Wall Art: used some old photos from my mom's trip to Europe in '71.

Craft Tool Tote: it was supposed to be an apron but I knew I wouldn't wear it so I made a bag instead.

Once I finish some of the other projects I'll post those, too.

I'm thinking of going to see Avatar tonight? I need to stop spending money. I'm broke.

January 18, 2010


I bought the beads to make these earrings about a year ago. I can't believe I let them sit around for so long. We'll I finally made them! Pretty simple but I like 'em. Jewelry pliers are an amazing tool.

I've been in a creative mood lately.

January 12, 2010


I'm thinking of painting my room yellow. Or maybe my living room? I'm just getting a little tired of the turquoise...

I decided against moving and rather I resigned a six month lease here instead and I'm even saving $120 a month! Too bad most of that is going toward health insurance now instead.

But now that I'm sticking around for a little longer I thought I'm maybe up for a little change. Painting Party anyone?

Maybe yellow will go better with the couch.

My bedroom is a bland beige right now. It needs a little more sunshine.

January 10, 2010

Shopping day

I went out today with the intention of buying supplies for an online craft class I'm taking.

I stopped by a few vintage stores for some items I needed but unsurprisingly I walked out with a skirt and some 50s sherbets glasses when I really needed vases, sweaters and a chair.

Then I told myself no more vintage stores because I was just getting distracted so I went to a craft store instead only to find that their selection was lacking and their prices were unappealing but I did cross a few things off my list.

Of course I also bought some fun scrapbooking paper and got inspired. This is the result.

This is the first time I've finished a scrapbook layout in a long time. Now I just have to figure out where else I can find all the supplies that I need for this class.

January 7, 2010

Craft: Map Art

I have to admit that I totally hijacked this idea from one I saw in an art gallery (only his had many more roads). I tried looking up the artist but I think the exhibit is no longer there. But I did put my own little twist on it.

The idea is to have a map that only includes the roads you've traveled and cities you've visited, and me, the travel nerd, loved that idea.

The fun part about this is that you can add on places you've traveled to later. You save the rest of the map and cut out pieces you need after your trip.

I like the idea of seeing exactly where you've been, not just states or countries or whatever you choose to do.

Supplies: 1-2 maps ( used one to outline the USA and another to cut out roads and cities. Since many cities and roads I've visited have been on or close to the water I wanted to still include some water that surrounded those areas in my map), achrilic paint (I used green and white), paint brushes, scissors, glue

: $5 for a map (I had another old map as well that I used to outline), $0.99 paint, already had brushes

: A couple hours

: Easy

: My old painting was painted over, oh well.

First I cut out an old US map that I had laying around. Then I traced around it onto the canvas (in this case and old canvas).

Then I proceeded to paint, pretty easy, however I had to use several coats to cover up the painting underneath.

Then I used the other map to carefully cut out roads and cities. I cut several pieces because it was easier to handle, although it was a pain to try to align everything correctly (some of my USA edges weren't exactly perfectly on the line). After all the pieces are arranged I carefully glued them down.

And voila! Now, my map is pretty bottom heavy but that just makes me more excited about seeing other parts of the US! Justin and I are driving/flying (not sure which one yet, I'm hoping for driving) up to Michigan for a wedding this summer and my birthday is in April so perhaps we will add a few more roads to this map.

I saved the remainder of my map in a plastic bag and hid it behind my dresser (I tried taping it to the back of the canvas but it fell off).

January 6, 2010

Craft (sort of): Refinished Dresser

Supplies: Orbital sander (I used one that looks like an iron with a pointed side, you might want one of the mini ones if you have a lot of corners and curves), various grit sand paper, wet sand paper for sanding the knobs, stain, pre-stain, and a protestant (I used a sealer-stain in one), cloths, gloves, a mask, varnish remover if you have a thick coating on your furniture, plastic scraper, vacuum or broom, drop cloths

: $40 for the orbital sander, $6 for extra sanding mats for the sander, $3 for wet sand paper, $11 for stain and pre-stain can, $4 silver spray paint, $11 for varnish remover, $1 for scraper

: 2-3 Days, or longer if you don't have as much time off as I do.

: Moderate but time consuming.

: A few braincells, sticky fingers

You might remember this dresser I bought several months ago from an antique store and I swore I was going to refinish it. Well, I finally kept my word.

Here's the before and after:



I know the upper photos looks ok however if you delve closer you will notice all the nicks, scratches, worn away edges and tarnished metal. Ahem...

I do have to say that for my first attempt at refinishing furniture I did a pretty good job. I had to buy a few tools for it first, however. I probably visited the hardware store 3 or 4 times.

In theory, this is a fairly easy process. You remove varnish and sand the previous finish off. The you sand again with finer sand paper, rub a pre-stainer over everything, stain, sand lightly, stain again. Oh, and sand and repaint knobs and such.

Of course this took a much more work than I anticipated but I think the result was worth it.

I began with sanding the drawers because that seemed easier.

And it was, only, those finicky edges around the raised center panel gave me a lot of trouble. In fact, all of the little grooves and details made this much harder.

But I finally finished. Then it was off to the rest of the body. Only the top had a big coat of varnish so I used some remover and was able to scrape off about 80% after several applications. Justin helped scrape some off as well. Such a nice boy.

Justin thought I didn't sand it fine enough so I went over everything again with some finer sand paper. It's still not perfectly smooth, but to be honest I was tired of sanding!

Then I applied some pre-stain over everything with a cloth (in my case, an old pillowcase). This helps the stain go on evenly without streaking.

***I should probably note, you really should do this outside but I didn't have any room outside being in a second story apartment and all, so I opened window instead. Also, wear a mask, I really should have. Instead I tied a big scarf around my face. Oh, and gloves are you friend. Wood stain also likes to stain fingers.

I also wet sanded all the drawer pulls and then gave them a nice spray of satin silver paint. I didn't realize that styrofoam doesn't like spray paint as you can tell from this picture.

Then time for staining and staining again and my apartment finally turns back into normal. No more clothes that were once in drawers all over the floor and no more drawers scattered about the apartment and finally no more smell!

I'd say it looks pretty good.

Next project - I'm thinking about making a coffee table... we'll see.