Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tree Huggers Hamper

Aside from the fact that I can't spell, it turned out perfectly. I love how big it is (it comes to my waist) and I added two wheels on the left side so that I can move it with ease. For all of the supplies I spent $40, which might sound like a lot, but for a hamper this size and quality, it's actually really cheap! I'm sure someone who is EVEN MORE frugal than I am could do better, though!

The color I chose is Martha Stewart's Duck Egg with a white-wash finish. My husband suggested I make a hamper instead of buying the $120 one I wanted... But he wasn't exactly thrilled that I turned it into such an extensive art project. Apparently my problem is that I like things to look "pretty". At least the worst criticism I get from him is that I have good taste! Even if my good taste is a bit expensive. I don't know what else he expected though, after two years of marriage you think he'd know better:) I always go overboard on my projects. I love making beautiful things, and I'm incapable of breaking that creative cycle. It's just in me, and it's in me for good.

Now. I'm one step closer to having a coordinating home! That is the best news of all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bookshelf Re-Painted and Sanded to Death!

I got this crazy-colored paint from Hilary Obzansky and decided to paint our nasty bookshelf. After 3 coats of the green-colored stuff, it was glowing neon in our kitchen and for a second I didn't know what to do with it! Then I diluted some white paint and wiped it over the entire surface to soften the color a bit, and then sanded it like crazy, here there and everywhere for a very antique look. And. I. LOVE. IT. So much in fact, that I will be painting my framed mirror next! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wall Art and Chocolate Covered Cherries

It's been a busy week. I have done so many projects and the time has just flown. So, you know all of those quotes that are floating around Facebook these days? The ones that get posted to your wall and make you annoyed? Until you read it, and depending on what it says you get even more annoyed or perhaps a little less before you remove it from your wall? Well I saw one of those on Pinterest and actually was impressed. It said, "I want to have adventures with you". It was cute and simple and I loved it instantly. So I decided to make it my own:) I had two old canvases laying around so I slathered them with white paint and designed this cute, two-piece wall art. I painted it freehand, so it has a sloppy look to it, but it's meant to look like that, so don't be too critical;) and the color I used is Martha Stewart's Duck Egg. Then those stinking cherries. They are so much work, and half of them didn't turn out due to contaminated chocolate... But what I learned from this experience, and my last making these is that it is better to use stemmed cherries. Much, much easier to dip them that way, and I personally think they look cuter. Ok, just one more big project on my list this week before I can sit back and relax. For a day. Before the crazies of the holidays are here! It's going to be amazing!

Stocking Holder and Santa Sacks

I had this brilliant idea of making this since we don't have a fireplace to hang our stockings over. Oh wait, what stockings? Those bulky mishapen ones I made last year that we never used? And Della's that doesn't exist? Ok, so we have like zero Christmas decorations. That's right, I forgot a little. But that made me even more eager to get started on this! I get so sick of the traditional red, green and white Christmas ornaments. But at the same time the blue and silvers are just over the top. So I decided to take out the green altogether and and just have a red and white Christmas. If ever I do add green, it will be a minty green. Just because. Then I remembered how much I struggled last year making those two awful stockings and took a different route... And made Santa Sacks! And yes I came up with that title all by my self. I bought kitchen towels at the dollar store and lined them with a thin white material I got at Joann's for $1. I think I love them. The board that I painted is huge. Not exactly what I had in mind but it's what we had, so I made it work. With the help of my handy friend, Hilary, we made a stencil with her Silhouette and I painted it on. I chose "Happy Christmas" because it has such an old-European feel to it. The drawer nobs were cheaper hooks, so I got those at Home Depot. It's going to be a merry little Christmas!


I made this months ago, but forgot to share it! This is Willow the Armadillo, and we love him. It was a tough sewing project, and since, as usual, I was winging it, I don't have the means to duplicate it, and I doubt I could duplicate it, even if I did:) which is too bad cuz he turned out so cute.

Magnetic Key Board

It's not what you thought, huh? I've had this particular idea for quite some time now, but needed to find some ooberly strong magnets to pull it off. So I mentioned it to my husband and voila, a solution was presented. He works as a DVR technician, and in every computer he works with, there are two magnets in the hard drives. So when the hard drives go bad, they often go through the somewhat meticulous task of dismantling it and using ONE of the magnets to hold up tape guns. You heard me right, those big, hefty red ones.

So he brought me home a few (Free! The best deal ever!) and I traced the outlines of four magnets onto a wooden plaque, had my husband whittle it out with a leatherman (I'm sure there are better tools for the task) and used gorilla glue, with a folded sheet of computer paper sandwiched  between the wood and a book, with a heavy object on it overnight. Of course the paper got stuck to it, but I knew I had to sand out the bumps anyway, so it worked out great! Once I had the surface smooth as can be, I painted it white and mod-podged some scrapbook paper onto it to make this cute, and very handy key-holder. No hooks needed! I love it, I would make another one for my belts if only the buckles were magnetic! Cool right???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A WhoVille Christmas Dress

This was the sketch that I based my design off of. It evolved into this, the final design, after many rough drafts. I was imagining Della as a WhoVille citizen and decided on the pastel green and hot pink rather than following the tradition Christmas red and green. And the flower ended up on her head instead:)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Soft Block

I have been wanting to make a little fabric toy (mainly because they are quiet) for my daughter for a long time now. My husband and I were watching a football game on ESPN when Della got hold of a business envelope and because of these fancy little plastic "windows" was making enough noise that we couldn't hardly hear the game! So I cut them out and crumpled them up and used them as part of my creation.

I used this little toy for the center of the block, if you don't have a nifty little bell-ball like this though (thanks mom!) you can just put a bell in an Easter egg and tape it shut.

Then of course you have to pick the fabric and find chew-toys your kids like to put on the extremities. For the spring-like arms I used half as much elastic as I did fabric and just connected the ends of the fabric and elastic together with a few stitches.

 Then Della turned into a robot.

And I added the last square, leaving one side open for the stuffing and bell and then hand-stitched it up. The End! Della loves it. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cake Matters

Raspberry cake with lemon cream cheese frosting and marshmallow fondant, garnished with decadent edible sheets. LOVE.

First of all, I have to apologize for the pictures, I didn't have time to edit them, so they all look... fabulous. Second of all, I have to apologize because, once again, this was a Ginny-pig project and I don't have measurements for you. 
I am used to working with Buttercream frosting, which (because of the shortening) hardens nicely and is easy to smooth. But I took a slightly different route and used cream cheese. The ingredients:
Cream cheese
1 whole lemon
Powdered sugar and
1-2 TBS lemon pudding in powder form. I just gauged the consistency till it was thick and smooth. It tasted REMARKABLE. Two layers of this, always. The first seals the crumbs, the second hides them.

Now, for my favorite part! I tried marshmallow fondant for the first time. The site I found didn't have measurements either, so I just put a bowl full of white mini marshmallows in the microwave with about 2 TBS of water and microwaved them for about 1:30 in 30-second intervals, stirring every time. Just mix the marshmallows till smooth. Then you add vanilla and powdered sugar. Just add the sugar to the point that the fondant doesn't stick to your hands, like so:

It should not stick at all, should still be malleable, but firm and flexible. When rolling it out, use powdered sugar to coat your surface, and flip it from one side to the other several times while rolling it out, to prevent it from sticking.

Then, cover the cake with the sheet of fondant. You will have to cut off the excess and there will be a seam in the back. Use a bit of water to help it seal.

I always use a blush brush to wipe away dust and imperfections.

Then I used edible sugar sheets to cut out little peanut-shaped petals, and melted marshmallow with a bit of powdered sugar (as a glue) to make these little flowers. And used the leftover lemon frosting to decorate the centers.

The first time around it had a ribbon, but I wanted to see what it looked like without it, and with more flowers. So it ended up like this:

Oh yes! And if you are wondering why it's pink... I added a TON of raspberry jello to the cake batter. I added a smidgen more milk to compensate for the extra dry ingredient, but the cake turned out delish. And pretty. Enjoy :) 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fuzzers for Winter!

It's that time of year again! Cold weather brings on the yarn and crochet hooks for me. Della was in need of a cute and warm winter hat, so I got some sock yarn from Joann's and set to work. To get the effect I wanted, I double two different colors of the yarn and used a bigger crochet hook. Like So:

I don't use patterns, I just use heads (my head, my husband's head, Della's head, whoever's head is handy) to gauge the size of it all the way around. All of it is double-crochet until the bottom, where I did a popcorn stitch (4 doubles in the same hole, skip 4, 4 doubles in the same hole etc.) and added the pom-pom and ear flaps afterwards. If anyone wants to know how to do the pom-pom let me know! It's SUPER easy.

Here are a few pics so you can (kind of) get the full effect. 

 Happy Crocheting!

Re-Markable Boxes

Re-Markable boxes are great gift-boxing ideas. All you need are jewelry boxes (of any size) and chalkboard vinyl! Inside the "Baby Love" box is a little 0-3 month ruffle-butt I made for a friend. And the cool thing is that you can just wipe off the writing with a wet towel and write your own message!

Very versatile, very cute. I love that chalkboard vinyl stuff!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So Sheepin' Cute!

Della's sheep costume. She makes a mighty fine little lamb if you ask me! Complete with a little bell that lets me know where she is wandering off to:)

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I love swings. The breeze, the motion, the subtle thrill... The child-like tendencies and memories that inevitably connote swingsets will forever be housed in this heart of mine.

Similarly, I love trees. The tallest, widest and oldest of them all. Especially in the fall, when they change colors and drop their leaves!

Growing up I used to climb to the tops of pine trees during wind storms and hold to the branches as they swayed back and forth, gently and powerfully, in the most calming, peaceful and indescribable way.The hushing sound of the wind through all the branches, and that complete feeling of freedom was better than candy... Better than money, better than anything tangible I knew! And fear was never an option, never even a thought. Up, up, up through branches, pitch and bark, and through those same branches, down, down, down I had to climb, (and the descent I might add is always more challenging) but not once did I fall, maybe because I never feared falling. You can't at those heights... fear is what hinders your judgement and loosens your grip and makes your feet clumsy. No, I felt at home in a tree, the rough moss was familiar to my touch, and I trusted myself, and however oddly this my occur to you, I always trusted the tree, too. I almost think it was imperative to build a sort of relationship as I climbed, with the trees that lifted me, and never dropped me. I was always grateful, and humbled, as the branches supported me, and grateful to the wind, too, for pushing us along in it's sweet, warm, cold and unceasing breath. And I was always proud of my scrapes, too.

I love lush grass. Walking barefoot in it. Throwing out a blanket over it for an afternoon nap or picnic. I love the lines imprinted in it after it's mowed. I love the smell of it, and sound of it when it's wet under my shoes. I love when flowers pop out of it, even those dastardly dandelions. Grass is the most welcoming and attractive contribution to a home. And what makes a park a park. I take my hat off, and my shoes, too, to every blade of grass I have ever touched. Cheers my jolly green giant friend!

The next love of my life is called a peach. I like the saying "I'm peachy" and I love the taste of ripe peaches sliced up in cream. The smell is sweetly seductive... Like nectar to a hummingbird. There is something romantic about a peach, much like diamonds, they are timeless and tasteful. And the fact I love peaches makes me a lovable person. And that is the power of the peach. And if you're not careful it will cast its spell on you! If it hasn't already.

And then there were pillows. Big, white, fluffy pillows. I believe you already know what I mean... I've always wanted to sleep in a cloud kind of fluffy. Drink a sunset kind of fluffy.

Someday, when I own a nice camera, I will experiment and practice with it because I love good photography. And that way, I will always have a picture for my topic... For every THING I love.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shoe Closet.

This sturdy little structure is a miracle. For far too long, the closet that Jordan and I share has been outrageously unorganized and overflowing with MY shoes, so I finally got up and did something about it! I drew the design the night before, and for the most part stuck to it pretty closely. Jordan has been storing wood from his glory days working at Boise, and so ultimately, I had most of what I needed. My friend, Hilary helped me tote all of the boards to my brother-in-law's to use his circular saw. I am terrible at cutting strait with that thing. But in the end, I made it work and constructed this blasted thing. Wood screws and Gorilla glue, baby! Oh. And baby Della:) I did do some sanding on it, just in case you were wondering. Before and after it was painted.

Hilary and I went to Home Depot to get the trim, a cheap little drawer nob and a few other things. So here is what it looked like when I got to painting it (I just used paint I already had, mixing black and white till I got the shade I preferred).

Here you see the trim more closely. There are TONS to choose from there, but I liked this one a lot. Once the gray paint was dry, I got some totally rad scrapbook paper from Joann's and Mod Podged it onto the drawer and in one of the cubbies. Mod Podge as an adhesive, and Mod Podge as a clear coat. Worked beautifully. Then, I diluted some white paint and put a few words on there like "lovely" and a couple hearts, and then made random paint splatters and drips to boot. The last step was putting those dark metal sheets across the backs of the open cubbies. I had a 4-foot strip of that stuff laying around for over 2 years, so I cut them, drilled holes in the corners and then fastened them to the back of the shelf to

A) Hang heels on and

B) Keep shoes from sliding out the back.

I LOVE that aspect of my shoe shelf.

Like so:

Ye-yeah! This baby totally rocks my socks. It also holds my socks... that's what the drawer is for. I made the black little boxes afterwards, to optimize the shoe storage capacity. Not too shabby. I am just hippety-hoppety-happy that our closet is finally rid of my shoe plague!

Oh yes! I almost forgot! I made little fabric flowers and put them on it, too. I thought that was a fun little twist:) Ok! See ya soon, raccoon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Today I have a confession to make. I am an amateur. That's not my confession though, cuz everyone knows that. The fact is I am ignorant, and in my ignorance I promised something that is pretty much impossible. For me.

Making step-by-step tutorials of everything I make is like writing a 100 point essay the night before it's due. In other words it's your worse nightmare. Especially when you are making it all up as you go. Which is exactly what I do.

In all actuality I pretty much keep my fingers crossed and my bottom lip bit the whole time, just hoping whatever I'm working on turns out. And when it does... That's totally awesome but I don't know how to duplicate it. And when it doesn't... Well then I keep trying till it does. Sometimes I have to change it 4, 5, 15 times! So as you can imagine taking pictures of steps I may eventually have to take out or change is incredibly chaotic. Impossible, really. So here is a more realistic promise for the crowd:

I pledge to make tutorials of all the designs that make sense. Otherwise I will just post pictures of finished products in all their splendorous grandeur in hopes that they may serve as a source of inspiration to anyone with a green thumb for creating.

My last little tid-bit for the day is pretty cool, too. I created this blog to be a means by which I can share my talents with others. It is a blog that encapsulates my passions, which are also my hobbies. I realized last night that the most prominent passion in my life has always been that of writing. As a child it was chicken-scratched biographies of my mother, then it shifted to poetry, short stories, and eventually song writing. Although I don't do it much anymore, writing is a huge part of my life, and I enjoy it emmensely! So some posts, like this one, may not include pictures at all, heck, they may even be as uninteresting as ever! But I will write because I love to. And I really hope you can enjoy my driveling... Or perhaps be amused by it. Or not. But words make for good fillers between lulls in life. They really do. And writing in full sentences makes you smarter. And cooler. And more attractive. Ok that's probably not true, but it at very least gives you a break from Facebook jargon which, if you ask me, totally sucks. Where on earth did intelligent communication go??? For reals people. For reals.

Shake it like an Elephant!

So I learned a lot from this project! I used Prismacolor markers on some scrap fabric to create this fun piece of art. What I did was perfect my design on a large sheet of paper first, and then just traced it onto the fabric. The markers bleed a bit, but not to fear! To clean up the edges and make them look sharp, I used a white chalk marker. After I finished coloring in the elephant, I totally despised how it looked against the WHITE cloth I had used. So, my plan was to dye it tan. But by then this was going through my head, "Aaaawww snap! The chalk marker is washable, that won't work. And who knows if the color will hold up in the wash!" But not to fear again, for Mod Podge came to my rescue. I just put a coat over the the picture (and lettering), let it dry and bang. Preserved. The color did fade a bit, but I like it even better that way! It makes it look authentically worn. And worn is great when you want it... worn. Yup.
You can choose any way to present it, but this particular frame is SUPER heavy. To hold it up I just snipped off the top of an old metal hanger, used pliers to twist the wires through the holes in the back and voila! A hanging elephant for my bare, bare wall.
You can see in this picture below that the chalk marker dyed a bit darker. Again, I like that look.
Prismacolor markers are the shiz by the way! So useful, versatile and EASY to make look good. They are like magic.