Saturday, January 12, 2013

New life for old shades

Ok, so I actually did this back in November..or early December.  An idea came to me while I was putting some old, hand me down, plaid Christmas shades on my dining room chandelier. I thought , how yucky these light shades are getting. The plastic on the inside is yellow and not at all festive like the fun plaid outside. See!

I was sure that somewhere I had seen a table lampshade or pendant light shade that was shiny chrome like on the inside. I thought to myself,  hmmm. that would be nice to have, might bounce some light around and make it brighter in here. I decided that a project was in order so I tried to think of what I could do to make these yellowed shades shiny on the inside. I thought of a few dumb ideas before I decided on what to do.
Apparently I don't have pictures of the process, but really you don't need them. Get yourself some metallic paint and paint the entire inside of the shade. Not the metal prongs though..duh.  I used silver because I thought it would look best. My chandi is brushed nickle. When the paint dried I mixed up some Martha Stewart glitter (love that junk!) in with some Mod Podge. I used a glossy Podge and the color of my glitter is called "White Gold". Its silver with a hint of gold.  Now cover all that silver you just painted with a couple layers of the Podge / glitter mix. Let it dry and admire the awesome sparklyness of it all.

Here it is with the lights down low.

Ok, well... it didn't brighten anything up. In fact, it made it darker, but looking up from my dinner plate and seeing all those sparkles sure made me happy. Best of all, I used what I already had and all that I had to put money out for was a bottle of craft paint. Cheap!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Confessions Of A Sheet Snob

I'm a sheet snob. There. I said it. I like my sheets all cotton, and at least 500 thread count. Even at 500tc, depending on the color, it can get a little itchy. I wasn't always this way. Thanks to a couple of family members for ruining my frugal side the past 10 or so years. In my earlier years I could get away with cheap Wal-mart sheets. Not anymore. Sad thing is they are expensive. Its so sickening, and at $60 or so a set (on sale with a coupon) you hope they will last forever. Only they don't. And a few weeks ago a very sad thing happened. My fitted sheet got a small hole which I thought to just sew shut. Well, that didn't work and the next night the stitching let out a hearty guffaw and formed into a 6 inch rip. Useless now, I broke out my backup, not as soft, fitted sheet and decided to use it until it wore out.

Here is a picture of my bedroom before I re-arranged it and stenciled the wall. Why? Because its about time for a picture and a picture of a torn sheet is just dumb and while I am at it you might as well see the changes I made. Stay tuned.
Seriously wanting to buy a new set now, but trying to stay on budget and getting sick of the thought of spending a lot on sheets when the kids just shot up in size and need new jeans more than I need sheets, I gave up on the idea. (that was probably about 10 sentences all in one but I am not fixing it) One day I was in Target and decided to see what kind of expensive sheets they had. I came across their organic sheets, which I had heard from another sheet snob,  are very soft even though they are a  low thread count. I really didn't need a whole set though and some of the reviews I had seen online weren't the best. Plus, I technically only need a fitted sheet..even though I will cringe every time I get into bed and the sheets don't all match. Right next to the organic sheets were open stock (?) sheets and pillowcases in all sorts of colors. They were 300tc ..hmmmm.. but, wow! they were super soft! Hubby gave me the go-ahead and I went and bought a white fitted sheet.
I feel untrue to myself and all my fellow sheet snobs out there for just typing that. I apologize, but I must confess.... I REALLY love it! Plus it was under $20, which is great for this budget conscious, frugal Momma. One very nice thing about it is that it really fits my mattress well. It isn't made like any other sheet I have ever bought. The sides have elastic all the way around, but it also has a thicker, sturdier fabric around the ends and sides and the sheet is almost like a slip cover. Why is this so exciting for me? Because the sheets stay snug on the bed. One thing I can't stand is sheets that bunch up or come off. I have issues apparently, but I can't get into a bed with the sheets wrinkled up (not to be confused with wrinkled because they sat in the dryer too long. Please. Ironed sheets are pointless. I'm not that messed up!) I like the sheets as smooth as can be, just as if I had just put fresh sheets on the bed. I swear, my husband dances the Hokey Pokey when he sleeps and even through all of that movement these sheets stay super snug! YAY, for my mental health! And Yay for not having to buy a whole set of expensive sheets!
Now, here is the promised after picture of my bedroom. It's still a work in progress but I am really loving the stenciled accent wall! Isn't it lovely?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reusable, Washable Drink Covers

If you are on Pinterest much you have probably seen these cute drink covers.

If not, the idea is to take paper muffin cup liners, punch a hole in the middle, and insert a straw. It looks cute and keeps the bugs out. Well, I decided to take it a step further and make them reusable, like so.

Here is what I did:
First I cut out a circle of fabric that would be big enough to fit on top of a mason jar. I made it big enough to fit a wide mouth jar.
Next I decided that cutting out a bunch of circles free hand was a ridiculous thing to ask of myself since I can't cut very straight. So I took that first "circle" that I made and folded it in half and then half again so it looked like a pie wedge. Then I traced it on some thin cardboard that I had to make a template for the rest of the circles. All I had to do then was get a square of fabric, fold in fourths and then use the template to cut out the circle. Sorry there are no pics of that, but you are smart and you can figure it out....right?
After I had a nice stack of different fabric circles I broke out my eyelet kit and added a eyelet to the center of each circle. Tip: fold in fourths again and slightly snip off the point. That will be your center hole for the grommet. I don't know the exact size on the package because I cut that part off for some reason, but I measured the hole and it is 1/4 inch across. Big enough for the straws I have on hand. Here is what it looks like on some retro fabric I had.

Next I used my pinking blade on my rotary cutter to pink the edges. This will allow me to wash them after they are used and they won't fray.

Next, just take off the seal of a canning jar and screw on the ring. Now you have your own reusable drink covers. I made them all in different fabrics so that they could also be used to mark which drink is yours. You could just allow guests to choose which fabric they like so they will remember which is theirs. 

I just used random fabrics and they really aren't what one would call pretty together. If you like you can get a pack of fat quarters. Usually they coordinate with each other. I just wanted to use what I had.
Now all I need to do is have an outdoor party to put them to use, but its too dang hot out here in Atlanta!

Update: I was in Hobby Lobby and found some packs of charm square fabric. They were about 4-5 inch squares and all the edges were already pinked. So, you could leave them square and all you would have to do is add a grommet in the middle. Super fast and easy. Plus the fabrics all coordinated together. 

Thanks for reading to the end,

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Homemade Deodorant That Really Works!

I attended an outdoor wedding last night and had sweat dripping in places I didn't realize I could sweat. It got up to 102* and I am sure it must have been in the high 90's, if not 100*, at the wedding. Thankfully it was very shaded. We all were sweaty and yet the bride, as beautiful as can be, was still radiant!
I, on the other hand, looked like I had just run a marathon. My face was bright red, my curls were limp and I entertained thoughts of going commando. No, I made that last part up.... or did I? Needless to say I was a hot mess! BUT, my armpits were fresh as a daisy! A DAISY I SAY!
(Photo source... that would be me!)
Ok, so that's not a daisy, but it looks fresh. Right? Hello?
I got home and kept sniffing just to be sure (did I go too far with that?). I bet you want to know what deodorant I use? Well, I make my own. Psh.. of course you do Lizzy! Why? Because its non-toxic and cheap! Now I didn't come up with the recipe, I found it over at one of the most entertaining blogs I follow, The Elliot Homestead. Visit her site for the recipe. Read some more posts. She is HILARIOUS!!!  Its a super simple recipe with only 3 ingredients. Four if you want to add essential oil. I haven't yet. I put my mixture in an old deodorant container, but I am too lazy to take a picture (its 102* at 7:30pm so lay off me!) The only problem with that is it doesn't travel so well since coconut oil is liquid at around 78*. I will have to switch to a little jar for travel. It scoops out nicely and when you rub it on your pits it melts right into your skin. I just rub whats left all over both hands. Don't you go ewww, my pits are clean! Then I rinse my hands off. It leaves them soft and moisturized too! Give it a try. I am telling you, my pits don't even have a hint of B.O. when I use this! It passed the stinky, sweaty test several times now. Its a keeper recipe.
That is all I have to say. I think we all just had a moment of bonding. Did you feel it? I feel closer to you, oh gentle reader.

And now, because I feel bad for yelling at you about not taking any pictures of the deodorant, I give you this self portrait of me (myself ?).

You're welcome. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Picnik Replacement! - iPiccy

My friend sent me a link to a blog that links to a photo editing site. This site is called iPiccy. Its in beta right now so it has some kinks to work out but for now its a great alternative to learning Photoshop. Whew! Its a lot like Picnik and appears pretty easy to use.
Thanks Google for stabbing us all in the heart when you announced that you would be closing Picnik! I know several of you are upset about that also so I thought I should share this with you all. Pass it on, blog about it, shout it from the rooftops!

One downside I see so far with iPiccy is that you can't save a bunch of pictures and then work on them later, or even stop in the middle of one and shut the web page down. I was trying to edit a picture and it crashed on me. Very frustrating, but forgivable since its beta.  Perhaps I will have to save the picture often if I am doing extensive editing. At least until they work out all of the kinks.

I thought I would share a little of what they have to offer over on iPiccy. Here is a picture of one of the cutest kids in the entire world. My nephew James. It's not really the best picture to show off his cuteness. We had just finished eating  a picnic lunch and he was walking around with his hands in his pockets and chocolate on his face. Not too bad, but lets see if some editing can improve it.
Original photo

Here I have done a little with the contrast and , my most favorite tool I like to use when editing, local contrast. Local contrast seems to (I cringe to say this because I hate the overuse of the word) make everything pop. I also took most of the chocolate off of his face with the clone tool and brightened up his eyes. He has amazing blue eyes like his mommy.
That's nothing you couldn't do with Picnik, but there are some pretty neat functions in iPiccy that Picnik didn't have. Like these!

I think its best in B&W

Check it out. See what you think. Its pretty simple, user friendly and free. No registration required.

-Seems a bit slower than Picnik.
-Not as many functions.I paid for premium on Picnik and it was way worth all the extra functions. This may not be a con for you if you just used the free functions though.
-You can't make collages, which is ok with me. I use Picasa and can do that there. 
- Some of the effect functions caused the program to crash on me. Frustrating if you have just done a bunch of tedious corrections. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dressed Up Chocolate Bar

This is a very simple Valentines Day project. I have seen lots of people do this type of thing so it isn't anything new. It was super easy and it only took a few minutes.

Get your chocolate bar. I got a Chocolove bar because I thought it fitting for Valentines day. Plus I am a chocolate snob and Hersheys is nasty junk. I only buy it for making s'mores.

 This is really good chocolate too. I got the super extra dark one, 77% cacao, for myself and it was fabulous. I found this brand at the Dekalb Farmers Market (Atlanta). I haven't seen them in grocery stores so I am not really sure where to find them. Sorry.

Next, I cut a piece of red card stock to fit around the bar. I also printed off a heart patterned paper and cut it slightly smaller than the red. I wish I knew where I got the heart pattern from but I can't remember. If you don't have heart card stock you can just Google "heart pattern" and find several images to print. I taped these tightly around the bar, but not to the chocolate wrapper itself.

 I cut the edges with this Martha Stewart paper punch. Love that thing!

Then I crocheted up a super quick heart from some red yarn I had. Here is the pattern I used from Planet June. Great instructions! I made the medium sized one. It took maybe 5 minutes tops!

 I used the tail end of the yarn to make a loop big enough to fit around the bar. It can be taken off and used as a little ornament.
 And here it is all together. Simple. Cute. Yummy!

Happy Valentines Day!

Linking to:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spring Pom-Pom Wreath

So I made a pom-pom wreath. Super easy and a nice way to use up some of the yarn in my stash.

I started with a large straw wreath that I had bought half off at Hobby Lobby this Fall.  Then I wrapped it in some pink fabric from my fabric stash. Not necessary, but I didn't know if all that hot glue I was going to be adding to it would melt the plastic that was on the wreath and I didn't want to take off the plastic because straw wreaths are messy. Nothing fancy, just glue it on and cover up all of the straw.
 I am ashamed to actually be posting that picture, but it was the only one I had. :-/
Next I made a bazillion and one pom-poms with my finger wrapping method, and hot glued them on. I tried  to glue them on so that no two exact colors were right next to each other or too close together. I wanted a random look so I didn't line them up directly next to each other either.. well some of them were like in the above pic.
That's about it. The only pain in the butt was making those pom-poms. I guess it wasn't a pain so much as boring. I did make most of them while watching Netflix though so that helped.
 I think if I ever did this again I would probably use a smaller wreath. Maybe 12inch instead of 18inch.

I used 5 different colors of yarn. Any more and it may have been a bit too much....or maybe it is already?

 I am pretty pleased with it. I thought to hang it like you see on my front door. Only I couldn't keep it there permanently because I was imagining how hot it was getting already and the bugs that might like to make their homes in the softy-wofty pom-poms. Mainly wasps. eeek! It only stayed on the door long enough to take these pictures.

Hmmm. What do you think? Does it need something else? I just felt like adding anything else might make it look overboard. Am I right? I dunno.

Linking to:


Friday, January 27, 2012

Tube Map Brooch

I have an incredibly talented Sister-in-law. Her name is Amy and she is amazing. She is my inspiration for many things in life including being crafty and decorating. Which I stink at, but she inspires me. Unfortunately she doesn't blog. Shes a busy, homschooling momma to 2 of the most adorable, active little boys I know. I just love going to her house and looking around at all of the awesome ideas, new and old, that she comes up with. I told her I was going to blog about her house occasionally. This post is not about her house, yet, but about a birthday present she made for me this month.
You may remember that I went to England this Fall. Amy was one of the 7 ladies in our group that went. We had such an amazing time and formed memories to last us forever. Well for my birthday she made me this brooch. It is all about some of those memories from our England trip.
 Now to you this may just be a lovely little brooch. To me it represents the most amazing time of my life!
Its a London Tube map! I love how she added that to the back.
 I am not exactly sure how she made it, but I do know that a printer and Mod Podge was involved.
You may be wondering what the Waitrose thing in the middle is? Ok.. this may seem silly but it is from a grocery store that we fell in love with. A grocery store you say? Yes. It was AMAZING! I loved seeing all of the different foods that they sell and the freshness of those foods. There was no yellow cheese there. Yellow cheese is not natural and since I am trying to be more natural I was amazed. It doesn't take much to amaze me.
 This little green disk was given to us when we were paying at the check-out. It was basically a vote for which charity you wanted to receive a big donation. This is a copy of that token but it brings fond memories of our visit. Waitrose was about as exciting to me as Stonehenge. I kid you not. ( If you are from the U.K. please don't make fun of me. It was amazing I say!)

I have worn it like intended. Pinned to my shirt.

And also pinned to the side of a necklace. like so.

 Or my favorite, this blue beaded one.

Isn't Amy awesome?