Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still Cameraless

However, I have, at least, done a few things and have plans to do a few more!!! :D yay!

I've got high hopes for a headband idea I had that's almost original. It will actually combine a headband pattern I found online with a bracelet concept, also found online. The overall idea was inspired by a really pretty hair piece 'Jessica' wore on True Blood. Yup, I just got the DVD series (late Christmas present - ha!) and just finished spending a bit of time in the deep south. Gosh, I love those vamps!!!

The rest of this week is going to be dedicated to making Drive In cookies, working, and fixing up a birthday gift or two for my sister, who will be 22 this weekend! Woot! She's also going to be a teacher so I'm going to have a little bit of fun with that concept! :D

Today sent me on a 'field trip' to Wal Mart where my dad and I selected a few decorational items for our back deck. I'm hoping to make it to a near by Big Lots before too long because they had some really ADORABLE lanterns that claimed to 'keep the bugs at bay' all while being super stinkin' cute!

My dad doesn't really want me to decorate our deck, but I'm being sly about it. ;) I'll wear him down before too long!

Also, I've changed over several of the 'eye pieces' in the house to welcome a blue and beach theme for summer. The weather here is already hitting highs of 102*, which means by true summer time we'll all be greasy blobs of crap on the roads any time we step foot from our houses, but it seemed a good enough inspiration to get cracking on bringing the beach in.

Once I find my bag of seashells (I've been looking for them for 3 days now), I've got a few simple projects that I'm hoping will enhance my decor!

And while my dad did have the week off of work, he stayed so busy doing things around the house that there wasn't time to get to my antiques. Next week I'm taking my girls and my grandparents and heading north for my cousin's graduation. We're going to put in some family time and my aunt has mentioned a few projects around HER house that she's interested in so I'll be sure to report in then, too! (I'll have my camera back!!!!)

After I'm back (and recovered - have you ever noticed the need for a vacation after a vacation?!) I'm going to get to cracking on that furniture one way or another. After all, what good is the internet if you don't use it to teach yourself a thing or two?!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Holy Bejebus!

I knew I had been slacking. Really, the thought had made me wince quite often as I started on a new project or changed direction in the never ending cycle to catch my own ass. (It's not as amusing as it would seem, to chase one's own tail when one's tail isn't even long or fluffy like the tail my little puppy sports. Actually, it's probably just weird, me being a grown woman chasing after her ownself.... It's probably not helping that I'm harping on this bad habit of mine. Right. Other topics now...)

But apparently this whole MONTH has been far busier than I realized. For one, I didn't realize that it had damn near been a full MONTH since I had posted anything here! Ack!

Bad me. BAAAAAAAD me. *shakes finger sternly at the reflection in the mirror whilst frowning fiercly!*

My self dicipline shall continue as I shake fingers, fists, and the like at myself, but in attempts to catch any of you that might still be out there in blog world, reading my [seldom] shared bits of craziness and creation... this is what I've been up to::

*Moving my sister from one apartment to another in a town 2 hours away
*Cleaning out sister's old apartment
*Hanging out with sister in new apartment so she was un-lonesome while attending summer sessions
*Making an "Over the Hill" cake for one of my mom's friends
*Making 222 Chocolate Chip Cookies for the local Drive In (Not all at once, but some every weekend)
*Working at the local Drive In (I dress up a mean burger, man!)
*Making Bride and Groom Oreo Balls (Pictures... as soon as I find my lost camera - doh!)
*Making paper flowers for glass vases (Pictures, same as before)
*Making single flower 'center piece' (Again with the lost camera)
*Changing spring decor to summer decor (Damn you, camera!)
*Making and taking a picnic lunch to my girls' last day of preschool (*tear*... and pictures...)
*"Visually cleaning" a friend's house
*Making my Poppy a banging vanilla cherry cake for his birthday

Whew!!! There were other things in there, like the weekly cleaning, laundry, shopping, chase your tail, didn't I say I was going to stop talking about that, packing, and unpacking-ness of living *deep breath* BUT that list is the general reason(s) why I've been so absent.

I vow to ye, near and far, to do better than I've been doing.

Now, for the things to come::
*Find durn-blasted and thrice-damned camera!!!!
*Make some pimp hair accessories from the odd bits and bobbles my sister gifted me with after cleaning out her stash of hair do's and don't's
*Make toliet roll binoculars for my girls
*Make toliet roll bracelets for my girls (sensing a theme? yeah, i've secretly been stashing toliet paper rolls for about 4 months now. I could probably lay of road of them from one side of my town to the other and still have a few left over. So, now's the time to get creative with them.)
*Take/Post pics of my backyard's before and after. My dad's been HARD at work. It runs in the family ;)
*Bribe my dad into helping me fix up those antique furniture pieces I smuggled home a while back - just so I don't ruin them by tackling them on my own
*Make a breakfast quiche for dinner... maybe a nice dessert, too. I'm thinking tiny no-bake cheesecakes... mmmm.... cheesecake

Cheesecake gives me Homer-face. It's a good look on me. :)

Thank you, to each and every one of you that cares enough to still read my insanities. I promise to post pictures as soon as I find my camera (I'll sic the kids on it, they're like nifflers after gold, never stopping till they find their prize) and I spent most of today looking for new projects. Boy, did I score on that account!!! I think I bookmarked over 100 ideas to take on!!

So, really, more to come, more frequently, more often! If there are any takers, I'll even offer up an Unbreakable Vow!

Okay, okay, I don't want to make too many Harry Potter references (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, END to an EPIC saga out in theaters July 15th!!!!) so I'll stop myself there! :D I'm not excited or anything... not at all....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Birthdays and Building... of a Sort

Hey y'all! First week trying out this new no-rush-to-postness and... I was so un-occupied about updating that I got all kinds of creative. So much so that I forgot to take pictures of a few things. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. Me and this brain of mine... we forget so much. Dang nabbit.

Memory issues aside, I've a BUTTLOAD of pictures for you nonetheless. A step-by-step process of tearing my kids' chairs apart and fixing them up to be (mostly) better. AND I have pictures of most of the things created for my sister's boyfriend's birthday. (Happy Birthday again, Jimmy!)

First, I forgot to take pictures of the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies I made. Sorry, cookies. BUT they were good. They smelled terrific and I have plans to re-make them soon for at-home consumption. Next time I'll give them their own photo shoot.

Second came the giant cookie cake. Seriously, this thing was like sixteen inches big. It was the first cookie cake I ever made and the edges were a bit rough... please ignore the writing. I CAN do better than that, but I was hurried and I was laughing a lot while writing it... the expression will be explained momentarily.

Lastly... Jimmy likes the show Swamp People. I had the, erm, pleasurable experience of watching the show with him and my sister one night and nearly died of the combination of hilarity and horror the show inspired. It is... consuming. You start to watch and it's like a car wreck - you can't look away. Your eyes become beacons of all encompassing pools, glued to the screen as people and gators tangle and twist and... watch it once. That's all you need.

Anyway, to get back on topic, I had made the cookies, made the cookie cake, and then I had this brilliant thought. "SWAMP PEOPLE!!!!" In fact, I yelled the idea out loud and thus created a commotion elsewhere in the house that was the cause of much cursing and the need for an armful of towels. Oops.

I wanted a gator cake. A gator lying in wait... about to get taken in by the swamp people. "Choot 'em, Liz! Choot 'em!"

Yeah, that's right. Another reason to watch the show. Find out exactly what "choot 'em" means... in case it's not obvious enough. ;)

So, gator cake::

I was proud of the idea to give him scales. *beams a winning smile* It made me very excited. I was glad that everyone immediately got the concept of what I was going for. I'm yet to be an artist with a tube of icing, but as ideas slowly swirl and form within my mind, I continue to work towards professionalism. Or something close to imitating it.

Till then I have fun!

Once I made my way out of the kitchen, I got down to business reupholstering the Disney tinker bell chairs that my girls got from Santa for Christmas. Poor chairs didn't survive the terror of my children. So I gave them a band aid. :)

Step One: Look at the chairs. Feel bad for them. Make a plan to fix them and go collect all the stuff you need.

Step Two: Collect your collected things. Take a picture of them... or just have them collected. That's cool, too.

Materials Needed::

* Broken Chairs/Chairs you want to update
* Material - enough to cover your seat with an additional inch per side
*cushions/solid foam
*staple gun
*sharpie or good marker
*small trash can or trash bag

Step Three: Take the seat off of the rest of the chair. Unscrew the screws. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty. :)

Step Four: Demo. Tear that seat apart. *rawr*


Step Five: Lay your foam out and place the base of your seat on top of it. Trace around the edges and prepare yourself for kindergarten flash backs.


Step Six: Get your scissors and cut along the line. Told you to be ready for the flashback! Follow the line carefully, cutting away the excess foam if it gets in your way. I tried to keep mine whole because I sat around pretending my square foam piece was a giant apple I was peeling all in one go.

Hey, I warned you my head was a funny place. That hasn't changed. ;)


Step Seven: Lay your material out flat. Mine was a bit of scrap I got from the Wal Mart junk pile for 75 cents a decade ago. No joke. I bought it when I was still in high school and had dreams of learning to sew. I still have the dream and the material, as well as the price tag. The price tag is gone now, but it turns out that my almost-dollar didn't go to waste.

Line your material, foam, and your chair's base up so they're all facing the same way and the edges are even.


Step Eight: Press your chair's base down before pulling the fabric material up and over its side. Pull it tight but don't dislodge it from where you've lined it all up. Take care of where your fingers are and staple that baby into place. I love the power of such a simple tool, but every time I shot a staple out I grinned. Being easily amused has its benefits.


Do this, pulling the fabric tight each time, all the way around the base. Be careful of the corners, I should have been more careful. Next time I will be. Tuck the fabric in and fold it over so you have pretty edges. I hurried and didn't tuck as well as I could have. It's not huge in the grand scheme of things, but knowing that I could have done better and didn't irks me.




Step Nine: Screw the seat back into place. Righty tighty!


Step Ten: Admire your work. Smile a bit. You deserve it.


Steps Eleven and Twelve: Do it all again (and again) until all your chairs are complete.

Grin like an idiot.


In other news, I've started on the cake pops I'm making. White vanilla cake with confetti frosting for the first batch, destined to become bride and groom pops and lady bugs. (The wedding shower is garden themed and the pictures of the ladybugs were too cute to not try!)

Sometime later this week or early next I'll be making a second batch, Cheerwine cake (crazy, right?!) with a simple vanilla buttercream icing. My fingers are crossed that the cakes come out cheer-worthy!

Oh, my jokes just don't even get better with time!!! Aw, well. Cheers, y'all! :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week In Review & Game Plan

That's right, I've created a genuine game plan! With the exception of those manic moments in life and time when inspiration blossom, blooms, and shoves its bosom in my face, I'm not that creative. Well, perhaps that isn't true. My mind is a wonderfully warped place and I can take nearly anything and make it into something else. However, there are always pitfalls and road blocks in my path to creative nirvana.

One day at a time.

Thus, my game plan. I've been attempting (low though the evidence supports the statement) to post on a daily or near-daily basis. It bummed me out. So... I'll be posting twice a week instead. A collection of my days' events and small conquests.

I think, this way, my freedom to play and create will relax and come out more often to play. Good times, yeah? Yeah.

Okay. So this past week I've been in the kitchen every day. I've made well over 10 dozen cookies, mostly chocolate chip, for several functions. Better than the cookies, though, were the apple-strawberry cupcakes with strawberry (and strawberry-chocolate) buttercream icing...


And the first successful chocolate layer cake I've ever made. It looked even better in person. I need better picture-taking skills!


Especially since my camera ATE some of my pictures! I had taken pictures of the beginning's of this weeks' craft, as well as one my girls did, but they're not on the camera or the computer or... anywhere. *sigh* Oh well. You can get the idea well enough anyway.

Step One: Visit the dollar store and buy a few frames. Check the back of them to find, or not find, a hanging hook. Decide whether you would like to hang your finished project from a hook or a ribbon. Or, get a hoot and have the option to still use a ribbon. Back up plans are nice.

I forgot to check for a hook so I got to play with ideas until I found a solution. Oh well, necessity is the mother of all invention!

Step Two: Buy (or if you're super spiffy, make) a wooden letter and paint it the color you desire. Take your frame apart and paint it the same color as your letter. Let them dry.

Step Three: Bend the supports on the back of the frame so they lay flat against the back of the frame, unseen from the front. Use a strong glue (craft glue, gorilla glue, hot glue, super glue - any should do the trick) and run a thin line all around the inside of the frame so that once the glass is replaced it will lay over top of the glue. Just don't use too much or the glue will smoosh out everywhere. Let the glue dry completely.


Step Four: Turn your frame over right side up. Get your glue again. Apply appropriate amount to the un-painted back side of your letter. Center the letter and gently press against the glass front. Let it dry.


Step Five: You can be done. If you bought a frame with a hanger piece, just use that. But like I mentioned, I forgot that step so I had to get creative. I was making these for my daughters so I used their favorite colors - pink and purple. I cut up a piece of ribbon, glued about 3 inches of it down either side of the frame, and let it dry completely. Then I hung it up. Yay!


Step Six: Enjoy!


This week is going to include: a surprise cake for my sister's boyfriend (Happy Birthday, Jimmy!), a cookie cake for Jimmy, and white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. Additionally, I'm going to start working on cake pops and decorations for an upcoming wedding shower. I'm pretty pumped about the possibilities of ideas here.

I'm aiming, for my contributions, to work SUPER cheap but still produce cute, fresh ideas of worth. Here's hoping!

And I haven't forgotten my antique furniture! My dad is currently building a new porch/deck on the back of our house so I'm waiting until he has time to help me, so I don't mess things up and destroy the beauty of that furniture!

Finally, the two rooms (the room of disaster, semi-repaired and the other spare in the house) still need touch up work and a complete re-do. It'll all be done as soon as time allows for it to all take place. Being busy makes me happy. What makes your day?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hopping By...

Happy Easter - one day late! What would I be if I were on time for anything in this world? I certainly don't know, but I do hope that you and yours enjoyed the day! It was beautiful here, weather and experience alike, and ended up being a series of hours filled with moments for happy memory-making.

But more on that in a bit...

Last entry I left you with the Room of Doom. See?


Now, unfortunately due to my car being too small, my mother being too sentimental, and myself being too lazy (oops) I do not have a spectacular reveal. I do, however, have several hour's worth of grunt work and physical labor to show off. This is what the room has been made into now:


It's more impressive in person, but still qorth a big of brag. However, I shall refrain until ALL the junk is out of the way, the additional furniture moved in (I know! Where's it going to go?!), and the walls are painted. Yes. Painted. Two shades of Caribbean Blue.

We bought the paint last year. Long story made short: I got lazy. Everyone else got lazier.

Nonetheless, the time and the day moved onward and forward!

Saturday started out rain-soaked, soppy, and dreary. A visit from my aunt sent the clouds scattering (it's her magic, I swear) and found my sister and I looking for the "better things" in our little town. My aunt wanted updated pictures of herself and had 'hired' my sister and I on for the task. And so, armed with flip flops and a small army of cameras, off we went!

Luckily, though our town is small and rather rough on the eye, there are a few places that stand as diamonds in the coal. We headed to one such place, less than five minutes from our house. (Everything in this town is five minutes away - anything less than that is walking distance, but again, laziness struck. I'm sensing a theme here...)

In the end we had a ton of laughs, scared a few families who were doing a photo shoot the 'professional' way (pft, armatures are where it's at, don't they know! *snort*), and ended up with almost 200 photos collectively.








It was a brilliant way to spent the day before Easter... unfortunately I forgot (rather, purposely shoved away the reminders of) all the cooking I needed to accomplish for Easter lunch. The night and I are old lovers though, and it welcomed me back into its embrace with open arms. We danced in the moonlight and by the time the sun came up I had a place for everything and everything in its place - I even snagged a few hours of sleep!!

And so we feasted, ending the family time with a bunny cake (pineapple cake with coconut buttercream frosting!) and robin's nest cupcakes! Delish!



After that, the kiddos and I hit the road for a short travel to spend the rest of the Easter day with their dad's family. The sun was warm, the company was welcoming and fun, the girls played to their hearts' content and came home happy to shower and collapse into bed. I'm nearly certain that they were snoring before I had them tucked in properly - unheard of!


Today I started on a small project that I've been putting off for weeks. If procrastination were a profession, I'd be CEO of the business. Since it is not, I'm just a lady with a penchant for running in twelve directions at once!

Hopefully tomorrow will see a completed product and pictures to boot! What's a day without an accomplishment or two, anyway?

Hoppy Days, Y'all!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Before, After, Easter, Disaster!!!

I'm sticking straight with the title today! AND I'm actually going to show you all the things that I've said I was going to show you. Sorry for the delays, there, they weren't intentional, my brain just doesn't do much functioning!!

So, my parent's closet. It's huge. It's still a mess. It's not my fault. These are the [few] differences I actually could make!





Next comes Easter -

Here's the project I mentioned [think I mentioned?]...
Take a vase, a few sticks from the yard, a few squirts of spray paint, and a dollar bag of sparkly eggs from the dollar store. Spray the branches with the paint. Let them dry. Stick them in the vase. Hang the eggs from the branches. Ta Da!!!!


& Last... today's project::


The results - tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy as a Beaver During Wood Season

I made wood season up. I don't know if it exists, but I'd imagine if it did then beavers would be especially busy during that point in time. Just an assumption I came to after many long nights of pondering...

I've been pumping this project up for a long time now, it seems, and today is the day. The big reveal. Please keep in mind that this is only the first and hope, dear hope, holds to the notion that I'll find the bits and pieces to do this project at least once more in a more extravagant fashion. However, for a first go of it, I had a hell of a time and am very proud of the results.

So, without further ado, I give to you the steps and final production of a Birdelier.

Step One: Find an old Chandelier

Step Two: Clean it up & Spray it down (yay! spray paint!)

Step Three: Find a small bowl, or in this case, small clay pots - spray paint!

Step Four: Glue, epoxy, drill, connect said bowls/pots to chandelier in place of light fixtures
(Perhaps it should be mentioned in a previous step that you'll need to deal with the electrical fixings of of the chandelier, but I forget quite a lot of things...)

Step Five: Hang to dry for AT LEAST 24 hours... be kind to the birdies and don't kill them

Step Six: Hang!

Step Seven: Happy Dance to your heart's content as birdies come to feast in style!


Step Eight: Hang eggs from trees in the front yard to serve a double purpose; Easter and bird invitations by the dozen for only a dollar! What more could a lass ask for from the dollar tree??


Now, for some super exciting news that I am STILL squirming over...

Last night the family across the street decided to get rid of some of the furniture that was cluttering up their house and my mom saw it sitting by the road. Well, lovely furniture should never be left all to its lonesome so my mom yelled at me, I yelled at everyone else in my family (my grandparents, my aunt, and my cousin were all about to watch me flail fabulously out the door, already ooooing and ahhhhing over the found treasure) and took off at a flip flop flump pace. Translated, that means I went as fast as I thought I could without falling over or looking as excited as I felt.

My heart and lungs were doing jumping jacks. Jumping. Jacks. Exercise in my chest.


Anyway, I got three amazing pieces, one of which I forgot to take pictures of. (I'll fix that tomorrow!) Two antique, solid wood pieces; a dresser and a desk.



(better images before i begin the actual work!!)

They need a loving hand, but I'm SOOOO freaking EXCITED about this!!! I'll get to do REAL work! Sanding down and buffering and polishing and repainting, and all kinds of amazing, get dirty and make something gorgeous, WORK! Gah! I'm so in love!

The third piece was a medium size white dresser that I shuffled straight into my bedroom. Said action encouraged an immediate re-arrangement of the bedroom, my daughters' playroom, and today (oddly enough) my parents' closet. Right. Well, there's no rhyme or reason to me. But that's okay.

I'll post pictures of the progress of my parents' closet tomorrow. They're really weird about keeping their stuff just like it is and my mom likes to keep a LOT of stuff. Who am I to tell them not to do what they want in their house? No one... and they ignore me when I tell them things like that anyway. ;)

Ahhh.... major activities, how I love thee.

Other projects on the horizon::
* Cleaning out the sess pool that is our back bedroom and DONATING to the beloved Salvation Army
* Re-organizing the middle bedroom, which has been overrun with crafts, food, books, odds, and ends
* Fixing up the antique dresser & desk
* Re-arranging 3 rooms to accommodate new furniture
* Making a lamp!
* Finishing my abandoned mobile, poor thing
* Holding out hope that another chandelier enters my life!!! :D

Happy Huntings and Creation Explosions, y'all!! :)