Friday, September 28, 2012

Wonky Crocheted Seal

Let me preface this by saying I never understood crocheting...  but I always attempted to make a scarf when the winter season started rolling in because who doesn't want a homemade scarf to add a little pizzazz to an outfit?  I always thought making a scarf would be sooooo easy since it's just a long rectangular shape, but no... You have to count your rows and make sure you have the same amount of stitches, and my stitches would always be too tight and then too loose, and there are numbers and patterns you have to follow to get something cute and my scattered brain doesn't do well with that... By the end of it my scarves always ended up looking like a long, stretched out piece of pizza.... And not the good kind that you'd see on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don't know, maybe I should have stuck with it and created a new type of scarf trend.  Maybe call it the Epic Fail Scarf or the Wonky Scarf or the I Don't Know What the Heck I'm Doing Scarf.  To my dismay my attempts always ended in me pulling out all of the rows until it was a long, and somewhat wonky-looking string again.  Then I would sadly roll the string back into a ball until next year when the winter season came upon us again and I'd try my hand at creating a cute scarf to warm my little neck. As if a year of not crocheting at all would make me a better crocheter?  And then failure would inevitably occur...

I had all but given up hope until I met a new friend who crochets adorable squishy animals. When I asked her how she created these darling creatures the words out of her mouth were pure magic, "I just make it up :)".

You can do that?!  Oh my I must try!  So she showed me a few tricks and broke down the process into thinking about shapes.  So she taught me how to make a cylinder and then how to make a sphere, and mantra the entire time we were working she kept repeating, "It doesn't have to be perfect."  Boy did that ring a bell.  That's how I taught art to my little kiddo's during student teaching (or my friends who have crafted with me :-P).  

So I decided to make my favorite animal, a seal :)
He's not perfect, but it was my first attempt and a little wonkiness tends to make things more adorable (at least for me they do!).

Of course whenever I get out my camera Gingi decides he wants to be in on the action so he plopped his plopper right on down beside my crocheted creation for some pictures.  This one reminds me of those hilarious photobombing pictures.
Much like these only slightly less terrifying hahaha!

Every time my friend saw the seal she would say, "He's so fluffy!" -Despicable Me quote :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pumpkin Painting

Holy pumpkin Batman!  It's pumpkin time people!    

I drove by a store with pumpkins and my foot was on the brake immediately!  I bought some tiny pumpkins (adorbs) and two white pumpkins (so classy).  
Since it's a little too early in the season to carve them (I don't want moldy, wilty, pumpkins when Halloween rolls around) I decided I should paint this first round of pumpkins.  I say first round because Lord knows I'll be buying more :/

add some POLKA DOTS
You can never go wrong with polka dots.  So I painted my little orange pumpkins with little white polka dots beside my little spray painted pine cones.

For the two white pumpkins I chose to paint on a pretty patterns and then add a silhouette on top!   

I thought they looked pretty fun but I wanted more so I asked my fiancee his opinion and he oh-so-nonchalantly said, "Add some dinosaurs."  Of course!  Why didn't I think of that?  He's brilliant.  So for my spiraly pumpkin I wanted to add a few of our favorite dinosaurs.

To help me out....

And here is how my spiraly pumpkin turned out! :)

And lastly but not leastly I had to add little Gingi cat onto the polka dotted pumpkin! 

Meowwwwwww ;)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Re-purposing with Chalkboard Paint

So I went thrifting earlier and I actually did something with it instead of just shoving it in my closet!  Yay! :)  You won't be seeing this girl on an episode of hoarders just yet!  I used one of my favorite crafty tools on my thrifty finds... Chalkboard paint!

Chalkboard Sign
My first re-purposing task was to take this... umm... I don't know what it is but it was free at the thrift shop I frequent so I decided to throw some chalkboard paint over it!  Now it's a cute sign hanging above my Keurig.

TIP: I did 4 coats of chalkboard paint and I waited an hour or more between coats.  Using chalkboard paint a lot I've realized the more you wait between coats the better the chalkboard paint holds and what not (The can instructs you to wait 24 hours... but I was too impatient...).
HOWEVER!  I do always wait 24 hours before I actually use the object that I've covered with chalkboard paint.  

Chalkboard/Dry erase Lap Table Trays
The next thrift store re-purposing I decided to do was to change up these lap table trays.  

Luckily the white part of the tray is like a whiteboard so I figured I'd only make a border around one of them so I could use dry erase markers on it. 

To make a border I used painters tape, decorative scissors and 4 layers of chalkboard paint.

 I just cut the painters tape down the middle and used one side of it to have the scalloped edge.  And then I made a square in the middle and painted in between the blues

Ta Da!  You've got yourself a cute border and you can write little messages to those who use them (My fiancee is in graduate school and he needs a few pick-me-ups while he's studying such riveting material like EKG's... yuck...).

The other lap table tray I decided to make all chalkboard paint so I just put painters tape over the wood so my messy painting skills wouldn't get all over that part of the tray.
Do 4 coats of chalkboard paint, let it dry, and then Ta Da!  You can make lists for yourself in the morning.  You can see I have really wonderful prioritizing skills :) Coffee always wins in my book!

What do y'all like to do with chalkboard paint?!

Fall Decoration

Who's ready for the fall!?  This girl is!  Fall is full of Pumpkin Spice lattes, Punkpin Ale, football, flannel, beautiful warm colors that fill the tree's, long walks with leaves crunching under my feet, and so much more!  I went on a little walk through the Tennessee hills and found some pine cones and a lovely, twisted stick that called to me and said, "Take me home with you!"  Here are a few pictures of my walk:

What do you need?


  1. Go on a walk :)  and pick up some pine cones and a nice, lovely stick! I decided to peel off the bark on the stick and then use some sandpaper to sand it down so it's nice and smooth.
  2. Lay your pine cones and stick out on some newspaper or I used an old towel. Give 'em around 2-3 layers of spray paint.  Let them dry to the touch between coats (It doesn't take long for spray paint to dry!)
  3. After the stick and pine cones have dried (I only waited about 30 minutes, because I'm a wee bit impatient!) get out your twine and tie the pines cones to your twine so it's like a garland. Then wrap it around the stick and wah lah! You've got yourself a fall decoration :)

I hung it above our couch :) but I think it would be cute just laying on a mantle!

I'm feeling like our wall is way too barren... I can't figure out what else we should hang on our walls! Any ideas for me?

Thirfting Finds

I absolutely love going to to thrift stores and seeing what I can find!  This lovely gem of a trading post always has entirely too much that I pick up and take home with me.  

I always love picking up interesting picture frames, embroidery hoops, craft supplies or free finds (I never pass up free stuff)!

Click on the pic to see what I made this free thrift store find into!

Most thrift stores have their own little treasures that make them special and I found some quirky pick-me-ups!

I also found these lap table trays that I think I'm going to spruce up a bit as well!  Stay tuned :)  I'll show you what I make with all that I've found!  Hopefully it doesn't just end up in my closet like my hoarder tendencies normally like to do... Eeek!

Click on this picture to see what I did to these lap table trays! 

What do ya'll make with your thrift store finds?