Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween is Here!

I think one of the earliest forms of crafting I truly loved was pumpkin carving.  I am in the stencil camp.  I thought I would share this year's pumpkins and a few from the past.
2012 Pumpkins
 Not my proudest moment in carving ability but I was showing team spirit for the World Series Champion Giants.  I also way going a little too quickly carving them.

2011 Pumpkins
I had a little more time and energy last year, but a less solid theme.

2010 Pumpkins
Sorry for the poor quality picture, but at least I could find one.  I guess my carving production varies a bit.

How many pumpkins did you and your fam. carve?  More the free hand or stencil type?  What is your favorite part of Halloween?  Leave me a comment, PLEASE!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DIY Bauble Necklace

It has been a long, loooonnnggg time since I have blogged.  Part of my problem is that I start projects and fail to finish them, and another part of the problem is that I do crafts I see on other peoples blogs and do not want to show a heavily inspired craft.  All this being said crafts are supposed to reflect what we are doing in life so I think I will write about all the crafts and try to give as much credit as possible.

Now, here is the long awaited followup to the previous post.  To remind you, I was inspired by this picture.
I found this image doing a Google image search.  This link is no longer good, but this is where it was found
This is not a tutorial post and I do not have step by step pictures because this is the first piece of jewelry I have made and I stumbled through the process.  I did find this tutorial at Urban Jane which was very helpful.

Here is the final product.
The color is much more green in person.
And a close up.

I used a jewelry making tool kit I found on sale at Micheal's for $10. I also used a change that was small enough to be strung through the jade beads and small silver spacer beads.  I connected the strung beads to the flower and larger beads with small jump rings.  I found the flower at Micheal's.  It is 4 separate metal pieces that were held together in the packaging with a small twist tie. I replaced the twist tie that held it together with a small piece of wire.

Maybe I will do a tutorial as I make other pieces and gain confidence.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Building Up the Nerve to Bead

I have decided to start another random hobby, beading.  I am planing on turning a too large bracelet into this...

My plan is to turn to the trusty internet for instruction.  It is where I have learn most of my DIY home improvement skills.

Is this a reasonable beginner's project?  Anyone have any advice?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Where should I go from here?

So I am not really sure what direction to take this blog.  I think it has become a weird combination of my interest and accordingly the blogs I follow.  I really started this wanting to focus on home improvement.  Sometimes project do not happen as quickly as I would like and I am faced without blog content.  I then seem to fall back on affordable fashion and a little beauty mixed in. 

I am feeling a little unfocused.  Should I make it a goal to only focus on one thing, or just anything that interests me?  Any of my fellow bloggers (more like mentors by example) have an opinion or advice?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It Has Been So Long...

I feel like I haven't posted in forever.  I thought I should at least let everyone know which dress I chose.  It was actually non of the ones I showed as choices.  The thing is that you need to order dresses, even bridesmaid's 6-8 weeks in advance.  So I had no choice but to pick one off the rack and bring it to someone else for alterations.  I must apologize in advance for this picture and I promise to update it once I get my hands on another one.

In the spirit of keeping it real, this is a self portrait of me in a hotel room, with and iPhone and makeup bags on the bed.
I also try to take a picture of the hairstyle I did myself after watching this Loose and to the Side tutorial by Kate at The Small Things Blog.  She has inspired me to attempt many new hair styles. :)

I got ready including hair and make-up in about an hour.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Black Tie Optional?

I am sorry for the lack of posting.  I actually even have pictures ready and projects at differenet stages of completeness.  Things are just a little crazy and busy right now.  I am not the best person to deal with stress and that combined with indecision is not a good mix.

So where does this leave me....

I am looking to all of you for help.  In about 3 weeks I am attending a black tie optional wedding (someone help me out and put together a clear definition of what this means) in Long Island.  My boyfriend is a groomsmen and will be wearing a tux.  I need help with dress selections.  Should I wear long or short?  What would be the best for my body shape?  I know these are trivial things but they are really stressing me out.

I have been to a number of stores and I think (from looking online) that David's Bridal probably has the most choices.  The few choices I have found in stores are either too promy, mother of the bride or bridesmaidy and the lesser of all these is surely bridesmaidy.

All this being said here is a picture of me.  I am in the middle of regular and plus sizes.

Here are some of my top dress picks.
David's Bridal - One Shoulder Long Sheer Dress with Jeweled Trim 
David's Bridal - Floral One Shoulder Glitter Mesh Gown
The glitter in that one concerns me.  The dress is available in pink and black without the glitter.
David's Bridal - Floral One Shoulder Mesh Gown
David's Bridal - Strapless Long Chameuse Printed Dress
Amazon - Ever Pretty Women's Eve Double V Long Dress
I apologize for this being a random post, but I am a little stressed, if that is not already apparent.  Long dresses are hard to come by and even harder when you are not the same size as high school.  I would appreciate any feedback or any dress suggestions you may have.  Have any dresses on the more formal side that you love?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

There are holes in my roof dear Liza, dear Liza

So it was finally time to bite the bullet and face the horrible roof on the garage. The garage roof was on it's last legs about 3 years ago when I bought the house. It was only a matter of time before it had to be replaced and the time had come.  Winter rain had made the garage feel moist and humid all the time and I a, sure it probably smelled like a wet dog too.  (Interesting tidbit about me is that I have no sense of smell, so what it smelled like was a guess).  I also started to see puddles on the floor and when I looked up at the ceiling I could see blue.  The time had come.

My super generous family offered to assist and my parents offered to foot the bill as my Birthday present.  This was an amazing offer that I could not turn down.

Here is a before:

Uncle Tony and Josh digging in.
Here is a closer shot to show its rough shape.

Josh was an animal, I think he tore off half the roof himself.
I am very lucky to have the help of many friends and family members for the initial tear off stage especially after a put myself out of commission for a portion of the day by starting a fight with the metal beam on the dumpster below.  The incident occurred when I was wheeling in the first load, wearing a big floppy hat and trying to get momentum going up the ramp.

Notice the evil metal beam at the top of the door.  Feel free to give it the evil eye.
It was a fight I had no chance of winning.  I was lucky to not break my nose or knock out teeth.  I did not think about taking pictures at the time and I think you all should thank me.

I was left playing hostess and going on home depot runs.

Refreshment Station.

Me returning from a lumber run.
Shovel/scrapping occurred for most of the morning, while I played hostess and went on home depot runs.

Ledo and Uncle Tony handling the roof.
Lots of work was done by lots of people.

My dad the wheel barrow master.
 By lunch the roof was looking more like this.

One of the main reasons the roof need to be replaced, was it's age and the fact that it was actually 3 layers of shingles (maximum in my county).  The roof also was no based on plywood like most roofs.  This left everyone balancing on 1 X 4s.

There was some talk about retaining the open air feel and leaving it as a pergola, but I was not so keen on the concept.

So after day one, there was so much progress.  The roof was completely demoed.

And the dumpster was full.

Notice the towels designed to be warning flags my Mom put up.

I cannot thank everyone who worked on it enough.  Thank you Dad, Uncle Tony, Josh, Ledo, Keith, Mom, Dorothy and McKenna (for being cute)!

Thank you all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Updated: B Wins

Update:  This post is not the whole story.  The night after I put these up using Command Strips they came crashing down at 4 am and one of the frames even broke.  I had been too lazy to post about this failed attempt, much less fix it.  I think the problems may come from the walls being painted with semi-gloss paint.  It may be too glossy for Command Strips.  At least I know Know what I will do when I break out my drill and level to screw them up securely this time.  Sorry to not fill you in on that fail sooner.

Thank you to everyone who commented and over overwhelmingly B won.  Michelle from Decor and the Dog mentioned how hard it was to tell which placement from the too close pictures I took so here are a could wider ones.

I have started to use Command Strips more to avoid the cracking problems that come with lathe and plaster walls.  You can see my sage in the living room here 1, and 2
So here are the final results.

Thank you all for voting and I hope like the final product.

P.S.  Sorry for all the stuff on the island but I like to keep it real.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Picture Placement

I have seen this trick on a number of blogs for gallery walls but I thought I would try it for a set of 4 pictures.  A long, long time ago I found some pieces of scrap booking paper at Marshall's.  I thought I could use them to create this series similar to the ones at Crate and Barrel and that caused a small controversy at Young House Love.  I used coupons and bought these matted frames at Michaels.

I cut out pieced of old wrapping paper that was so wrinkled it would be hard to use to tape up.

Here are a few arrangements, what do you guys think?

C. (Imagine there are 4 pieces of paper.  I am nothing if not lazy and cutting out 4 was too much.)
D. (Same story as C.)   
Please comment and let me know which placement you think looks best.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Simple Painting Tip

During the process of painting the kitchen I discovered a trick (I probably am not the first but I couldn't find anyone else who had done the exact same thing).  I have seen many other people cover paint trays in various materials as opposed to using tray liners or cleaning the tray.  A few examples include plastic grocery bags (Pretty Handy Girl) and aluminum foil (DIY Network), but I do not remember ever seeing anything for a trim cup.  You see I have a favorite cup I use when I have lots of trim to paint or edging to do, the Handy Paint Pail.  The cup not only has a handle for easy holding by a magnet to hold you brush during breaks.  You can buy liners like this one.  They are not very expensive but a waste of money and often I want to avoid running to the store.

So, here is what I did to paint the kitchen.

Once you fill it up with paint, it looks like this.
There are a few nice things about this trick.  I always have Ziploc bags in the house, so there is no need to wait when you get the urge to paint.  Many other people have talked about throwing a brush in a bag in the frig if you want to take a break, this just removes a step and also saves the leftover paint.  The last thing is that cleanup could not be easier and all the trash is concealed in a single Ziploc bag.

It's not rocket science, but it makes the job and cleanup a little easier.  Any other helpful painting tips out there? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Walls Don't Talk to Me Anymore

This weekend I tackled one portion of my kitchen that has been bothering me, the wall color.
Lets start out with the fact that I am a bad blogger and did not take any good before pictures.   This was the before color.  Nothing was bad about it.  I even used test pots when deciding what color to paint, but it also did not feel very happy.  I had more than a gallon of paint and primer left over from the laundry room (that post will come someday when I finish).  In a matter of hours I was able to cut in and roll on enough paint to cover the room.

Here is an older before shot.

This was after I cut in the room.
This is keeping it real.  Unfinished laundry room and a sprite can.  Plus art from my niece Julianna.

 Here is the finished color.

It is not super different, but it makes the room so much brighter and cheerier.  Anything that makes doing dishes more appealing is great in my book.

I omitted pictures of the counter top and sink.  That wall is all cabinetry and tile so there is not much to see, and I piled all the stuff from the other side of the kitchen over there for painting.

I have a couple more tips and art hanging before I am done talking about the walls in here.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Front Looks the Same, But There is a Lot Less of it.

I had some requests about posting after pictures and which hair style I chose from this post.  Well, I kinda did a switcheroo and used some inspiration that I did not list in my post.  I ended up with a mix between Sandra Bullock and Kate from the The Small Things Blog and Pinterest fame.
So in the end here is my new haircut.
What do you guys think? (Not comparing anything else but my hair to these pretty ladies.)  Did I make a good hair call?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do Blogs and Their Owners Look Alike?

My blog seems scattered, because I am scattered.

I have things that interest me the are not all related to decor or DIY so I will often add them like a little organization or maybe even a hair consultation.

My home projects are just as scattered.  I have a tendency of starting a few too many projects at one time and not always finishing them in the most timely fashion.  Which is better, putting project posts in a linear order or how they actually occur?