What I’ve Been Up To

I covered for our usual graveyard guy at work for the last two weeks.  Working while everyone is sleeping is really hard.  While I still only worked 8 hour shifts it felt like I had no time to get things done around my house-let alone take pictures and blog.  So, sorry about that.

To catch you up, this is what I’ve been doing:

1.  Mourning the loss of one of my pumpkin plants

4Squash beetles.  I hate them and I’m currently researching how to get rid of them (fun fact: one article says to put something big and yellow somewhere in your yard away from the squash and pumpkin plants-they’ll go there and stay away from your plants!)  I’m afraid my plants are goners for this year but I’m determined to make sure this doesn’t happen again next year!

2.  Turning a dresser into a bench

1My friend just moved into her dream home which has huge walk in closets in every room so she gave me this dresser.  And I’m turning it into a bench for my laundry room.  My lack of a table saw has me stalled here….I think I need a table saw.

3.  Small craft projects

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The above friend has two teen aged daughters and she wanted pinboards for them to hang stuff on in their rooms.  She (and I) loved these from Pottery Barn but holy price tag!  I was confident that I could make something similar so I’ve been working on those.

4.  Small decorating projects

6When I redid my mantel I had my big old window that needed a new home.  I wanted to hang it over my bed but it’s really heavy.  And I like my head so I had to make sure it stayed where I put it so I screwed right through the frame and my hand.

3Okay, through isn’t exactly accurate.  But it hurt(s) and bled a lot.  (PS-anyone read palms and want to tell me my future??)

5.  Car shopping.

My beloved Jeep has finally broken for good so now I’m on the market for something new.  Luckily my parents have loaned me a car so I don’t have to rush but my goal is to be in something new by September.  Right now I’m thinking a Rav4 or a Jeep Patriot.  Any opinions?

6.  Loving my new trashcan

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Yep, it’s pink (but you would already know that if you followed me on Instagram: @awize)  I traded my standard grey one with my friend’s son.  He didn’t love the pink.

7.  And cleaning.  And sleeping.  And keeping up my lawn and the plants in my garden that evil little bugs haven’t eaten.  And getting ready for a trip to Durango for a reunion next week!

-A

Big Picture Redo

Way back in November 2013 I made a big picture to put over my mantel.  It was nice to have something up there and I still love the picture, but I wasn’t loving how it looked up there anymore.

After several changes my mantel has looked like this for the last couple of months:

p1Not terrible but I just wasn’t loving it.

I decided to attach the picture to a piece of plywood and then build a frame around it.  All with stuff I already had.  And I didn’t have any plywood.

Improvisation #1:

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I had a piece of bead board left over from my bathroom project that was slightly bigger than I needed it.  I still don’t own a table saw so I used a combination of an exacto knife and a hand saw.  Luckily it’s not really wood so it cut pretty easily (although not cleanly.)

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Originally I was going to stain the trim around the edges but I had to use a combination of pine and redwood (improvisation #2) so I had to abandon that plan.  I had also planned on setting the picture down into the frame a little bit but since the back board wasn’t real wood I couldn’t nail into the edge so I just set the board on top of the frame and nailed it together (improvisation #3.)

Once everything was fastened it looked like this:

p4I caulked the edge between the board and frame and once that was dry I got to painting.  p5

First I sprayed it wit an aqua spray paint (obviously this was after I had already started to position the picture.)  Once the spray paint was dry I rubbed on a coat of Jacobean stain and let that dry.

Then I put it over the mantel!

p7I love it!  I’m looking for a frame in a size between the one holding the picture of me and Henry and the little one.

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I really wish I had done this sooner!  It was so easy and looks so much better!

-A

Something Pretty

When I read this post I started thinking about what I do when I’m having a bad day.  My stress was high last week so I made a list of things that make me feel less stressed.  At the top of that list is making pretty things.

Sure, I need to vacuum and de-clutter but neither of those things are going to make me feel relaxed.  They’ll also still be things I can do after I de-stress.

So, I had a unused frame, an hour of time and this:

gb3The wall above my guest bed has never really had an arrangement that I liked.  I tried lots of little frames

guest2but didn’t like it.

So I took the back off the frame and used a heavy duty adhesive to glue the glass to the frame.  Once it was dry I scraped off the dried glue that had squished out around the edges.  Then I searched for a quote that I liked.

gb1I used the Design feature on Picmonkey and then printed it out.  Then I laid it out until I found an arrangement that I liked and taped the words to the back of the frame.

gb2Then I used a chalk pen and traced over the words.  It seriously could not have been easier!
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Of course to get to that point I had to fill in all the holes from the small frames and then touch up the paint.  That was seriously the most time consuming part of this project!

gb4Seeing this makes me instantly  happy.  I love how an hour of crafting can bring up my mood and make me feel like I accomplished something!

-A

Driftwood Sign

A few weeks ago my mom found a river worn board while walking her dog and brought it home for me.

After a long week I decided it was time for some crafting stress relief.

sign1I loved the shape of the board but didn’t really have a place for it inside so I found a garden appropriate quote to paint on it.

sign2I printed it out and found a placement on the board that I liked.

sign3Then I just traced over the word.  The wood was soft enough that with slight pressure I had a nice outline left that I could just paint right over.

sign4I wanted to use paint that I already had so I used my kitchen color (Little Sprout by Valspar) and the Fresh Mist I used on my patio chairs.

I had some little sawtooth hangers on hand so I stuck them on the back and took it outside.

sign5I love it over my leaning herb table.  I really need to level it out but that seems like it’s going to be a lot of digging and I just don’t have that kind of energy today!

It seems a little high now, but I wanted to give my plants to grow tall and I also didn’t want the dirt from the pots to splash up onto it while I’m watering.

sign6I’m so glad my mom saw this, grabbed it and brought it back for me!

-A

Plant Markers I Don’t Hate

Last week I made some plant markers that I hated.

Tonight I made some that I really like!
pm1I had these pieces of trim left over from my kitchen and closet projects and thought I could make something pretty out of them.

pm2I cut them into 7″ pieces that I angled at the bottom.

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Then I painted them and sprayed them with some sealer and took some crappy pictures outside, at night.

pm5I’m not sure how these will hold up but if they last this season, I’ll be happy!

pm6I spent $0 (today at least) and about 30 minutes on these….far less time (and money!) than I spent on the ones that I hated!

-A

The Crazy Lady on (blank) Street

∧ that’s me, by the way.

Because, this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s a tree sized apple tree branch tied to my fence, in case you’re wondering.

Confused?  Let’s start at the beginning:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I noticed that my beloved apple tree looked different.  Upon closer inspection I discovered a large branch almost broken off.

I was distressed, obviously, so to Google I went.

I discovered that while this isn’t happy news, it’s also not a disaster.  It did no damage to property and shouldn’t affect the health of the tree.  Fingers crossed.

Before I made any cuts I went out to the other side of the fence to see what was going on there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABig branch!

As I looked closer I noticed

beesBees!  Hundreds of them!  You know me, doing my part to save the bee population!

So I climbed up the ladder with my clean handsaw and cut the branch down.  It was only hanging on by a thread so it didn’t take much effort.

I guess I thought that once I cut the branch from the tree it would just fall down.  It didn’t.

I untangled it from branches still attached to the tree.  Still didn’t budge.

It took a combination of lifting and pulling and wrestling to get it down.  But I finally did.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I had a tree sized branch to deal with.

I wasn’t going to let this go to waste.  I need it for the 100s of craft projects that will work out easily and perfectly in my mind!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I dragged it up the alley and down my driveway.

But of course, it blocked the driveway so I had to cut it up.

The main branch was light after I cut a larger piece off so I just tossed it over my fence.  The piece I cut off though?  Really big and really heavy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhich leads us back to the tree tied to my fence.

I tied it for three reasons.  One-I need to be able to drive through my driveway.  Two-I didn’t want to risk it getting wind damaged and three, call me crazy, I didn’t want anyone to take it.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I think someone might steal a dying tree branch.

Because I would.  See?  Crazy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s so pretty!  Who wouldn’t want it??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThankfully, the tree doesn’t look any worse for the wear either!

I’m really excited to start working on all those crafts-stay tuned!

-A

Christmas Pinterest Party

I love these parties.  I think everyone should have their friends over, eat delicious food and make pretty things.

This was my fourth Pinterest Party (see the first three here, here and here) and I decided to do this one a little differently.  Everyone was asked to pick a small, inexpensive crafty gift from Pinterest and make enough for everyone at the party.  I made a small, small gift and then gathered the supplies for everyone to make something during the party.

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I made this tester frosted glass hurricane and decided it was easy and quick and would be the perfect project.

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And because I have OCD (obsessive crafting disorder) I made another one but put an A sticker on it before I sprayed it.

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Some people wrote words and one did her last name but most of us used a variation of our initials.

I didn’t get pictures of everyone’s 😦 but these are good examples of how they looked.

 

 

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I just love seeing the craftiness of my friends!  I love my Santa W, the pretty candy cane decoration and my personalized mug!  I made the little hair ties and my friend Shiloh brought the Grinch ornaments.

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I thought it was a perfect party.  We ate, and talked, and ate, and crafted, and ate and laughed.  And the best part was that Henry was well behaved!

-A