Friday, August 31, 2012

Skillet Fried Pizza, and Yes You Read that Correctly

OK...this may not go down as my shining moment of glory in life.  But you might just be surprised at how good something like this can turn out.

Let me start off by saying that it State Fair's fault, because they are always deep frying tons of shenanigans and that is how this all got started.  Although for the record, I did not (inhale, HAHAH) deep fry the pizza.

What you need:
-A thin pizza crust, the kind you buy in the store and slap the ingredients on and pop in the oven, personal pan size
-The ingredients of your liking
-Mozz, or your favorite pizza cheese
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I like my oil like I like my life (HA on a roll here)
-A skillet, I used my ten inch.  Clearly needs to be slightly bigger than your crust

First, you are going to need to put just enough or a slight bit more EVOO in your skillet to cover the bottom.  You don't want to add a whole bunch in because this thing is bread it will soak it up, but it is not a make or break thing, as long as you don't go overboard.  Put it on a midrange heat setting, maybe just a notch higher. 

Olive oil gets really hot once it gets going and likes to pop all over the place, just warning you.  If it gets to hot just pull the skillet off the heat for a few seconds and turn your heat down.

Start it with the "ingredient" side up, and let it fry for a minute or two, then flip.  Again, let that go until it starts to get some color on it and flip again.  While it is crisping up on bottom, toss on your ingredients.  Here are some things to consider:

  • It is fine to have a frozen ingredient, for instance I used mushrooms, but you have to make sure it is something that will unthaw and get hot in a few minutes, I ended up zapping mine in the microwave because I am impatient.
  • Plan ahead want you want on this thing because it does not take all that long to fry and you may have to cook some ingredients ahead
  • You can always get the ingredients heating up, and if you really need to get the pizza off the heat you can always finish melting the cheese in the microwave (which I did because again, I am highly impatient).
So after you have flipped the bugger ingredient side up, make short work of topping it with yummies and pop a lid over your skillet so it can trap the heat in and send it circulating down to melt your cheese.  Again, I was way too impatient for it to go to work, so I zapped it.  Perfectly acceptable, and highly delectable.

Now, let me tell you how to alter this to completely blow your mind and your calorie count for the day:

86 the skillet.  Go to an electric griddle.  If you don't own one get off your duff and go buy one.  By far one of the best toys to own in the kitchen.  If you were so inclined you could put a nice pat of butter down on your sizzly griddle (300-350 heat setting) and THEN pop this pizza on it. 

In fact, t'were it me, I would put a bit of butter on the top of the pizza so when I flipped it it had lots to work with.

Now you could go ahead and top this with savory, normal pizza items, but consider this as well:


On a fried pizza...

I have to go buy apple pie filling...

No but seriously this pizza was awesome and could happily take a wide range of toppings.  I think this would be right on the money for something like a BBQ chicken pizza as well. 

But seriously try that dessert idea I have a feeling it is going to be awesome when I try it...

I would not suggest using EVOO on a griddle.  At all.  Only butter.  Not margarine either.  And don't buy that unsalted junk!  Can you tell I'm picky? Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wearable Washer

Well I decided to not just stop with a cliffhanger of the pendant drying, with my beloved audience sitting in hopeless limbo, wondering what became of that resin covered beauty! (I have been studious all day, excuse the melodrama).  Anyway, though you may not have been on the edge of your seat wondering what it would look like as a necklace...

I was.

Now, I usually use chain.  I love chain, I prefer it to beads, I almost never use beads.  Which is why I have a zillion of them.  Since I am on a kick currently of using what I have, I decided I would give beads a shot.  I used:

-Wildfire cord
-Necklace closure, I opted for a bronze toggle

To make a bail for this one, I made a loop behind it and then just wrapped the wire around the washer AND around the loop to close it in. Then I decided I didn't like how big it was so I folded it down, turned it, and wrapped more wire through and around it to get it to come out like this.

Wire is very friendly, I highly recommend it.

If you are going to alternate beads like so, I highly suggest laying them out first in the exact order you want so you can put them on the cord in that order.  It makes it much simpler than picking from piles.

I used translucent beads in brown, yellow, and tan, along with orange beads and small metallic gold beads.

I tied the wildfire to one side of the closure, added the beads, then tied off the other side.

I attached my necklace with a jump ring.

I have not yet, but here after while will be putting E6000 on the knots to double secure them.

I rarely do this, but I figured this might be an easier way to really see what the necklace came out like.

You are going to have to forgive my phone on this one, I was using the camera that faces you on the iphone and it picks up light weirdly I have noticed.  So I realize that you cannot really get the full effect of how awesome the pendant looks with all this.

I think it would be really fun to decoupage these large washers with magazine pages, especially from natgeo.  Those are by far my favorite magazines to use for stuff like that.

Again, I usually don't like beads.  But I actually think this works, probably because of the variation in the beads.  This could easily be upped into a statement necklace, or something incredibly interesting (but keep in mind heavy) by using the foil treatment on more smaller washers as well.  Although I happen to think the resin would drive you insane for those.

All this really reminds me is that if I am going to have stuff to sell at a festival coming up in October...I really need to start making some stuff....


Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Metal Flake Washer Pendant

I decided to craft while I roast some yumminess in the oven.  Mainly because most of my crafting does not take as much uninterrupted attention like my google sketchup and GIS work does.  So far my fire alarm has not chosen to go far.

Granted, that could be because I silenced it.  I currently have it suffocating in a hefty bag.  You're welcome, Hefty.  I just got you a knew marketing zone for your zippy bags.

Back to crafts.  Excuse my target bag, but this guy is what we are going today.  He is a large washer that I am turning into a metal flake pendant.  For all you steampunk lovers, he would be a BEAUTIFUL base on which to add cogs and studs and other bolts and things....

Snap, now I wish I had done that instead.

What you need:
-A large washer, 97 cents at Wal-Mart.  I completely understand if you don't want to go suffer through going to Wal-Mart, I am not sure how much they are elsewhere.
-Metal Flake/Gold Leaf, whatever you want to call it.  I got this mixed bag at Hobby Lobby last year and it has lasted me a good while. I am probably not even halfway through it yet.
-Mod Podge (as always)
-Perfectly Mixed Resin (or use more mod podge, I am a craft-snob and prefer the end look of resin)

First, note to self that a target bag is actually a really annoying background.  My apologies, and dually noted.

Anyway, slap a good coat of Mod Podge on your washer.  I am passed the point of even bothering to find brushes anymore if you want the truth. 

After you get the Mod Podge on, get the glue off your fingers before you go sticking them in your metal flake unless you just want to be annoyed.  Skip this step if you were not lazy and actually used a brush or sponge to put it on.

OH! That would be a great use for makeup sponges- Mod Podge Applicators...also noted.

Start putting your metal flake on, I usually get out a pinch, plop it on there, and spread it out afterward, tapping down the loose edges where I can.  The resin will be helpful on keeping them down as well.
After you get it how you want it (especially if you are mixing colors and mediums, etc) mix up your resin. Apply your resin with a brush or your preferred applicator, I used the fancy technology known only as...a plastic spoon.  It is what I mix my resin with so it just makes sense.

While you are doing this, or maybe before, you need to come up with a pedestal or something you can set your pendant on.  If you set it directly on the bag you better hope that NO resin leaks over the side or you are going to have it stuck on there.  You might be able to get it off, but it is really easier to just have something to set it on.  I used beer caps.  I have a lot that people have given me (they know I make jewelry and they actually go to all the work to save them, thanks friends!) so I put 2 cap towers in 3 places. 

Ridge side down on bottom, ridge side up on top.  This way, the resin has less surface area that it can stick to when it dries. 

My plans for this washer are to wrap bronze wire around whatever I determine to be the top and turn it in to a pendant.  These are great to hang things in the middle as well, for example a smaller washer that maybe you did in another metal, eh? You can also put a second smaller washer on top, but keep in mind with anything you add that it will add weight.  This guy is not the lightest thing in the world as is.

So I am hoping to make him a bail with wire, and then to put him on a chunky bronze or mixed metal chain.  I love mixing metals and chain sizes, and I really think it adds a lot to the interest of a necklace.

Metal flake is great to have you can make some super simple pendants with it, just by using it with resin in plastic resin molds.  There are also plenty of products out there that allow you to make your own molds for resin, so I am just saying that the possibilities are extensive.
Conveniently, I had another picture of something I did last year.  This is resin in a triangular mold, wrapped with bronze wire, and on a brown ribbon chain. 

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pesto Pasta Perfection

First off, I might as well go ahead and dedicate this entire post to my mom.  First of all, she let me use her wifi card at my apartment so that I can avoid the crappy internet issues when I need to.  Second, she gave me the best tip ever that I will pass along to you in the spirit of good will and good food.

As both are necessary components of LIFE.

Today, we are making a little dish I like to call "Pesto Pasta Perfection" as our craft.  I love food.  I spent my entire senior year of college watching the food network (I really did not have homework).  And I have attempted to try new things and new recipes while at college.  Pesto is something I have been in love with for quite some time, although I have not progressed into making my own yet.

But I have progressed into a multitude of recipes for it and great ways to stretch it further.

Without further ado...

- 1/2 cup or so of pasta (basically however much you make for yourself, I do all my recipes in one person measurements, as I am one person).  My version of measuring pasta is a couple of handfuls really.  And like rice, I always make too much.
-3-5 mushrooms, I prefer bella, amount varies by size and how many you prefer, cut into slices or quarters (I like to do first one way and then the other)
-1/2 a vine tomato, cut into large cubes
-A handful of spinach leaves (I prefer baby spinach)
-About 1/4-1/3 c of pesto (I used a soup spoon scoop, you may tailor yours to your OCD and to your taste preferences)
-About 1/3 c of sour cream (again, I used a soup spoon scoop but had it more mounded than my pesto)  I would say 1/4 pesto and 1/3 sour cream is nearly spot on to what I did.
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-Olive Oil
-Mozzarella Cheese

Here is a little teaser of what we are shooting for.  Ignore my lack of fancy photography, I live and die by my iPhone camera.

Anyway, cook your pasta, as you can see here mine is tri color rotini, until it is as you like it. Some like it al dente, I prefer mine a little more cooked.  I don't time my pasta (go figure).  Pasta tends to get less translucent when it is nearing completion, so I check it every so often until then and when it looks right, I taste it.  Usually it needs another 2 minutes, sometimes not.
I am so sorry if anyone reading this is OCD.  I am just really not a precise person when it comes to cooking. 

While you are cooking this pasta, get a skillet heating with some EVOO and/or butter.  You just need enough to grease up the bottom a bit, I often end up using both, starting with EVOO and inevitably adding butter at the end.  I don't know why I do it, I just always have.

It is perfectly ok and possibly even a little helpful if the mushrooms are frozen.  At first I thought the water they release from freezing was going to mess things up, it does not.  You will want to add the mushrooms first, cook them a minute or two and flip them over, give them another minute or so, and throw in your tomatoes.  The spinach will just need a few minutes to cook down, so that can come in later toward the end.  I would say I probably cooked all of them in a skillet for maybe around 8-10 minutes, as I had the mushrooms started not too terribly long after my pasta.

After your pasta is done, drain it in to a collander or strainer of choice, I like to leave mine sitting for a second, and grab your mushroom mixture and drain it over the pasta.  This is why I said it is perfectly fine that the veggies juice up when cooking.

Tump everything back into the pot you cooked the pasta in, you can set it on your stove, counter, or back on your burner, whichever you choose, and add in the pesto and sour cream.

Give it all a good stir and watch it turn into a creamy yummy awesomeness.  All technical terms.  You can add in a handful or desired amount of mozzarella at this point, or add parmesan if you prefer.

Either mix it in while it is on your burner on a lower heat setting and let it heat up and melt, or do what I did, put it out into a bowl, add the cheese, and zap it for 30 seconds in the microwave.  The coolness of the sour cream and pesto cool down your dish a lot, so it likely won't melt the cheese as much as you might hope on its own.

Then it will come out looking like this.  YUMMY!  The sour cream is great because pesto tends to have a really strong flavor that can be a bit of a turnoff to some people.  I can easily eat straight pesto but I only use very small scoops at a time (this dish was a slight bit larger of a scoop than usual, but I also have leftovers).  Sour cream tends to be less expensive than most pesto, unless you find it on manager's special at Kroger and such, which I occasionally do. It is a great way to stretch the pesto while still having an incredibly flavorful sauce.

You can also add flavor by adding herbs to your veggies when you cook them.  I only put salt and pepper on mine, and I love how it all turned out.

If that happens, stock up and freeze it is my opinion.  It unthaws well.  Maybe even freeze in smaller containers if you are savvy like that!

I tend to be a lazy bum on garlic bread and usually don't bother turning on my oven for it, and cannot justify to myself the calorie counts on those frozen texas toast ones, so I put some wheat bread in the toaster, buttered it immediately on pop up, and sprinkled some garlic on it.  Simple, satisfying, quick, all words that I like.

This is a super simple dish to make and one that can easily be upscaled to your household needs.  It is something that I think a wide range of people would like the taste of, much more so than only using pesto in it.  For variations, do this with ravioli, tortellini, different pastas, and additions like chicken seasoned with rosemary and basil (another personal favorite of mine). 

College never tasted so good.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Penguin Ornament

Anyone who knows me knows I love penguins.  They are super cute the way they waddle all around and whatnot.

Anyone who knows me knows I don't like boys who look like penguins.  True story, one time I could not keep flirting with a guy because his face reminded me so much of a penguin it tripped me out.  Penguin penguins = good, human penguins= bad.

Naturally as I am creating ornaments for my future tree, penguins had to be on there.  And what looks exactly like a penguin? An upside down lightbulb! You have probably seen this done a few times, and here is my take on it.

-White and black puffy paint, or white puffy and black glass leading (which is what I used)
-A bead or scrap of paper
-Ribbon or other color of puffy paint for a scarf (optional)

I started out this project by using the glass leading and basically dividing my bulb into four vertical quadrants for my hot air balloon.

Wait, you say, this is about penguins!

Yes, that is true, but it started being about hot air balloons.  Rule #1, always have a backup plan.

I did not create a hanger out of wire first and let me tell you right now that was a huge mistake.  Luckily I was still able to wrap wire around the metal part later and create a hanger but do us both a favor and start with this.

I was doing some squiggles on my hot air balloon when I decided they were ugly and I was over it.  So I used my finger and smeared the 3 quadrants I had squiggled into a solid black but textured mass.
I then added the white puffy paint in the remaining quarter.  I decided it needed a little more flair in the white so I went over some of the black areas as well.  Then I decided he needed some flippers so I put those in over the white. 

That is why this 3D paint is better than just regular ole paint, because he comes out with some texture.

I used an orange bead I had for the nose and gave him some happy eyes, which I may end up changing later but I think I like.

After the paint dries (because I currently cannot touch it) I am going to add him in a ribbon scarf (red).

I think this would be uber cute to put feet on, even if they were painted up the bottom front of him with orange or yellow puffy paint.  I just didnt have such fancy things.
Also, consider using something like FlowerSoft or glitter on the white part (but if you decide to do that then do the white first so you don't get it all over the black) to give him a little added character or to make him look more snowy.

Excellent use of a burned out lightbulb, in my opinion.

Oh, and if you are wondering, I have him drying by clipping him on to the bottom shelf of my hanging closet organizer, dangling over a tub lid in case he falls so he won't ruin my carpet.

Oh the shenanigans.

Now, off to bed, I have a 7:30AM Departmental Breakfast Date.  I do love me some breakfast. Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why didn't they think of that?

Alright this is going to be short and sweet and doesn't involve pictures because it is so self explanatory.  To preface how this came about, Ball State gave the urban and regional planning masters each a studio space, complete with a desk and file cabinets. This prompted me to determine ways to organize the large cabinets and spaces more effectively. They are all metal, which got me to thinking about magnets.

And then led to my best idea yet- magnetic command hooks. Originally I was going to attach business card magnet backs to the hooks because they are very strong and secure. However, since I was not able to locate my pack of them, I opted to use the roll of magnetic backing I found

It's really as simple as that. They become completely handy in an office setting, great for my studio space, and interesting idea for potential home use (tool belt hanging on a hook by a big metal toolbox anyone?) (gun accessories hung in a gun cabinet?) and are durable as long as you use a good magnetic backing which is simple to find.

I often make photo magnets and tile magnets with the business card backs, so they were my first choice.

Also with the magnet idea came attaching magnets to the undersides of my pencil holders and desk drawer organizers to keep them in place when I yank open the drawer.

Ah, another use for magnetic hooks might be hanging your downy ball on the side of your washer when not in use.

I mean I understand that as far as crafts go this may not be life altering, but I sure did find it to be a darn good idea.

Until next time! Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Super Simple DIY Bag

So you have to cut me some slack here, I could have done this infinitely better.  But consider this a rough sketch.  Don't you just have a day sometime where you don't want to find the darn scissors and glue?

That's me today, and I had a scrap of wallpaper I needed to use.

Tired of hearing about that same wallpaper?

Too bad.

-Rectangular scrap of paper, doesn't matter the size
-Glue (I cheated, I used glue dots)
-Hole punch
-String, ribbon, something
-Scissors if you need to trim the paper or need to cut it

To start out, I folded it roughly in to not quite thirds.  That is technical terminology and you need to remember that.

Again, you would likely want to have it all nice and trimmed and stuff, but it was just going to be a nuisance for me.

From this you can fold up the sides to see how big you want the bottom to be and then crease it accordingly.

See what I am talking about? So you fold this guy up to decide where you want to fold. 

After you fold and put a hard crease in it, tear (ok fine cut it if you insist) the little part that will make up the side of the bottom flap.

You want to be able to fold the sides in toward each other and then fold that inner part up on them as well.

It will make more sense in the next picture.  It is a little hard to explain in words I suppose.

So here is where you are going with this.  You don't really have to put the sides completely over each other, you could attach them in the middle and then fold and connect the bottom flap accordingly, but this is just super simple this way.

Yours will look better than mine becasue you will glue it down like a nice crafter that you are.

And yours won't look mangled, because you are such a nice crafter.

Me, I am a hurricane and my stuff just looks like this all the time.

Again, rough sketch.

Continue to fold away, and fold the little top parts down if you like, or put another paper over them, as I would have liked to have done with gold paper with this particular wallpaper.

Then, punch holes in each side to thread something through, I would really suggest some cute ribbon.  But part of my challenge was to use things I had already.

When you use glue instead of mounting dots, your sides won't look all mangley like this poor little bag.  If you needed something sturdier than just the paper itself you would obviously want to use something like cardboard in the bottom of it, maybe from the pack of a scrappack or something.

The point is, follow these relative guidelines and make a bag any size, any time, using scraps of whatever you have!
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Hey, Hey Good Lookin': Menu Board Day 24

Well, I wanted it to say that.  But it ended up being way better than what I imagined.  I love planning my meals by the week.  It seriously makes it go so much easier during the week and it helps me utilize leftovers, like rice.  Can anyone actually make just the right amount of rice? Because I most certainly canNOT. 

So, let's make a menu board!

-Frame and glass, I used an 18x24 poster style (but higher quality) frame that we found in the house
-Scrapbook paper in colors and patterns of choice, I used damask, black, and green
-Glue or adhesive, I used mounting dots because I did not feel like messing with glue
-Wire or attachment mechanism if your frame does not have one
-Stamps, ink, or letters

Pardon this for being upside down.  I was too lazy to switch it.  Stand on your head if need be.

Anyway, the first step is clearly to get the hideous artwork out of the frame.  Turn the artwork into OUTWORK. 

I had to break this because it was a picture mounted on dense foam, so I ended up making a backing out of wallpaper that I could put my scrapbook paper on, and later on I put the broken pieces back in behind it to keep it sturdy.

Start layering in your papers.  I used two different 12x12 damask pages, and put a black strip between them to disguise the fact that I could not splice them perfectly without causing myself a headache. 

You know how it goes, hide your errors and fake it 'til you make it.

I used 2 12x12 sheets of green paper and ended up cutting down the pieces to about 2x4 or so by the time I was done with it.  Maybe 3x4.  I had to just keep cutting it.  You could do something fancy like measure and figure out the perfect size.

I added in the sticker letters for "the menu" and stamped the days of the week onto the green blocks.  I almost used R for Thursday because I am so used to college schedules.

If you are wondering about the two random flowers, I had to put them in to cover up an error.  I really don't think that anyone would have noticed it but I likely would have stared at it. And stared.  And stared.

So, you can write on these with dry erase right onto the glass, if it does not come up you can use something like a magic eraser or hand sanitizer and it should come right off for you. 

I always lose the little pieces of paper that I write my week down on, so I am incredibly excited to have this.  And the best part is, it will look perfect with my bright green Rachel Ray cookware...

That I got at Burlington Coat factory for $100.  SCORED!

I also think that one of this size could be done for a bigger calendar or organizing idea if need be, I just wanted a really cool piece of art for my kitchen.  You also have plenty of room to add something for a grocery list if you like.

Happy cooking! Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Peacock Ornament

Today I opted to make another ornament for my tree that I currently don't own.  I also drove home for a long weekend because let's face it, one more silent night without that TV and with a lackluster internet connection and I might have gone looneytunes.  It was like solitair-ey confinement...without a deck of cards...

HAHA SEE WHAT I DID THERE?? Solitaire? Cards? Play on words?

Alright fine, ornament it is.

-Plastic or glass ornament, take your pick, whatever is cheaper
-Adirondack or whatever other kind ink you want to use (I buy the Tim Holtz stuff) in colors of choice
-Adornment of choice (for me it was a peacock feather)
-Wire, glue, or whatever you need to attach your adornments

So basically you just drip the the ink in random patterns around the ornament.  This stuff blends really well so it comes out with a great fluid look to it.

After doing this with just blue and green, I would like to take a moment and suggest using a metallic ink.  I think it would add a lot to this, although for this particular thing clear is more than sufficient. 

I tried to use Tattered Angels stuff in there and it just simply did not work.

Again, get a metallic ink.

Next, cut your adornment to fit on top and attach it with whatever method you choose.

I know, not descriptive, but this is so open to interpretation.
This is a terrible picture, I understand that, but it marbles really well and looks really cute.

And how awesome will this be on my tree that is completely personalized with ornaments of all sorts of shenanigans?!

Again, please put some metallics and rhinestones on this guy when you all try it because ornaments need some sparkle!

Overall, it is a nice second ornament for my someday tree.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Steampunk, Revisted. Day 22

Admittedly, I thought this day was going to involve a yummy recipe for hawaiian bbq yummy pork scrumptiousness. 

Well it doesn't.  And since my lack of foresight in packing has murdered my craftability, I decided to put the finishing touches on my steampunk pendant and go ahead and make it a necklace so that it could be worn at my discretion. 

I used:
-The pendant
-bolts and washers
-old pieces of a jeweled necklace
-jump rings
-old earring pieces
-toggle clasp

It is really pretty straightforward here, I just hooked all the various components together to come up with something delicate yet industrial. 

I really think that is going to be my overall theme in my urban planning career.  Mixing old infrastructure and designs in with new sleek designs for this mix of the old and new.  I am pretty excited about it really.

Alright I am also still insanely nervous about my classes and still think I am going to struggle with them.  But other than that I am excited.

Today we got our own cubby spaces.  We have desks and cabinets and drawers and whatnots, all that will be ours until we graduate.  Or have a mental breakdown and leave.  Whichever comes first.  Haha!

I am hoping that my cubby space will be a craft of the day soon.  I have every intention of making it a highly organized and well stocked (with snacks) area that I will enjoy being in for long periods of time.  Because seriously, I can't handle working in this apartment all day.

Mostly because I end up sleeping and not working.

Tomorrow I am going home to get my TV, more crafty things, and all the other junk I forgot.  Like my cookie sheet.

Who forgets a cookie sheet?? Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 Cupcakes

Fair warning, another super good craft with a me moment at the end!

ALRIGHT I only made 12 cupcakes not 21, but it's day 21 and that counts.  But still.  First, note that I teeeeecccchnically did this yesterday.  HOWEVER, it was such a good result, but not good enough that I could bump the steampunk pendant, so I decided to expand on it and use it today.  And then I came up with the single best idea ever, and so it is really more like a new one at this point.

Not that I really got to try out my idea, but it combines two I have done previously, so it would work amazingly.

Ready for it?

LOW FAT LEMON LIGHTIES!!! yes, low fat.

-1 box super moist white cake mix (with the pudding) 15.whatever size the box is nowadays
-2 lemon chobani yogurts
-Slightly under 1 cup of water (unless you find an 18.25 ounce box in which case go ahead and use a full cup)
-1 regular size tub of low fat cool whip (or fat free, I just happened to find LF on sale at the time)

For the Cupcakes:
Mix the cake mix, one lemon chobani, and the water together.  This is one of the few times I don't even feel the need to break out the Kitchenaid.  And I mean VERY FEW TIMES.  Anyway, give that a good mixer-rama until it is all incorporated, and fill 12 lined cupcake wells with the mix.  It might have made a few more, but I ate a bit of the doesn't have raw eggs so I got a little over excited :).  I personally filled mine up a good ways, it was AT LEAST 2/3 of the way full in each cup.  It is a thick batter, so it really doesn't spill over much.

Bake these at 350F, and pretty much follow the baking times.  I believe mine were in there for maybe just shy of the 18 minutes it calls for on cupckaes, but since I am not used to this gas oven and my smoke detector when off at least 20 times and I was scrambling around, I really have no idea how long they were in there.  I turned the oven off at first because the alarm scared me, but decided that I was not going to give up on them and gave it another whirl with all of my windows open and fans going everywhere.  So my best advice is check them around 15, they probably won't need too much longer and I doubt would reach 20 in there.  Use the toothpick test on the center of them and you will be just fine.

This whole cake plus yogurt stuff has been on Hungry Girl btw.

If my stupid internet (worst connection EVER) allows me to upload a picture, I am hoping that right here will be where you see how good the inside of them looks.  Look at those air bubble holes so typical of many cuppycakes.  Look at that lovely color and thourough cooking.  Look at my internet symbol telling me I have no internet access and yet here I am still typing away hoping for the best...

What pretty cuppycakes.  Anyway, if you just do the lemon and the white it does not come out with a very strong lemon flavor but does taste extremely good.  I would almost say I like it a little better than typical vanilla.  But maybe it is the texture that I like so well.  It is close to a regular cupcake but a little more substantial, if you will. Thicker, maybe is a good word for it. QUICK INTERNET ADD PICTURES!!

AHAHA new found spot to work, going rogue and laying on my dining room floor.  Strangely it vastly helps my connection to one of the routers.  Oh well, I'll take it, I will even break out my sleeping bag if need be.

I had absolutely nothing to ice these with when I made them.  After setting off my alarm as many times as I did, I really did not even care.  But I got to thinking about it today, mostly because I had these in the fridge overnight since my counter space is limited (highly advise).  And what I came up with was partnering these with some other deliciousness I made a few months ago.

MIX your remaining lemon chobani into your coolwhip.  Or maybe even Dream Whip if you are fancy pants such as that.  Anyway, this by itself is completely freaking delicious, but on top of these cupcakes and the whole dealio being in the fridge is completely the way to go.  This is absolutely doable for a cake instead of cupcakes (poke cake style with lemon jello possibly), and is a great way to cut out a lot of the fat and sneak some protein in. 

Not that it necessarily makes them healthy per se, but it sure does take them a huge step in the right direction.

All in all, I have had a rough start to my graduate career.  I am not sure I am capable of doing it, I am used to passing things in flying colors with relatively little effort.  Grad School, on the other hand I think will push me to my limits and possibly even my breaking point and that has me a little on edge.  I have however started to make friends and that is cool and all, but seriously this internet thing is killing me.

Talk about first world problems.

This is why I sometimes get really mad at myself- here I am complaining that my internet doesn't work in my cozy little apartment whereas campus is under a mile away and I could always go use theirs.  We never realize how completely dependent and somewhat lazy we become living in such a great country where most of us have stuff handed to us, do we?

And boohoo, grad school will be hard.  Others don't ever get the chance to attend graduate school and here I am not only attending it, but doing it mostly on someone else's dime.

So yes, I am officially a little first world twit.  And it irks me greatly.  I feel some self evaluation and reflecting coming on.  I also have this sneaking feeling that I am right where I need to be, as much as I hate to admit it.

You know those moments, when you know God does something that you can't ignore? I think I just had one.  A friend texted me completely out of the blue that I have not talked to in a good long while, just to wish me luck at grad school.  I had been thinking about emailing this guy a while back but was not sure what email he was using. 

Well played, God, well played.  Keep sending me the messages (but don't email them my wifi sucks).

Amen. Pin It Now!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Steam Punk Funk, Day 20

Warning, this involves a craft and then a philosophic (sort of) trip through the inner workings of my mind.

Lately I have been really interested in steam punk style jewelry.  It is really interesting to me just because of how basic the components are yet how interesting the outcome is.  My spoon necklace pendant was a cutesy version of it, and I decided to do another pendant that was more mechanical looking.

I used:
-A metal hoop off another necklace that used to have a jewel hanging in the hoop.  I took that jewel out.
-Washers and small bolts
-Key charms
-Watch gears
-Silver wire

I used the wire to attach a key to the hoop and also to attach a large washer to the hoop.  I thought this might make a more interesting bail as opposed to making a wire one.

When I originally tried this pendant, I used a long piece of copper wire and tried to wrap all the components with the same piece and it just looked so messy I could not handle it.

Though Steampunk style things are, in my opinion, bizarre and strange, one thing they are not is messy.  I had to take the whole thing back apart and start new.  I am not sure why I hated the copper wire so terribly, but it had to go.  As you can see here, I opted for silver.  Gauge is up to you, mine is around 26 so it is easy to wrap with.

I have started calling this pendant "Timing is Key" since there are watch pieces and whatnot in it.  Yep, I am a nerd that names my pieces.
Continue to attach widgets and schmidgets until you get a look you are happy with.  Again, I cannot stress how much I like this clean look with individual connections as opposed to using one large piece of wire. 

It looked haywire.

My biggest issue so far has been making necklace chains that I like my SP inspired jewelry on.  My spoon pendant is proving the most difficult, or maybe I am just proving to be more picky than I expected.

I never thought I would find myself identifying with crafts.  But I really do identify with this.  Timing is everything, and it is something I have really been in an epic battle with myself over.

I am a human born with a sense of urgency, I don't feel like I have much time to do what needs to be done.  It could just be because in my perception of time it moves alarmingly quickly.  I think it also goes back to my periodic struggles in faith.  Whenever I am going through one of my low-points, I seem to become a lot more agitated about time and how I am spending it. 

It's really all rather interesting, I am a person that looks around and find it hard to believe that all of this came from nothing.  Here is my usual train of thought:
- Evolution in no way shape or form is an issue with religion in my opinion.  The Bible progresses sequentially, evolution progresses sequentially, and no maybe they don't match perfect but we also don't know if either side has portrayed the whole picture (ie things getting jumbled in orative passings versus science only being sure until the next breakthrough discovery is found, and similar).  I really don't think that the "seven days" thing is literally meant as seven since there are ample versus depicting that time is something different to God, and it fully could be that it was told that way so that people would understand it.  I mean seriously ponder 7 days and then ponder billions of years and you tell me which is easier to get your mind around.
-It is completely mindboggling that we just "happen" to be right where we need to be when the slightest hair of closer or further from the sun would have us goners.
-Even if there is a multiverse, which has not nor likely can be proven...HOW DID IT GET THERE? This is my biggest thing of arguments like the multiverse, it seems even more ludicrous to me that there would be a mechanism producing universe after universe that just happened to get there.
-No matter what exactly spawned this universe...HOW DID IT GET THERE?  I am of the mindset that something of matter has to come from something else.  It needs the right ingredients and it needs a component,  all machines need an engineer.

Now, my problem is I often turn all this around and ask myself, ok, well then how did God get there? And then I throw myself into a continuous loop and really it is not something that a 22 year old usually ponders.  Which is exactly why I cannot talk to it with my friends, because absolutely none of them ponder it to the rather insane extent that I do.  At least not that I know of. 

I do find it intriguing what William Lane Craig proposes of a disembodied mind being God.  And maybe that is where I find myself getting tripped up. Because I often forget that Jesus came as man but God Himself stayed solely in the spiritual world.

I also find out of body experiences to be very intriguing. Also intriguing, is the scientific principle that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.  What is here is here and will be here and always was here.  Now that is a very interesting thing, because that is exactly what God said about Him, far before scientific times.

I also think about how long people have been praying to Gods in some form and believing in the spiritual things, and I consider that to be valuable evidence because it is not like this is something that just sprung from nowhere when Jesus arrived on the scene.

I will digress with the inner workings of my mind, as you probably did not expect to read that from a steam punk pendant.  But I have this odd feeling that this blog and this challenge are going to turn in to so much more than what I had expected.

And that is something I do like the prospect of.

Until next time. Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

T-Shirt Headband, Day 19

Sound the alarm, I tried to sew again :).  Just kidding, it really did not turn out that bad.  I had a blue Arizona T Shirt that I haaaaated since the day I bought it (too big) and decided to make something out of it.

Originally, I was going to rehab the neckline like I keep seeing people do...

Well mine turned out HIDEOUS.   Maybe it was the material, maybe just user error, but it was really rough looking. So instead, I decided to try my luck at a headband.

-A t-shirt, with a section cut from the middle and one of the sleeves cut (angled, poorly, however you prefer to cut)
-Needle and thread
-A bead or button (optional)

You will want to cut a section from the middle of your shirt.  The width is completely up to you, keep in mind you will fold it over to sew.  I used the front part of my section, cutting it away from the back at the seams.

Stitch the sides together (it does not have to be perfect, thankfully) in whatever stitch you know, and then flip it inside out once you get the side done and your thread tied off. 

Next, figure out where you need to sew the two ends together to make it the right size for your head (or rig up a button or closure if you know what you are doing). Stitch the ends together, again, not worrying too much if it is perfect.

Why would it not need to look nice, you ask? Simple, we are going to cover it up.  Fake it til you make it!

Take the sleeve of your shirt (does not need to be cut it can still be a circle) and start bunching it like so.   Or really any way you want so that it comes out looking flower-y. I like to keep the seam side out so it looks more like I knew what I was doing.

Play around with it until you get a look you like.

I was going for a sort of pansy flower shape for mine.

Anyway, once you get it as you like it secure the shape with thread.  I always think more is more when it comes to thread, just so hopefully overstitching will keep it together.

When you get the flower stitched, take a small bead or button and sew it in to the center of the flower.  I like to send my thread through the bead multiple times. 

If you have enough thread left, go ahead and sew the flower to the headband, tacking down petals as needed so that it all stays perfectly in place.

In the end you should come out with something surprisingly cute like this!

I would have shown it on my head, as it fits remarkably well, but I am opting for a "look like a scrub" day.  Heehee.

I think this would be really neat to do with a shirt that had a print on it. 

You don't necessarily have to make the flower out of the sleeve, I just used it because it had a nice finished seam so the flower would look far more finished than if I had tried to do it out of a middle scrap.

Mix colors, mix prints, put multiple flowers on there, go crazy!

Best part? COMPLETELY FREE! Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Day 18: Beads Beads Beads

On Pinterest I keep seeing this thing for making these cute vintage looking necklaces using beads and wire, and it frustrates me because the how-to isn't in English and I really want to know how to do it! So like usual, I took matters into my own hands.

-A big bead, I like the crystal looking ones over pearls as they are less frustrating
-26 gauge or so wire (color of your choice)
-Smaller beads
-Wire cutters or scissors

To start off, I cut a very long piece of wire and wrapped it around and through the bead so that it went around it twice. Two works better than one, but one is possible as well.

Next, I wrapped the short end of the wire around the wire looped over the bead so that my end would stay in place.  The long leftover end is the one you will want to string beads on, one at a time.  I strung the bead on and looped the end of the wire under the 2 that circumvent the bead, and followed suit with more beads after.

Do this one bead at a time, for a very long time. 

The only reason I prefer crystal beads to pearls is the offsets in them make it MUCH easier to get under the wire.  If you use a pearl bead or smooth round bead of any sort, you might consider not wrapping your wire quite as tight, but still tight enough that the wires won't flop around.

You could always put a dab of E6000 on at the end, which is what I pretty much suggest for everything.

After I got all the way around this bead, I decided to try something a little different.  I moved the two strands closer together and added a third in the back.  I really think I would like it with 4, but my bead supply for those small brown beads is a little low until I go home again.  When you have it as you like it, simply twist the remaining wire either back into the bead, or make a loop and twist it around itself multiple times to form a good connector that you can put jump rings through.

As you can see, I also did this with beads that were closer in size.  I really like the little yellow guys and how they turned out, even though the pearls gave me trouble.

There is no reason to think that you could not add another layer of beads in, the problem is just finding some that work really well with the aesthetic you are going for.  I am not good yet with doing the second layer, so I opted to not.

I think these beaded beads (if you will) are rather interesting mixed in with other strands, chains, and similar.  It adds an interesting texture in, and I also think they would make really cute earrings.

If you do a lot of stuff with beads you probably have a ton left over from random projects that aren't quite enough to use for a big necklace, but might be just enough for something such as this.

It is also a good use of seed beads, which are quickly becoming the bane of my existence.

I also moved in to my apartment today for grad school.  It is pretty cute, and I am glad to be able to hang up pictures.  My last school apartment was a super old cinderblock type setup with glossy white paint on the walls, and that combination is impossible to hang stuff.

Tomorrow I have to go tackle grocery if I never post again, it got the better of me...

Just kidding! Until tomorrow! Pin It Now!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Day 17: Pendants ROCK

Numerous years ago (maybe 6 or 7), it matters not how long, I had Betta fish.  Quite a few of them really.  At one point we had 6 jars I believe, and it was a nightmare to clean.  But they were so cute!  But so smelly. 

Anyway, near my senior year or maybe slightly before, I was tired of the fish.  They had dwindled down to a few fish left, and I decided that I would just wait them out and not buy any others.  Naturally, after they were all gone and buried under the willow (I really liked my fish), I had a ton of leftover rocks. 

Recently on pinterest there have been various things about making magnets out of them.  Well I wanted to show you another way to upcycle them into fun and usable goods.


-Larger glass rocks
-Wire (various colors)
-Wire cutters (or scissors if it is not heavy duty wire)

If you want to be less annoyed while doing these, put a spot of E6000 on the back and let the end of the wire dry in it while you do the same to other shapes and colors.

Once it is set, wrap the wire around the rock in various directions or however you choose, wrapping the ends around the wires to "tie" them together.

Experiment with various colors and directions, and add beads if you so desire.

When you have them as you like, cut another smaller length of wire so that you can wrap it through the ones on the back of the rock and make a loop to use as a connector later when you put it on a necklace.

If you are like me, you will want to put another spot of glue on the back at the end, just to make sure it all stays on there nice and snug.

There are many other options available, such as putting pictures behind the rocks before you put the wire on. 

If you were to use stronger wire than what I used, you could also make interesting curls all around the rock, especially by making a base or "nest" so to speak that it could sit in and then wrap the curls over it.

It is a nice way to remember my betta fish, and so nice to not have to clean them now.

Also, consider putting a loop at each end and making a statement necklace out of them! Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day 16: Cake Pop Display

I had to make up for such a lame DIY yesterday with a super cute project perfect for gifting and bake sales.  A friend wanted to order some cake pops for her daughter's birthday, and I decided to give it a go.  Usually I make cake truffles and don't bother with the sticks, but I figured that surely I could manage to put some sweet little cake pops on a stick right?

Well lo and behold it was one of those days where everything that COULD go wrong, DID go wrong.  I received the 175 Best Cakepop Recipes book as a gift a few months ago, and I have a particular recipe in there that I really like to use for a variety of flavors with some slight alterations.  Well, my book was nowhere to be found.  Of course.  So instead of using my recipe that would make 48 I used a recipe from the book that comes with the cakepop maker that makes 24.  Don't get me wrong I used to always use that recipe, but at this point it was stressing me out.

I originally was going to make 2 different flavors and have lots of leftovers.  NOW I HAVE NO LEFTOVERS.  Oh, the humanity.

So, I added fresh strawberries into the mix.  Now, I have heard a million times on Cupcake Wars that fresh fruit alters baking a tad.  And let me tell you it did.  They needed longer time in the machine, they did not end up raising as much, and at this point I was in full out panic mode!  You can't sell someone HALF POPS. 

Luckily, I have developed the ability to roll with the punches.  I quickly decided to cut the top part off the pop so as to effectly make it half what a pop should be, and to put two "halves" on each stick, with filling in the middle. 

So I go to clean the mixer blade and I cannot get the darn thing off the freaking mixer. We have two different kitchenaids, one older than the other, and sometimes the older blade and the newer mixer just don't play nicely.  So I mixed the icing by hand, which I cannot stand doing.  Archaic measures.  Pfft.

But I got it done, made the cake pop samiches and froze them for a bit.  It made it much easier to dip them in chocolate and they dried much faster. And by the time I got them all on the stand, it made it all worthwhile.  They were so cute.  So in addition to telling you how I rolled with the punches, here is the adorable stand and how to make it.

-Florist Foam, the dry blocks are fine, especially if your container is square/rectangle
-Some container, I used the lid of a cake box
-Small Treat bags with twisty ties
-Scrapbook paper in a coordinating color

To make this cutie, I cut the florist foam ever so slightly smaller than the lid.  I of course never seem to have real tape (how does one have an entire craft mecca and NO TAPE?!), so I used mounting dots to attach my paper to the blocks.

For the record, this is about a 6x6 box lid, and I found a 6 pack of foam for $3.99, and used a 40% off coupon.  I had to use two blocks and cut a few pieces off of them.

After I put the cake pops in the treat bags and tied them, I used a pen to puncture the paper/foam and then pushed the cake pop stick in further to secure it in.  I would advise doing one hole at a time so that you can make sure that the cake pops have enough room.

You can also use the box itself as a lid if you need it for transportation purposes.

This is definitely a project that can be any season, any color, and is very simple to put together.  This is perfect for a bake sale display as well.

Until next time! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 15: Dyed Pistachios

Ok I said I'd do something cool...I was wrong. My day got crazy and I have been wanting to see how I could color pistachios for jewelry. Sadly, I can't upload pictures straight from my phone, so I will have to save the shots for another time.

If you google image pistachio jewelry there are a lot of different types. You can also turn pistachios into cute decorated tea light candle holders, or flower looking objects, and similar.

So maybe before you do this you are like me and you want to dye them. Of course the first option is spray paint. That's a given. But I have a few other things you might consider:

Sharpies, first of all, make it to where you have more control over what color goes where. It also gives you the option of potentially adding designs, although I did not attempt this.

By far the easiest way besides spray using something you might already have is ink. I used Tim Holtz ink and just dropped it on to the shells. It spread out and coated them, some I used multiple colors and others I did not. Again, I will have to upload pictures another time. I then sprayed some Tattered Angels spray over it to add a little sheen, and really I could have done without this.

The pistachios will dry pretty quickly, and you can cost them in resin or spray poly for longer durability and to prevent fading.

I did a lot of thinking today. And this is completely random, but economists really bother me. I think half of the issue with our economy is everyone being so doom and gloom. If you hear everyone saying that the economy is going to crash around you it makes you not want to spend at all. Which makes things even worse.

Just like gas, someone says we will have issues or shortages or war and suddenly prices skyrocket even if those don't happen. If people would stop all of this fearmongering, I really think the economy would bounce back much more quickly.

The Bible says don't worry about tomorrow because today has enough issues of its own. If you are constantly prepping for doom how will you ever enjoy the happiness around you now?

An how will you ever be excited enough to save and dye pistachios??

PS, they are hard to put a hole in if you use hammer and nail like I do. I used a small finishing nail and you have to hammer really gently. You probably wouldn't of you coated them in resin first, but I literally just thought of that. So I will need to try that next time I have resin mixed.

Talk about upcycling! Save those nuts :)!

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Day 14: Peace Fork

So I like to make things now out of silverware.  My great grandmother's silverware...luckily I think she would have enjoyed silverware necklaces.  And she did not buy things that match so it's alright.

You will need:
-A hacksaw, mine is a mini
-Silverware, look for real silver although it possible to bend the stainless, and I am betting that with extensive work it can be cut as well.
-Sand paper or a metal file

I cut the fork off as shown and bent two tines down.  I tried to make sure they touched the fork so that I could put it on a necklace later.

I also had to bend the other two tines slightly out so that they looked more peace-y.

You will want to run the base where you cut over a file or sand it down, it is a little rough afterward.

That is pretty much all there is to this part.

I threw it on this necklace because it was really the only thing I had not taken apart for the beads yet, and to show you a point. 

You will want to put this on a necklae and you will likely have to back the bent tines up a little so that it hangs better.  You will then have to squeeze them again so that they touch the base again.

You can also bend the tines forward a bit so that they hang in front of the necklace.

Or you can attach a jump ring to the "pinky", if you will, or maybe a few jumps, and put it on a necklace that way so it hangs at an angle.  I would then add a peace bottle cap or something that has the word or sign on it to make it like a charm necklace.

 AS you can see, it works out a lot better after some tweaking.

I really think that I would prefer the jump ring idea though.  It might look cute at a jaunty angle.

Hopefully my tomorrow craft will be more interesting, it was a highly stressful day.  I got up to my apartment, had a mini meltdown, and so on.

But I read a thing on pinterest recently that said something to the effect of big life changes are scary, but regret is more scary.

And then Phillip Phillips song "Home" says "Don't pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear".

So I am thinking about those at the minute, because if there is one thing I do well, it's college.  And I need to remember that.

It's kind of fitting for this to be the blog for today, because I do need peace. 

I need to be more Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  Eight Days a Week.  Although, it would be nice to have a little help from my friends.

Pin It Now!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 13: Cap Flag

I don't count it as the next day until I go to sleep.  SO this is definitely still day 13's craft :).

-At least 50 bottle caps of varying kinds
-Wildfire Cord
-E6000 (optional)

I like to use needlenose pliers, for the record.  I like to put the cap like this and put pressure on it until it bends, but not so much that it bends and touches itself just yet.

Sometimes this results in the cap flying across the room.  Ye be warned.

So you want to put the preliminary bend on all of your caps.

After you do this, measure out your cord so that it is the length you want your necklace to be, plus a little extra for tying it to the closures.

I doubled my cord over, doubled it again, and cut where needed to make 4 strings of relatively equal length.

Here is a shot of what I mean by not all the way closed.  You want to be able to put the cord through the cap and then bend it the rest of the way closed.

You can make 4 separate strings, or you can make it start with one- there are a ton of possibilities!

After I get the cord in I bend the cap the rest of the way around the cap and then squeeze the ends of the bent cap.  Think something like dumplings or pot stickers.

The 47 caps I used on the 4 strands with the toggle clasp made a necklace that is probably around a 15inch length or so.  It is not a choker by any means but would hang a little below your collarbones.

As you go you can twist the strands (and they will twist naturally) for a really cool look.
Here is my final product.  I used Bud, Bud Lite, and PBR caps for this nod to the American Flag.  I find it appropriate to do your caps Americana style.

As you can see it twisted itself up in the process and I really liked how it came out.

I have said it before, I don't drink.  But thankfully I do know people who will save me their caps when they do!

There are a lot of great caps out there, and something like this can be a fun and completely free project!

Until next time! (aka later today since this post was so late...) Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 12: Tweaking A Pallet Table

This is not necessarily a created from scratch craft for this day, but I do think I have some helpful tips to offer up for anyone working with furniture they need to change the look of or pallet tables they want to make look better.  I had an over-varnished antique table that had bubbled up and a pallet table that was a little too much on the yellow side in color.

Materials You May Need Depending On What You are Dealing With:
-Krylon OFF to remove varnish, paint, or whatever else you need to strip off
-A sander, if you have an aversion to minor splinters or need to sand between coats of polyurethane
-Polyurethane, although I would like to take this moment to plus Minwax Polyshades
-Minwax stain
-A scraper to remove varnish
-Brushes or whatever you want to apply stain with
-Wood Putty (for my particular project)

I had a friend of a friend build me this table.  I was super excited for it but really preferred a different stain color.  I also decided to fill in the spaces with wood putty.

So I taped some cardboard under the table to hold the wood putty in place (and hopefully will remember to take it off).  I think it dried to fast and it cracked and let me tell you it was absolutely perfect for what I wanted to do. 

Before this, I used Krylon OFF on an old table to remove years upon years of varnish.  It was an antique end table, and it desperately needed some TLC and some liquid nails.  Seriously, add liquid nails to your stash.  All you do is spray on Krylon OFF (preferably outside) and scrape the goo off it creates when it bubbles up the varnish.  And have something to wipe it off on, I used scrap wood, so it doesn't get all over your driveway.

A few days after this I got my pallet table as shown above. I could not have asked for a better size, shape, and weight.  But I really wanted a darker color.  Owning all the stains that I do this was a sinch.  So I put down my shower curtain liner again, and broke out my DARK WALNUT and ENGLISH CHESTNUT Minwax.  Seriously, go buy these.  Easily my two favorite colors and they are phenomenal when they are paired together.  I prefer to mix stains, as I recently discovered, because you can create a lot more visual interest than you can with just one.

ALSO, you need to go invest in some Minwax Polyshades in ANTIQUE WALNUT GLOSS because depending on your project it can save you from needing to use polyurethane and it really deepens whatever Minwax stain you have used.  It is way lighter than the can shows though, so plan accordingly.

Now, I stain with foam brushes and if you are like me there will be some splatter. 

If you stain in shorts, your knee may end up looking like this.

If it does, you can text your best friend and tell her that you are highly allergic to the futon she just gave you and your skin is breaking out.

And you can send her the picture.

And get a big laugh when she thinks that you have a flesh eating virus :).

...Not that I would do that of course...


Here are my relatively finished products.  The pallet table still needs a couple coats of polyshades, which will begin tomorrow.  But for all intents and purposes this is darn close to what the finished product will look like.

In real life they look so close to each other in color that it is mindboggling.  I think if I had added a touch here and there of my red mahogany they would have looked even similar, because the antique table has a wide variation of color.

I think with the right stains you can make a scrap wood table blend in with anything in your house.  It doesn't have to look like scraps if you don't want it to.

Also, the next time you are raiding a flea market and you see a piece of furniture with a beautiful shape, but a horrid stain or varnish or paint, think about whether it can undergo a little rehab and come out on the other side as something you love.

I did spend $50 on the table, and maybe someday I will learn the art of power tools and learn to make my own.  I really like the way the putty stained on this table as well, it really is not noticeable and it is very visually intriguing. 

So far in this craft challenge, I wonder what the world would be like if more people could learn to appreciate things that they had lying around the house instead of constantly buying new.  I personally have already started seeing things in such a different way for all of the potential they hold.

Bring it on, Day 13! Pin It Now!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 11:Enve-leftovers

So I really didn't even think about crafting anything until...5 minutes ago.  Which should tell you right now I am providing you a craft that only takes 5 minutes.

Plus a tad of drying time.

-Wall Paper Leftovers (hence the title)
-Glue (normal glue, no E6000 needed here unless you are just an overachiever)

First, you want to cut out a heart.  I really don't find it necessary that it be very precise.  I used really technical methods such as...

Folding the wallpaper rectangle in half...cutting a heart out of it, eyeballing it all the way.

You just dont want it to have been tall curves.  You need it more petite.  Think Mickey Mouse, not Mickey Mule.

Anyway fold the sides in like so. Again, I am not very precise.  I like to not put hard creases in until I make all of my hypothetical folds to make sure it works.  You may have a different method you prefer.

Like precision, for instance.

Glue those sides down, or use the self stickability of the wall paper if you can (mine didn't pan out for such methods).

Next, fold the mouse ears up like so, and glue down appropriately.

Speaking of, would it not be neat to make an envelope that kinda resembled Mickey?

By the way, if this one looks is.  I really like tiny little envelopes and think they would be super cute to put little notes in for people.

However, this is perfectly adaptable to larger envelopes.

If you were to cut a perfect square, you could put it down where it looked diamond shaped and fold in sides, etc.
So then you basically just crease the top down and there you go, five minute envelope (if you use fast drying glue or some mini glue dots).

My vote is ALWAYS for mini glue dots.  I like instant gratification.

Not that a lot of people wallpaper things anymore it seems, but you can find some seriously cheap rolls of it at flea markets.

And this could easily be done with any excess paper, as long as you can get a heart out of it.

Now I just need to find a teeny tiny note to leave someone :). Pin It Now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 10: Wire Ring

Today I had a complete and utter creative block on what to do for a craft.  I tried a few things I had been thinking about and I completely just found nothing that panned out.  I stared at my bead box and stared and stared...

And stared some more...

I wrapped wire around beads, I messed with washers, I folded paper (terribly).  Finally, I remembered once seeing a ring made from wire.  So I tried to focus my creative juices long enough to get something done.

What you need:
-Silver Wire (or whatever color) you need one fairly strong but still manageable enough that you can bend it easy.  I had a multipack of little spools of wire, and I sadly don't remember exactly what gauge they were
-A big bead, mine was blue.

Ignore the rose bead in the back.  I have tried so much to make these beads work in something and I hate them.  Ok, I think they are super cute, I just can't seem to make them do what I want!

Anyway, back to the ring.  I wrapped the wire (fairly loosely) around my finger about 3 or 4 times and then just twisted the remaining ends down to hold them together. 

I was going to just use these ends to hook the ring in and that quickly just turned out to not even be feasible with the length of what I had left.

But that's ok, adaptation is everything.

I had this interesting looking bead that was somewhat oblong and the best shade of blue a person could ask for.  Not that I reall wear a lot of blue, but when you can't even get your brain to cooperate long enough to craft something, a bead like this looks like the gates of heaven.

Why I have no craftability: I have discovered that my move to college is coming a lot faster than I realized.  I thought I had an extra week than what I do, so now I am more in a rush-rush mode trying to get all the final details done.  I don't think we will have tons of help moving and it could be a legitimate nightmare, but I am sure we will get it all done.  It has been really difficult to make decisions somewhat sight unseen and get this whole thing together in a cohesive state. 

Shoulda had a wider friends network, shoulda planned ahead and had a boyfriend for moving time, shoulda had a dad that would come help me, you can't win em all.  We managed to get an entire house moved this year, I am sure my apartment will be much simpler.

And I found an awesome armchair for $55 bucks at a flea market.

Anyway. The ring turned out a lot cuter than I thought it would.  By now I am sure you have seen the bird's nest necklace pendants, and I think those with copper wire could be a really cute ring as well.  If you were really crafty, you could probably make some that looked similar to animal heads with beads for eyes and whatnot. 

And best of all, this was free!  Pin It Now!