Jumping on the Chalkboard Bandwaggon

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Trying too hard to be cool tilted photograph.

Before I get to the chalkboard stuff, I feel like I have some ‘splanin to do. I haven’t posted in a little over a year, but I am back from blog death! Life got a little crazy, a lot busy, and I let the things that make me ME (crafting, making fun of myself, writing) go by the wayside. I’m learning about balance. I can’t do everything all at once. Between work, the doc program, and general life duties, I forgot to add me to the schedule. I’ve found that sometimes I have to work to keep myself healthy (mentally, physically), and now I’ve given myself permission to LIVE. I am the captain of my own ship. Okay enough of my existential diatribe; to the crafts!

So everyone else is making (buying?) all these cute chalkboard details. They’re everywhere! Labels, gift tags, on candles, on signs, etc. I decided I wanted to make a chalkboard menu (and I had a Michaels gift card that had burning a hole in my wallet!). Here’s the short backstory to the chalkboard: The hubby and I have been trying to reign in our budget (reign in me, really), so we decided we should actually make/eat the food we buy at the store. What happens is we buy all this food, then we get lazy, decide to eat out instead, and all the food goes bad. WASTE OF MONEY. I thought if we had a posted menu, and who was in charge of cooking that meal, we might quit throwing away food and there’d be less of, “I thought you were cooking tonight!” “NO, it’s your turn!”.

My initial idea was to have the hubby tape off a straight rectangle on the pantry door, where I could use the chalkboard spray paint I already have. Voila a very cheap craft (save money! He’s trying to make it my new motto). He had an even better idea. Home Depot sells pieces of chalkboard. We bought the 3′ by 2’ for about $6, and it fits perfectly on the width of our pantry door! I wanted to make the word ‘menu’ and the days of the week permanent (redrawing that every time? no thanks), so I bought an oil based white sharpie marker for about $4.

1.  I looked up “chalkboard menu” on pinterest to get ideas of what I liked, and then I went to town!

2. I used a pencil and measuring tape draw on what I wanted first and keep it straight, and I used a stencil to make the dots uniform. After I got everything done with the paint pen, I erased any visible pencil marks.

3. The hubby took it from there! He got liquid nails from the garage to hang it on our pantry door and clamped it in place until it dried (a few hours).

4. I wasn’t sure if the chalkboard had been seasoned, so I went ahead and rubbed chalk on its side all over the board and wiped it off with a towel.  Now it’s ready to use!

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Damon used liquid nails to glue it to the door and clamps to hold it in place until the liquid nails dried.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Clamps on all four corners hold it in place for a few hours.

Here is the finished product!  All for about $10!

Here is the finished product! All for about $10!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals.  At least I know what it means!

The final and most important step is to season the chalkboard (rub chalk on its side all over the board and wipe off), then I decided to draw pictures for our meals. At least I know what it means!

I decided to draw our meals. I know what it means, but in case you’re wondering…

M- steak, potatoes, broccoli
T- Meatless Tuesday (moved from Meatless Monday, because our vegetarian friend Vivien has a soccer game to coach)
W- barbecued drumsticks
T- fast food, because I have 2 classes in Commerce until 10pm
F- Valentine’s Day!!!

I’m so proud of how well it turned out!

Everyone’s Doing It…

Everybody is making mesh wreaths!  So, of course, I had to try it too!  Considering I’ve seen these big Deco Mesh wreaths going on Etsy from $150 and UP, I thought it’d be cheaper to do it myself.  Mine is a Christmas wreath, but it could be made for any occasion!

So here is my way to DIY a Deco Mesh wreath (told in pictures):

Supplies:

2 rolls Deco Mesh

1 wire wreath frame

24 pipe cleaners

ribbon

cute add-ons

hot glue gun

and maybe wire cutters

Needed: 2 rolls Deco Mesh, 24 pipe cleaners, metal wreath frame, hot glue gun, and cute add ons.

Basics: 2 rolls Deco Mesh and pipe cleaners.  Ideally, the pipe cleaners would match the mesh!

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add ons!

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add-ons!

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner.  Repeat all the way around!

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner. Repeat all the way around!

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round.  I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round. I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.  It wouldn’t be a craft project if I didn’t mess something up!

Here is my redo.  I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

Here is my redo. I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

Tip:  Cut 10 inch long pieces of ribbon, snip the ends to make a V-shape, and tie in to the wreath to add texture or a splash of color.  Ribbon also makes a great filler!  Try tying three different kinds of ribbon to the pipe cleaner to make a cute bow!

I hot glued on my add ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I hot glued on my add-ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

This is going to go on my office door until school lets out for Christmas break, then it is going to hang proudly over my mantle!!!

Now try and make your own!  If you send me a pic, I will add it to my blog!

Here is my most recent wreath creation.  My mom and I had a Valentine's wreath making day!

Here is my most recent wreath creation. My mom and I had a Valentine’s wreath making day!

I’ve Got a Few (Stolen Beauty) Tricks Up My Sleeve

I’ve got three beauty tricks up my sleeve, and I can’t claim any of them!

Normally, I am not a lots-o-makeup-wearing, girly girl.  I like sleep, and I don’t like the way I look with heavy foundation.  I’m a powder, blush, one color eye shadow, and mascara kind of girl on work days.  On weekends, I’m an “I took a shower, what more do you want from me?” kind of girl.  That’s why I like the three beauty tricks below.  It even gets utilitarian minded me excited about makeup!

The first trick comes from pinterest, and the rest come from the makeup artist who did the makeup for my friend’s wedding party.

 

1. I read another blog about DIY makeup setting face spray.  I’m not sure how intellectual property laws work, or about blog etiquette, so I’m not linking to it.  I’ve seen and read in beauty magazines about makeup setting spray; I haven’t been willing to invest in any.  Urban Decay sells three different types (oil control, moisturizing, and long lasting) for $29, so it was worth it to me to try this recipe to make my own!

Ingredients:

Pure glycerin (pure aloe would work, too)- My mom works at Kroger Pharmacy, and they ordered my the 6 oz. bottle shown for $8 (no shipping!).  Your local pharmacy can order it from their overnight supplier.  I ordered mine Wednesday night and got it Thursday morning: so fast and easy!

Filtered water- I used the stuff that comes out of my fridge dispenser.

A spray bottle- mine is 3 oz. and is 97 cents at Target!

Ratios:

Dry Skin: 2 TBSP glycerin and 4 TBSP water

Combo Skin: 1 TBSP glycerin and 3 TBSP water

Oily Skin: 1 TBSP glycerin and 4 TBSP water

Notes:

All you do is mix, and then shake it before each use.  Why it works: glycerin is moisturizing, which allows your face to stay hydrated.  It also bonds with the makeup, setting your face.  I use Bare Minerals and find that sometimes I look a little powdery/cakey.  I think it’s because my skin is uber dry.  I mixed mine for dry skin, and find that this gives me the perfect dewy glow all day, without looking oily.  I also spray it on my face in place of moisturizer, when I feel I need it.  Glycerin can be used on hair, too.  One word of caution: I made the mistake of spraying before makeup and twice after makeup.  OVERKILL.  I think I also missed my face, and my hair looked oily that day.  So cheap, I’m in love already!

The only ingredients needed for DIY makeup setting spray: water, pure glycerin, and a spray bottle!

 

2. You know that expensive eye primer cream?  Yeah, I shelled out quite a few bucks for some of that.  The makeup artist for my friend’s wedding said she just uses Chapstick.  Chapstick.  Plain, old Chapstick.  She said she’s used both, and Chapstick (she used the cherry kind, and it smelled good!) works just as well.  I have to say that my eye makeup looked just as good at the end of the night, in spite of crying, sweating, and cold wind.  I went out and bought the moisturizing kind just to keep in my makeup bag for my eyes!

 

This is all you need to keep eye makeup in place!

 

3. This fabulous makeup artist also introduced me to gel eyeliner.  I’ve been using a pencil, because I look like a kindergartner’s art project gone wrong when I use liquid.  But I like the look of liquid!  But pencils (especially the kind you just twist up) are so easy!  She let me use her Maybelline Gel Eyeliner to do my own eyeliner (I’m not so good at the sitting still).  I loved it!  It went on smooth and easy.  It went on straight, and I could easily fix any hiccups.  It looked great, like liquid, and was even easier than my pencil.  No more rubbing my skin off with a stubborn pencil, or looking like a hot mess with liquid.  I went out and bought some of this the next day at Target for about $8.  It came with a brush and everything!  It’s small, but the makeup artist said she’s had hers for months, so it will last a while.    Get Maybelline’s here.  MAC also makes one for $15 that you can get here.

 

So smooth and easy! Looks like liquid, but is easier than pencil!

 

When I’m done being sick, I may post a pic of me utilizing all three makeup tricks!

 

 

Sparkly Spooky Centerpiece

It’s October and my mom and I where gearing up for Halloween and fall decorating.  We needed a few things (okay, wanted quite a few things), so we went to Hobby Lobby.  My mom found a three tiered pumpkin centerpiece she wanted, but it was $49.99.  Brilliant! We can make that for cheaper!  We started gathering our supplies.  I got three fake pumpkins of different sizes, one cream, one black, one silver glitter, from Target for $13.  At Hobby Lobby I got a distressed wood base for about $5; I had a 40% off coupon!  Then on to Garden Ridge where I bought black glitter strand stuff $7, a ‘pick’ (decoration with a pointy end to stick in something) of purple glittery coils $1.49, and something from the floral department with large purple sequins (didn’t use that part) and the spider $1.99.   My mom got three fake pumpkins from Hobby Lobby and green and orange sparkly strand stuff.

Perfect for Halloween!

I started by using multi-colored glitter spray on the cream and black pumpkins.  I used a couple of strands of green and a strand of orange from my mom’s stash.  I wrapped the black and green around the base, hot gluing in some spots to keep it in the place I wanted it.  I stacked up the pumpkins, gluing each one together and to the base.  Then I wrapped black in between each pumpkin; loosely wrapped green and orange strands in opposite direction around the pumpkin tower; and finished with purple coils and a spider (both cut from their original stems).  It didn’t take very long, and for $30, I’m super impressed with myself.  My color scheme was inspired by a FAB-U-LOUS wreath that a teacher friend has on her classroom door.  Le Sigh.  If only I could convince Damon that I need one of those wreaths, too.

The magnificent sparkly pumpkin crown topped with a spider and coil.

I sprayed glitter on the cream and black pumpkin. Definitely noticeable in person!

I just love my handy work! Now if I can only get Damon to let me buy the matching wreath!

A New Home for My Earrings

A couple of years ago I made an earring holder from a grease strainer. I got the idea from a friend’s blog: http://www.kristenmcashan.com.  Ooh!  I also got the fabulous idea to get Walmart baskets and hot glue yarn words on to organize my stuff!  Take a gander below.

Grease Strainer Earring Holder with a little paint, yarn, ribbon, and jewels.

Baskets with yarn wording to organize my bathroom closet.

I made this basket for my bathroom counter with all the stuff I use daily.

I loved it! But soon my earrings outgrew the grease strainer. It was messing up the Feng Shui of my bedroom. I needed a new idea, and in swooped Pinterest. I was planning on creating my new fabric headboard this weekend, but being sick (again!) got in the way. The Pinterest link took me to http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/ where I found the idea to buy a decorative sheet metal piece. I put my own twist on it. I didn’t cut it at all. Instead, I had the hubby cut two pieces of 1 by 2s to go across the top and bottom to hold it away from the wall. I spray painted the wood with left over paint from my Ikea kitchen shelves. I hot glued the metal to the wood, and then I hot glued it all to the wall! I hung my earrings and found that this particular pattern is great to hook post back earrings through too! I just slide the back part through the larger scrolly part and slide down until it is secure into a narrower section!

Metal Sheet from Home Depot hot glued onto painted wood supports.

So much more space now!

Honey Do Fund Part One: Sprucing Up the House with Ikea

The husband and I recently sat down and made a budget (that we actually stuck to for a month)! After all the necessities were taken out, we had some money left over to play with. We divided it up into different “funds”, and one we added was what my husband calls the “Honey Do Fund”. Each month I have $200 for working on our house to spend how I choose. Since Damon is a contractor, he will do most of the work, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t charge me for labor! After doing this stuff all day, he does not want to come home and work for free! The good news is that any money I pay him, he puts in our “Vacation Fund”.

So with my first month’s Honey Do money, I bought some different shelves and organizing things from Ikea. I bought a LACK shelf in white ($14.99), PORTIS Hat Rack in black ($19.99), and got two small AS IS shelves ($7.50).

I spray painted the two small shelves flat ‘Almond’ to put in the kitchen. The LACK shelf went in the bedroom to hold decorations (that the cat kept knocking off my bedside table). The hat rack is not for hats at all, but for lids in the kitchen! They were out of the shelf I really wanted for the kitchen when I discovered the PORTIS beauty (which I like WAY better!).

IKEA LACK wall shelf in white $19.99

IKEA PORTIS hat rack used for lids and pans

Small shelves for canisters and the green stand/holder I made!

The husband hung up all the shelves. (I said I could do it, but he said that push pins wouldn’t work, and he didn’t want our shit falling off the walls.) PORTIS and LACK were no problems! The two shelves I got on clearance were a problem. They were AS IS because they didn’t come with the hangy stuff (my technical terms). “No problem!” he said. Except, it seems, that there was not a stud to be found to anchor the top shelf, which meant a trip to Home Depot for some wall anchor screw things that pop open inside the wall, and, of course, lots of cursing. But my shelves are hung! And they look fabulous! And they won’t fall! And I am ever so pleased with myself for using a ‘hat rack’ in the kitchen! Now, there are no more lids cluttering up our pan cabinet! What a space saver!

Decorations for My New Office

I am the (EXTREMELY EXCITED) new school counselor at the elementary school in my neighborhood! It is the school my kids would go to (if they weren’t furry and four legged). Besides being my passion, being a school counselor will help me get all the hours (300 per semester!) for my doc program. As soon as I found out I had a job, I started shopping for office decor. I am a HUGE fan of Target’s dollar bin and Dollar Tree. I found a bunch of cute stuff at both places for cheap, and with a few other supplies I was able to make quite a few cute creations.

Supplies: acrylic paints, artist palette, stiff bristle paint brush, stencil, and satin finish sealer.

Caption: Tray from Target ($2.50) that I stenciled a damask on using acrylic paint. I finished it with a satin finish topcoat/sealer.

Caption: Buckets from Target ($1 each) that I stenciled using acrylic paint and finished with a satin topcoat/sealer.

Tray ($2.50) and blue buckets ($1 each) from Target. I didn’t do anything to them, but I thought they were super cute, so I shared!

While not office decor, I made this for the kitchen. Tray ($2.50) and candlestick ($2.50) from Target. They came in the matching colors, so all I did was hot glue them together!

Caption: Left: a spray painted candlestick ($1) and glass bowl ($1) The vase ($1) on the Right: vase with interior spray painted. The flowers (Garden Ridge) were 75% off, so I got two bunches for 68 cents! Everything else was from Dollar Tree!