Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paint Chipping

Using paint chips for craft projects is all the rage right now. You can find inspiration all over Pinterest and craft books. My mom recently used paint chips to make a mobile - see it here! Here are some other craft projects using paint chips:

found at The Great Indoors
found at Ellementary Home
My favorite, the Chandelier! found at Hey Gorgeous Blog
found at Zodirowe
So obviously using paint chips is a cheap and easy way to make amazing pieces for your home...but how do you keep track of all of these free crafting goodies?

Remember how we used to use CDs to listen to music? And more importantly, remember how you used to store CDs? Since our CDs are now conveniently compressed into iPods, you can use your old CD holder to store your paint chips. An easy and cheap storage solution for a cheap and easy craft staple!

That mom of mine...such a thinker!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


When was the last time you went on a picnic? Doesn't this make you want to go on one?

Thrifted Picnic Basket
spray paint white
add stripes
lid painted with acrylic paint

I'm going on a mini vacation this weekend (St. Louis - anyone have tips?) and I wish we could take this with us. Where would you take this on a picnic?

Sunday, March 25, 2012



I traveled to Australia and New Zealand recently to visit some of my American friends that are currently living there - and isn't that really the best way to travel? You get to live for free and experience the country as a "native" does. I have recently got the travel bug and it made me think of all the places I want to go to, and all of the places I've been to so far. I don't want to forget how fortunate I've been to travel, but I felt it is pretty tacky to just buy an ugly map and pin it to the wall, and push tacks into places you've been. So I decided to make my own version of that, but in a cute and girly way.

I started off by searching for the perfect map. I thought it would be relatively easy to find a simplistic version the world...but it really wasn't. I ended up ordering this map which ships from the UK. Turns out, there is also one here that ships from the US, but is currently out of stock. So I ordered the poster and patiently (read: not patiently at all) waited for it to arrive.

Once it did, I was presently surprised to find out that the grey that is shown online is actually a metallic gray. I then went to the craft store and purchased cork board. The diminsions of my poster are 91 cm x 62 cm, and I was lucky to find a roll of cork board that was 91 cm x 100 cm. Perfect. I laid them both out, and placed books on them over night to try to flatten them out.

Hans supervising. I knew those chemistry books would come in handy!
The next morning, I removed the books and started the process of gluing the poster to the cork board. I used an all purpose glue to do this. I wanted something that could be spread on with a brush. When I first started this, I started to freak out a bit because the poster paper is very thin, so instead of staying smooth, there started to be bumps. The more I glued though, the more I enjoyed the texture the poster was taking on. The glue has to cover the entire board, or else you'll have spots that stay smooth. After each section was glued, I used bobby pins to secure them together. I felt this was better than using clamps because the clamps would leave marks from the pressure. I let this sit over night, and then cut off the remaining unused cork board.

This was my first time doing any sort of wood working, so feel free to give me tips/ways of doing this easier. I went to the Home Depot and walked around aimlessly until I conned some poor man into helping me pick out and cut molding. I made sure to get the pieces extra long in case I screwed up with the sawing of the edges. Using a miter box, I cut pieces so that the edges around the poster were about 1.5 inches shorter than the poster. This step took the better part of an hour, since I was hand sawing. 

the finished cut product

My original plan was to wood glue the pieces together, and once they were dried I was going to hammer in staples to secure.

nice try, noob

Turns out, not clamping the wood means the glue doesn't really do anything, and trying to hammer in those stamples split the wood. So I made my 3rd trip to the Home Depot in 24 hours to buy some brackets. These were screwed onto the sides of the corners, holding the wood together. I was in panic mode so there are no pictures to document.

I then used a satin spray paint in a bright baby blue. I sprayed 4 coats on and let sit over night. The next morning I nailed on saw tooth hanger.

I placed the corkboard map onto the back of the frame to place it. I used small wire nails and nailed in a nail every couple of inches.

And then I hung it up! Since the cork board is thin I used a wire cutter to cut the straight pins I planned on using shorter. Then I pinned all the places I've been. I love the way this turned out, and its really making me excited to continue to explore.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nail Polish, Organized.

Now that I no longer have to study on the weekends, I spend time on Sunday nights doing my nails. Nothing too crazy, but it makes me happy looking at nice nails while I'm busying typing away during the week. I was starting to collect too many nail polishes, and was forgetting which colors I already had and not using them because they were left for dead at the bottom of my (cute, home made by my aunt!) bag. Last weekend on a trip to Savers, I found a wooden spice rack for $6. I spray painted it with a satin spray paint, and painted the drawer with a metallic acrylic paint. For $10 I think this was a pretty great (and easy) project!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pinteresting for the Win!

I've mentioned in the past how great we think Pinterest is. You get to share all the amazing things on the internet, and also have a quick (and visual) way of finding the links again! So I've been inspired to do a few of the things I've pinned which have turned out surprisingly well...unlike the ones over at CraftFail (seriously- so funny).

First up we have baked avocado fries. I'm a fan of anything with avocado, and especially of something that tastes deep fried but isn't. My friend Jessica and I made this before another one of her viewing nights of the Bachelor (don't judge us) and were pleasantly surprised how tasty they turned out - and they were super easy! We spritzed a bit of lemon juice on them after they were done baking and sprinkled on Parmesan, and it added that little extra flavor. Find the easy and delicious recipe here.

pictures from the original recipe

and ours! I think ours look even better than the original.

they tasted as good as they look!

Next up we have Nutella Pound Cake. Today is Valentine's Day and instead of getting my boyfriend some lame card that he wouldn't care about anyway, I baked him something since we all know the way to a man's heart is through is...tongue I suppose? Anyway, I looked to Pinterest for "pinspiration" (har har har) and didn't have to look far....nutella pound cake.

Side story: Nutella is from Germany, where my family is from. We used to bring over several jars when I was younger and when I would bring Nutella sandwiches to school, everyone would be all "Ewwww, chocolate on bread? That's sick!"   ...flashforward 14 years and everyone just can't get enough of it. I was a trendsetter even back in 2nd grade.

...moving on. So Nutella poundcake it was for this year's VDay present. The recipe is pretty straight forward - find it here. We just cut into it and it is delicious. A perfect combination of crunchy, chocolatey and ...pound cakey. You know what I mean!

The original - they used mini pound cake pans.

Mine - we used a normal sized pound cake pan

I was concerned about the "blackened" Nutella but the crunchiness actually really adds to it.
Have you had success recreating your Pinspirations? Or are you about ready to submit a post to CraftFail?

If you are interested in following me on Pinterest and seeing all the things I pin (yummy food, pretty clothes, puppies), you can find me here!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Is A...

I think my mom's greatest craft ability is transforming something boring and dull into something so unique and special. This table offered nothing to a room, but with some acrylic paint and mosaic, it becomes a center point. How cute are all of the little creatures?

Dad helping with the polishing