Monday, April 30, 2012

An Easy Way to Renu and Update Your Room

This post brought to you by Leviton. All opinions are 100% mine.

I had no idea when I married Husband he was a switch plate and hardware guy.  He makes a beeline to the decorative hardware in any store that carries decorative hardware.

He bought a few decorative single switch plates for our rental, with the intention of taking them with us when we bought for condo. Of course, we saved and put back the old landlord’s plates when we moved out.

Fortunately, Husband did not buy many replacements because our condo is full of triples and quad switches, and very few singles. All of our light switches are white and even I have to admit they are snoozeville in the quality and design department.

triple light switch
See? ZZZZZ. Good thing this one is on our bedroom.

We’re having a difficult time finding decorative quad switches and plates for the living room that aren’t the same type of white switch plates we already have. Especially since the living room has double switches, a single switch for the fireplace, a quad switch on that wall, outlets, and a cable outlet. I can’t find new ones what match each other . We’ve kind of given up the search because even if we do find something we like, what happens if and when I repaint the room? The hunt starts all over again.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Riding the Cancer Go Round

Canine cancer goes round with ups and downs like a merry go round but it is not nearly as fun. 

Each week of treatment has downs as well as ups.
It is stupid of me to think chemotherapy is like taking an antibiotic for an infection. You’ll feel cruddy for a few days but during the rest of the course of treatment, you’ll feel so fine the doctors will remind you repeatedly to finish your meds.

Three weeks in I don’t’ think I’ve been living with this long enough or at its most severe to be feeling so up and down about the situation but I do.

Down
 The chemo days are rough because they have to sedate Blitzkrieg to do it because of his abuse issues. To this day, he goes berserk if you try to restrain him or wrap him in a towel. This makes Blitzkrieg a less than ideal patient because we never know if or what extent the reaction will be to exams, or shots, or a day long IV full of drugs blasted into his body.

Blitzkrieg was so zonked he fell asleep on the way home from the vet. The chemo upset his stomach so much he didn’t eat for three days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wine Crate Dog Toy Box or Dog Bed

Blitzkrieg didn’t know what toys were when he first came to live with us. When he stress chewed his fur, I gave him a toy as a positive distraction. Blitzkrieg would look at me as if to say,” I know this is mine because you gave it to me but what do I do with it?” (It still hurts to type this.)

At the time, I whipped up a quickie toy box from a cardboard box. I took the opportunity to try covering the box with wrinkled brown paper bags.

Eh, not much to look at but it works for now I thought. I fully expected Blitzkrieg to stress chew the box. Then I would  take the opportunity to replace it               with a proper toy box later.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tool Review: Master Mechanic Swift Driver Ratcheting Screwdriver

One Early Marriage Christmas, Father in Law gave Husband and I our Christmas gifts to open at the same time.

Father in Law was excited because he selected our gifts instead of Mother in Law and thought they were perfect for us.

I opened a blender. Husband opened a toolbox filled with basic tools including a ratcheting screwdriver.

Father in law picked the perfect gifts!

Well, after Husband and I got so excited about the other one’s gift that we snatched it from each other and happily played with it.

That proves that I am not like other girls.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

9 Sneaky Green Ways to Save Money

I always struggle when it comes to writing an Earth Day post because everyday is Earth Day around here.

Frankly, my mind is more on trimming the fat from our family budget to pay for Blitzkrieg’s medical bills, and rebuilding our emergency fund which keeps getting knocked back after last year’s Back Luck Summer

A conversation with my newest sister in law Mrs J2 last weekend lit the CFL light bulb of inspiration over my head. (What other kind of light bulb would expect to go off over my head? An energy wasting incandescent? Pea-shaw!)

She and her new husband (I never get tired of saying that. I’m a gushy romantic - sue me.) are in Newlywed Money Saving Mode. I started kicking around ideas with her from Condo Blues. She politely said she wasn’t into the green thing so much because it is expensive. Her new family is more interested in saving enough money to buy a house.


The funny thing is, back when I was a newlywed and in Newlywed Saving Mode most of the things we did and still do to save money are green, only back then green was a color, not a movement.

Sister in Law, here’s a little list of  ways that save money and just so happen to be green. This isn’t a I Do All of These And I’m So Much Greener than You list. Everyone is different, has different priorities and preferences, and some green ways conflict with other green ways (which most people don't mention.) Consider this list a Swiss Army Knife of Money Saving Green Options, Not Absolutes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Rewired a Lamp and Didn’t Burn Down Pretty Handy Girl’s House

I build and repair my own computers. I replace lights and add junction boxes to my house with confidence. Believe or not, working with electricity used to scare me. As a kid I plugged in the lights on the Christmas tree and the cord shorted. Sparks flew everywhere.

Fortunately, nothing caught fire and the only injury I sustained was some soot on my hand. However, I’ve had a mild fear of plugging in electronics ever since.

I worked through my electricity fears by forcing myself to do simple repairs like the guest post I wrote for Pretty Handy Girls DIY Project Parade How to Fix a BrokenLamp – DIY Talent Condo Blues. Don’t worry. I know what I’m doing. Nothing sparked nor did I burn down Brittany’s house. Something I’m sure she’s thankful for.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How to Make a Photo Canvas that Won’t Put You in the Poorhouse

Many of my friends and family have my photography hanging in their houses.

Except me. 

Photography is our family hobby. My grandfather started the tradition. He passed the hobby onto his children, my father and my aunt. My dad passed it onto me.



One of the best photography classes I ever took was from my father in his kitchen. One by one, my Dad handed me a different type of camera lens, various telephoto, macro, and specialty lenses. I put them on my film camera body and looked through his kitchen window and at the same pot of flowers to  understand what each lens did to my subject.



Many of my family and friends have my photo hanging in their homes. I’ve been asked to shoot photos for others too.

Photography wise, it’s a cobbler’s kid doesn’t have any shoes situation around here. Here’s my photo collection. One photo of Husband and Blitzkrieg on my desk.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Week in Review and Some Other Stuff Too


Remember the friend I got into photography? The man is turning out to be quite the photographer. He casually snapped this photo of Blitzkrieg last week. It captures our boy’s personality perfectly.

I love this picture. I also love their stone kitchen floor.

I believe the student has surpassed the master. My friend good-naturedly tweaked my inner geek with some lens envy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This Isn’t’ a Real Post. This is Me Being Grateful Instead. You've Been Warned.

There’s a reason why I am a green DIY blogger instead of a Slice of Life blogger. I absolutely stink at kicking the personal and emotional door in and letting my innermost thoughts and feeling spill onto the Internet like the many bloggers I admire. I’m going to try my hand at it today. Please forgive me if I stumble.

First things first.

Thank you.

Thanks to your generosity, we raised enough money to pay for Blitzkrieg first two chemotherapy treatments within the first 24 hours of taking donations for the Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund.



Please don't think that money is the only way you can help us. There are many people who have said insensitive things to Husband and I once we started telling people the news. They think we're crazy and stupid for treating Blitzkrieg. It is sad because some of those people are pet owners too.


Monday, April 9, 2012

My Dog Has Cancer

Blitzkrieg has cancer, lymphoma to be exact.

I want to die.

Blitzkrieg was snoring and snorting more heavily than usual. He was due for a routine vet check. Our vet didn’t find anything enlarged or unusual. We thought it was his seasonal allergies since mine are also working overtime with the early warm weather. While we checked out, Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

I’m so glad Husband insisted we make a grooming appointment.

 When you travel, you should take a friend. This is Bear. He is my first toy and best friend.


Two weeks later, we drop Blitzkrieg off at the vet for his grooming appointment. Later that day, we get a call from the groomer telling us one of Blitzkrieg’s broken teeth (from his abused like a punching bag days) is infected past the gum line. She asks if the vet can pull it. Of course. Maybe this is why Blitzkrieg was snoring heavier than usual?

We get a second call from the vet. Blitzkrieg’s tonsils are swollen. They wanted our permission to do a biopsy – absolutely!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I'm on the Radio!

You will never believe what just happened! Fave Crafts Radio on Blog Talk Radio will interview me on their show Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM (Eastern Standard Time)!

Amy Anderson, from the always clever Mod Podge Rocks is the host of Fave Crafts Radio (the things this woman does with Mod Podge. I had no idea you can use it for so many things besides decoupage.) We will be discussing going  green and eco-crafting and DIY in preparation for Earth Day.


Obviously they asked me to be on Fave Crafts Radio because I am such a super serious green crafter and DIYer.

When I hang a shelf, things get serious.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Six Pack Carrier turned Covered Storage Box

World Water Day was a big fat fail.

I celebrated by fixing a leaky pipe and exploding garage disposal that made a lovely mess of the kitchen cabinet and dishwasher. After I cleaned that up, I dropped just about everything I used to make hummus onto the floor. Then the beans exploded out of the blender and all over me. I steam cleaned the kitchen floor again. Ran two loads of dishes in the dishwasher (don't ask), and did a half load of laundry (hangs head. I always do full loads) because every dog towel, dishtowel, and towel I cut down to use instead of paper towels were soaked.

On the upside, I Spring Cleaned the under sink cabinet. 

On the downside, the six pack carrier I use to hold clean up towels was toast.

This is a good thing. Every once and awhile, I notice Mother-in-law’s look of motherly concern when she opens a cupboard or the refrigerator and sees the contents stored in a beer six pack carrier. We don’t drink that much but I hang onto the caddys for projects and of the craft beers we try that have crazy names.

However, my cupboards are starting to look like a fraternity house.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

End Table Bookshelf


My sewing room looks like a wrecking ball hit it. Me being me I don’t want to install any old set of shelves. This room is my creative space. I want something fun. 

Designer Isabel Quiroga created a bookshelf from old end tables. Floor to ceiling bookcases get my organizational motor running. The high gloss purple speaks to my quirky side.

All photos courtesy of Stichting Art Eko

The website featuring Isabel Quiroga is in Dutch but it isn’t too hard to figure out how to do something like this yourself.