Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Make Doctor Who Dalek Potholders

Husband is a great guy. He puts up with living with DIY projects in process more than he likes (note: he hates it,) while also encouraging me by bringing home odd things for me to “do something with” because “you are creative” and “they were just going to throw it out. You can make it useful again.”

If there is anyone on my gift list who deserves a homemade Christmas gift it is Husband.

My guy likes to cook. He likes Doctor Who (because he has excellent taste in science fiction). He also likes to keep his fingers from burning off around the stove. Homemade Dalek potholders? Perfect!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Inspires You?

 I believe eco design does not have to be ugly or always terribly expensive. When I decorate or design a space, my first though is “what do I want it to look like and how do I want it to function?” then I think about eco friendly, sustainable, recycled, or locally made items for the room. I don’t start my design thinking “how hippy green crunchytastic can I make this space?” and cram it full of a bunch of eco stuff that screams green and looks magazine perfect nice but it isn’t always a place you feel comfortable living in.

However, I think if you take the right approach you can have both a nice space to live in and a hippy green crunchtastic space even if you guests don't realize it up front.

The best example of this is my bathroom remodel. The first thing you see is my quirky retro modern style.

Most people look at the old book pages I tea stained and Mod Podged (its non toxic) to the walls and think how cool! Not how hippy greentastic! That’s exactly what I want even though the wallpaper is both.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Build a Beer Advent Calender

It's time Christmas countdown calendar time! Whoo hoo!

Advent Calendars are a very Danish way to celebrate Christmas.

I never had one.

Clearly, I was horribly mistreated as a child. This has nothing to do with my parents didn't want two kids fighting over one daily calendar prize which we probably didn't need since Christmas was coming or extra treats that could negate the use of the most magical parental phrase to get two little girls to behave instantly, "Santa is watching."

Nope. It was out of pure parental meanness. I tell ya.

Now that I'm all grown up (stop laughing. It's true.) I guess I could get my own Advent calendar and countdown Christmas any. way. I. want.

I choose this.


Neener. Neener.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Family Togetherness or Forced Manditory Fun?

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

This year we are spending Thanksgiving with Husband’s side of the family where in my mind of what makes the perfect family Thanksgiving and the reality of what happens at family Thanksgiving are not the same. Ever.

Miss 1 of 9, Mr 2 of 9, Mr 4 of 9, and Miss 6 of 9 are tweens or teens and want nothing to do with us. Sad face.

Now after dinner the family breaks off into factions.

  • The olders watch mindless TV (I’m not talking a football game or a movie either. I’m talking news channels on a notoriously slow news day and something I can do at home. Snore.)
  • The youngers  watch someone play a 1 player role playing game on the Wii.
  • Or the youngers bury their noses in handheld video games they bring with them. (I’d do the same on my phone but I can’t get service in the teeny tiny boonie town where the in laws live.)
  • Miss 1 of 9 passes out in a tryptophan coma.
  • Last time Husband got so bored there was no one to talk to or do anything with he  balanced empty cups on a sleeping Miss 1 of 9 to see if it would either wake her up or move and brush the cups off during her nap.

Monday, November 19, 2012

20 Cute and Eco! Christmas Ornaments

I think my love of tree ornaments comes from Grandmother making me ornaments each Christmas of my teenage years so I’d have a set when I went out on my own. My favorites will hang on our family Christmas tree. It feels like she is still with us during Christmas. 

I carry on the Christmas tree ornament gift tradition. I give each of my nine nieces and nephews a Baby’s First Christmas ornament on their first Christmas. Santa always puts a new ornament in Miss 3 of 9’s and Mr. 7 of 9’s Christmas stocking since those are the only kids who do stockings (besides my house.) I usually buy those ornaments so I don’t tip them off that Santa sometimes has help filling their stockings from this side of the North Pole. Not to mention, I get to satisfy my ornament addition, um fascination, by spending a lot of time browsing for their perfect yearly ornament.

Let’s check out some Christmas tree ornament eye candy!  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Have I Thanked You Lately? Because I Should

This post has been in the back and front of my mind for a long time. Last night I had a mild panic attack when I realized Thanksgiving is next week and I am unprepared. This is unusual but well, I’ve been a little busy fighting and losing to canine cancer this year.

These past five months I’ve been on a see saw. Feeling OK and moving within the online world only to retreat to my cave the following day. I feel guilty and selfish because I haven’t truly thanked you for what you did for us and before, during, and after Blitzkrieg’s cancer battle.

I’m thanking you now.

 Husband said I should share the photos I took of our visit to my hometown's beach. We let Blitzkrieg sniff and experience the smells of a Lake Erie beach after the winter storms and before the spring beach clean up. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Install an Under Sink Water Filter System

We are a tap water house. It is cheaper, greener, and lazier because I don’t buy and lug bottles to and from the store or send them to recycling limbo.

We’re also a filtered tap water in the refrigerator house. In theory. Unfortunately, the filtered water pitcher is the first thing jettisoned from the refrigerator when I need to make room for food after a shopping trip.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Make Color Denim Jeans for Five Dollars

It is officially jeans weather and I got a little surprise. Turns out the Kidney Stone Diet followed by the My Dog Has Cancer Diet followed by the Grief Diet (I do not recommend these diets At. All. It isn’t healthy and stinks on ice) made me lose enough weight to make my fat jeans too big.

I need a pair of temporary transitional size jeans. Colored denim jeans might be fun because now things are settled and I plan to start Wii-ing and biking on our new bike trail my way back to the normal range of my Body Mass Index (BMI). By then the colored skinny jean trend may have jumped the shark.

Thanks to a thrift store sale and a Michael’s coupon, I made a pair of purple denim jeans for $5.00.

You can too!

Here’s how.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

32 Gifts for Crafters and DIYers

I asked a bunch of my favorite craft and DIY bloggers what cool gifts for women they received or are on their gift list. While we all agreed gift cards to our favorite home improvement and craft stores are always winners, sometimes the people in our lives are looking for new and unique gift ideas because they have gone to the gift card well a little too often.

Ironically, most of the gift ideas we talked about I've gotten or given as gifts myself. True story.

Gift Ideas for a Quilter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

I remember going into the voting booth with my mother when I was a little girl. I remember my grandmother working at our polling place and slipping me a piece of candy because she was one of those grandmas that always had candy to share.

As an adult I get an I Voted Today Sticker but I always wish my grandma were here to give me that little piece of hard candy. Yeah, the responsibility of Election Day reminds me of  candy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Spray Paint Booth

Sandy and her crazy cold nor'ester is trying to end outdoor spray paint season early because you can't spray paint in temperatures below 40 degrees (F) and expect your project to come out well. Guess how I know?

Eeking out a few more months of spray paint time in the garage doesn't work around here because Husband doesn't like the idea of spray paint splatter on the car. (It was ONE time, barely noticeable, and on MY car -  yeesh!)

That's why I pinned A Crafty Nest's spray paint booth to my Pinterest boards (follow me on Pinterest? I'm kinda lonely over there. Thanks.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Want to Live in Sunset Magazine? Here's Your Chance

Sunset Magazine is one of my guilty pleasures. I like their mix of high end inspiration rooms with budget friendly projects. It is one of the things that encourages me to save my pennies where I can so I can put them toward something showstopping later.

Lately I'm gravitating toward hot pink

Sometimes I wish I could live in Sunset magazine.

Guess what? Now you can.