Monthly Archives: December 2011

Apartment Box!

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And now for the long awaited Apartment Related post!  I promise I will tell you all very soon how the apartment viewing went! But I forgot to scan some of the paperwork that goes with that post, and I don’t want to disappoint you guys with more poorly lit photographs.

What I can tell you though, is that I am collecting items for a new apartment!! The location is not set in stone (you’ll have to wait for my other post for that!), but I am definitely moving. I have created an ‘Apartment Box’  using a turquoise Rubbermaid tub. I don’t have a picture because it’s boring and filled with blankets. Sorry for the low quality photographs. The lighting here is a little bit funky.

I went through the kitchen here and collected all of my items to hide away before they get broken or “disappear”.

Pizza Cutter: $5 from Papa Murphy’s with a lifetime warranty. These things rock!

Silicone Basting Brush: Gift from my boyfriend

Mix n’ Chop: I think this is a Pampered Chef product, but I got it for Christmas from my mother last year. It’s really great for ground beef and mashed potatoes. So I should really just call it the ‘Masher’.

Sugar Spoon: This came from a flatwear set in my parents house. When I was a bit younger, I thought it was absolutely adorable and so I sneaked it out. I promise nobody has missed it, they didn’t even know what it is was.

Big Purple Coke Glasses: I have a third one of these but it is temporarily missing. I got all of these for free from a McDonalds promotional thing.

Little (read: adorable) Coke Glass: Won this at some party about a year ago.

I also have a small collection of Afghan blankets that I have inherited from my mother. Her mother made them several years ago, and my mother has called them the “Afaghans” for as long as I can remember. One is a blue and orange one that her mother (my grandmother) actually made for me. One is rainbow (I had to take it!) and one is pink and green. They have been gathering dust and getting musty in the laundry room for almost a decade. The familial connection really means nothing to me (yet, I’m sure it will later), but I love these blankets because they are warm, soft and colorful. Three of my favorite things. I also have a few miscellaneous blankets hanging around my room that will be added to the box when it is warmer and I no longer need them.

Now, for Shopping Trip #1 – Target. Total Spent? About three dollars.

I was shopping for some other items and couldn’t resist picking up a peeler.

Shopping Trip #2 – Dillons. Total Spent? $25

Top Photo: 2 wire cooling racks, two silicone spatulas, and eight small magnetic clips.

Bottom Photo: Metal measuring spoons/cups and a metal ice cream scoop. I spent about $5 on the measuring stuff to find an identical (plastic) set for $1 at WalMart. I have to make myself not dwell on this, because I know I would actually prefer metal. I broke a plastic measuring cup at work a few weeks ago just by drying it….

And I was very particular about the ice cream scoop I got. I didn’t care much about the other items but I knew I wanted a scoop with the trigger thingy and the trigger had to be metal. Otherwise, I would break it very quickly. It needs to withstand being dropped and thrown in the sink.

Shopping Trip #3 – WalMart. Total Spent? $30.

Dishes! This is a 16 piece dinner service that serves four. In beautiful red. Four dinner plates, four salad plates, four bowls and four mugs. Yes! All for $15. What a deal. I was really happy, because I almost paid for $25 for something almost identical.

Flatwear: This was also really exciting, because most of the flatwear sets at WalMart were $10 for 20 pieces. This is a $10 set for 48 pieces and an organizer. Woo!

Cutting Board: It was 2 bucks and is the perfect size for me.

Total Monies Spent? About 50 bucks. And I haven’t even finished yet!

As one of my Survivor prizes (I won Immunity twice before getting voted out and Reward once)…I got THIS:

12 identical glasses, for free. I am pleased.

So really all I have left that I think I need are a couple pots/pans, a can opener and utensils to cook with. Other than that, I am pretty set on the kitchen items. I’ll deal with furniture later. I live in a big college town, so if I play my cards right I can get a lot of free furniture in May.

Note: These trips were about a week apart and I am not doing anymore shopping for a least a month! I am now limiting myself to a trip per mont so I can save my money.

More crafts/apartment news to come later. Happy Holidays!

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Everyone Loves Family Time, Right?

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Greetings all. I started this post at 2 am last night (morning?) when I got home from the boyfriends’ place, but decided I should look it over and finish it when I was more awake. Sorry for the delay in posting, but I got caught up with family activities these last few days. My mother works in a hospital so she has to work holidays. She took this weekend off to celebrate Christmas early. Luckily, my boss gave me the weekend off as well.

Like most families, my brothers and I think everyone is dysfunctional and we’re all at that age where we don’t like each other very much so holidays can be an exercise in patience. Or an exercise in anger management/training yourself to not throw knives at anyone. On top of that, we are all extremely competitive so some of our familial activities end in a bit of drama. My family is quirky and not very traditional, but we have managed to create a few happy holiday traditions in the last few years.

1- My parents purchase a small collection of ‘prizes’- nice chocolates, household items, gift cards, random things. We win these prizes either by our activities in number 2 or by playing games like Wii, Mancala, or silly things like who can eat an entire roll of crackers in three minutes. Yeah, we’re weird. I want to play this gift exchange game at some point too, so we’ll see.

2- We play Thanksgiving/Christmas ‘Survivor’. My parents watch the show avidly and created a game out of it. We have reward challenges (for the prizes in number 1), immunity challenges, hidden idols, redemption island and we vote people off. At the end, there’s a jury and we pick a winner. We are a family of six, and my boyfriend also gets invited. This year my brothers “not” girlfriend came as well. Having so many people makes for some really interesting dynamics and really irritating manipulation. Of course my boyfriend and I are in an alliance which annoys my brothers to no end. But then Brother 1 is so easily manipulated by Brothers 2 and 3, and then Brothers 2 and 3 do all kinds of crazy manipulation and lying.  But the prizes are fun and the challenges are entertaining. We’ve had to chew raw potatoes, try ‘mystery food’ from my parents fridge (my mother ended up with a spoonful of wet cat food, nasty), light a match held in our teeth, Simon Says while holding a biscuit on our heads…I think you get the idea. My boyfriend and I usually get voted off pretty early because my brothers are convinced we are incapable of being fair, but they are the ones who are manipulating everyone. Anyway, that’s another story for a different day. I’ll talk more about the prizes later.

3- Secret Santa. We draw names at Thanksgiving, have a $25 spending cap, and exchange gifts at Christmas. In this case, we’ll exchange on Friday. More on that later.

Yesterday we did some games with the family and significant others. Today we will just do some family games. Since Brother 3 goes to an out of state college, we incorporate the internet for some of our games, like Google searches and TV watching. For the Google searches, my dad comes up with some random questions and whoever inputs the correct answer in a shared Google Doc wins a point. First person to three points wins a prize, or immunity or whatever. My dad has a serious Google obsession. Brother 2 thinks this challenge is unfair because I type the fastest. Not my problem, but maybe it is unfair since I won immunity twice. 🙂

However, for the TV challenges I ended up at a disadvantage. We ended up watching ESPN since Brother 2 had that channel down in Florida. We had to guess whether the next play would be a pass or run or kick or whatever and it works the same way was the Google searches. However, I know nothing about football. I’ve never even watched an entire game, so I always lose these.

Overall, it’s a good way to spend the holidays. Sometimes I lose my temper, but having chocolate for a prize usually helps with that.

Water Manicure Tips

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I know this has nothing to do with apartments and crafts, but stay tuned! I have a couple of very exciting posts planned for this weekend.

In the meantime, I had a few free hours this evening and decided to try the water manicure. It wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t good enough for me to keep. I removed all of the polish and plan on doing it again later.

There are all kinds of great tutorials out there, like this one from All Lacquered Up.

I also found this video from CND’s Kristina Baune Estabrooks really helpful.

What I Learned:

-Add a small amount of nail polish remover to your water and mix. This seemed to prevent the polish from sinking. The first drop or two still might, but after that it just disperses on the surface. I tried it after reading this comment on All Lacquered Up.

-Definitely use some kind of tape or oil around your nails. So much less mess! I used tape, but I would be interested to see how oil or an oil/tape combination works.

-Breaking off tines from a plastic fork works in place of toothpicks (I didn’t have any toothpicks)

-Try using solid colors. Sheer and sparkly polishes were too thin for me to use. They work better when on top of thicker/solid polishes.

-Solid colors also developed the film a lot slower. This could also be my imagination.  But, I was able to dip three or four nails  before the polish got all clumpy and impossible to use.

-Use a minimal amount of polish. One drop for each circle you are making seems to work way better than lots of drops. So it should look like this.

Not this:

Note how you can see the thin bottom layer in comparison to the thicker top layers.

-Layer your drops. Initially I just did a few drops of each color and then stopped. The polish marbles way better if you do two layers of each color, with one (maybe two) drops in each layer. Mine are way too thick. 

Good luck!

I can’t wait to try this again. It was rather fun and with the things I learned, I do believe next time it will work much better.

Mushroom Magnetism

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I have officially begun creating adorable (in my opinion) objects for my new apartment! Today’s project: Mushroom Magnets! I got my inspiration from Pinterest, and almost made these cute pencils. I realized though, that I really have no place for a jar full of pencils with mushroom toppers. As I browsed the aisles at Home Depot, the perfect solution came to me. Magnets!

Growing up, my parents weren’t exactly the type to post school work or shopping lists on the fridge with cute magnets. I tried to get them to a few times, with receipts and shopping lists but I soon discovered that I was the one who had to throw away the yellowed receipts dated two years prior. All of our magnets were the flat business card ones.

Back to today’s project.

Supplies:

-10 ½ inch magnetic discs. They don’t have to be ½ inch, I just picked the biggest ones that wouldn’t show over the edge of the drawer pulls. The man at Home Depot also said I could use magnetic tape, but I think this would only work well if I used an Xacto knife and a stencil.

-A few wooden drawer pulls (cabinet knobs). Mine are white birch, but the color only matters if you want the color of the pull to be the color of your stalk. When I do more, I think I will try plain wood.

-White acrylic paint (for the spots), primer (if you don’t want to use the white paint) and the color you want your mushrooms to be. I chose ‘Bright Red’ and ‘Bright Blue’. I have ‘Bright Yellow’ but since I only have three pulls, I will make yellow ones later. I want to make green too, but I have to buy the paint.

-Some form of adhesive. I used Tacky glue.

-A brush with a very small handle tip or something to make the spots with

-Brush/sponge to paint with

Steps:

  1. Set up. The knobs have a hole in the base for attaching to cabinets/drawers. I found that putting the included screw (the longer one) in the hole and twisting it once or twice made for a really good way to hold the mushroom  and paint it at the same time.
  2. Prime the knobs. I used the white paint and it worked just fine. If you don’t use something though, then the color doesn’t seem to cover very well. For the ‘stalks’ you can prime them or leave them as wood. 
  3. Paint the top of the pull (what will be the ‘cap’) whatever color you like. I prefer the sponge for this first coat. Make sure your strokes go the same direction as the grain. I also painted two of the stalks red and left one white.
  4. Let dry. As the red knobs were drying, I realized I didn’t want red mushroom stalks so I added a thin coat of white paint, which mixed with the red. I used a small paint brush for this step so the strokes are a lot more prominent here. I liked the way that turned out, because it really looks more like a mushroom, even with pinkish stalks. I forgot to photograph this part though, so I will have to settle for a spotted picture.
  5. Add a second or third coat on top. You don’t want the white to show through on the cap like mine did.
  6. Once the cap is fully dry, squirt a small blob of white paint on a plate. Using the plastic end of your small paintbrush (or whatever tool you use), dip the end in the paint and gently poke the cap. Do not move the brush when it’s on the cap. This will mess up your gorgeous spots.  The softer you dab,  the smaller the spot. Make as many spots as you like. I got more paint on the tip every second or third spot.
  7. Let it dry completely. This is particularly important or else the spots will smear during the next step.
  8. Once everything is dry, you are ready to attach your magnets! The best thing for me was to take the cap off the glue. I ended up with lots of glue on my fingers which I don’t mind but you can also use the cap to control your glue flow.
  9. Get a magnet. If your magnets have the beveled edges, make sure the flat side faces up and the beveled edge is on the bottom. I held the magnet in my left hand, dipped an extra screw in glue and liberally applied the glue to the magnet with my right hand. You can use less glue if you don’t want any glue visible around the edges of the magnet . It dries clear though.
  10. Gently put the glue side on the base (bottom) of the mushroom. Position as needed, but be quick. This glue dries fast. Once all of your magnets are glued, let everything set for about 30 minutes for the glue to completely dry.

And you’re done!

Sleepless Shopping Spree

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I’m sure you’re all wondering just how my affair with Mountain Dew ended. Not well. After a sleepless night, I went to my boyfriends’ apartment at 7 am, was loopy and giggling about donuts for twenty minutes and then promptly fell asleep in his oh-so-soft bed. He went to class and I napped for a glorious 120 minutes. Then had a very cranky shower and a sloshy cup of delicious coffee. Word to the Wise: Coffee + Driving = Sloshy Coffee. Did that actually rhyme or am I still loopy?

Anyway, I finished school at an unusually early 1 pm. I contemplated going into work for a few hours but instead I went SHOPPING! Mostly for craft supplies to begin my innumerable projects but I got a few treats for myself as well.My bounty rests below and I’ll leave you all to your imaginations about what I am going to make! Project posts should follow soon.

Dollar Store: 4 5×6 frames and 2 11×14 frames

Home Depot: Wooden drawer pulls and 1/2 inch magnets

Michaels: Another tub of buttons, red/yellow/blue/white acrylic paint (dang it, I just remembered I forgot the brushes!), craft glue, and a clearance wood marker I thought I would try. I skipped the spray paint, canvas and Mod Podge. Those are for another day.

Sally Beauty Supply: This has nothing to do with my projects. 5 itsy bitsy 99 cent bottles of gorgeous nail polish. Pictures to come later. Adorable!

Kohls: Hat on sale. Socks. Running shorts. Two sports bras (on sale, so really I just made a bargain, two for the price of one!)

Target: Water bottle (I’ve already lost two this semester, so I bought a cheap one), a peeler for my apartment box (explanation soon!), and a planner to help me improve my dreadful organization skills.

After three hours and over a mile of walking (Toms are terrible walking shoes!), my feet hurt and my bank account has significantly less in it. But I have a smile on my face and I can’t wait to start crafting. I think that’s all that really matters here.

Oh!  And I almost forgot to tell you all! Tomorrow I have an appointment to view the apartment I am strongly considering renting! Hip Hip Hooray!

 

 

Gotta Start Somewhere

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I have been toying with the idea of creating a blog for several weeks now. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but it silently crept into my head and I haven’t been able to get rid of it since. In the effort of full disclosure, I had every intention of waiting until January 1st to create my blog. A nice, clean date to begin something new. But then I had an affair involving far too much Mountain Dew and far more Pinterest than anyone should ever do in a day, so here I am writing my first blog post at 4 am. I suppose it’s for the best that I am diving right in – might as well start it before I can put it off as a resolution for 2013.

Anyway, I decided that it’s time for me to search for a home. Not a house, but a home. The place I am living in right now is loud, dirty, and has an overall poisonous atmosphere. I am almost constantly fighting with the other residents and I honestly cannot remember if I ever considered this place “home”. So, I decided it is definitely time to leave. However, finding a new place (and making myself a “home”) isn’t exactly as easy as packing a suitcase and calling a cab. No. I am taking it slow so I can do it right. I have a few apartments in mind, and plan on signing a lease by April 1st. My expected move-in date? June 1st. What shall I possibly blog about in the meantime? The adventures to making this new residence a home. Maybe having all of the things I dreamed as a child that my home would have. Like, a roof that doesn’t leak or utensils for all of my baking desires. A place to curl up in read. Things that I found and painted and made mine. There are lists and lists of these seemingly meaningless items roiling around inside my mind, crying out to be set free.  That is exactly what I shall do, set them free, like beautiful butterflies.

After spending so much time (SO much time!) on Pinterest, I now have a rather impressive, if I do say so myself, collection of of crafty items dying to be made. I have a specific board dedicated to these crafty inspirations so it will be easy easier to make all of the things I want to make. I have magnificent plans to check out the local antique store, Goodwill and maybe garage sales if I can wake up early enough, for wonderful objects just waiting to find new life in my hands. I have all kinds of images, both real and imagined, that I hope to bring to life. I am creating a mental shopping list, thus far consisting of Mod Podge, Chalkboard Paint, wooden picture frames, and buttons. Buttons, buttons and more buttons. On impulse, I even bought a package of buttons on eBay for $3.19 this evening to begin my crafting adventures.

So get ready because I am finally making my way home, for the first time.