Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wall art

I've been trying to figure out what to do for the wall above my couch for awhile. I've been looking at wall art on Overstock for months, and while I have found several things I liked, nothing that justified spending $100 for a painting. And I have several photos from various trips that I have taken, but none of it really fit the modern look I'd like to have in my living room.

So this morning, while trolling around websites looking for some DIY ideas for the Hobby Lobby gift card my mom got me (thanks, Mom!), I found this:

I loved it pretty much immediately and since anyone who knows me will tell you I love to scribble, this was for me!

I don't have white walls, and I wanted something a little longer than this piece, so I went to Lowes and found three 2x2 pre-cut boards that would work.

I also decided that since our furniture in the living room is tan, I wanted to make sure I used tan spray paint on it instead of white.

This project was so much fun.

Here are the boards after I spray painted them tan. They probably could have used a second coat of tan spray paint, but I sort of liked the uneven look they had. It made them look ... weathered.

This project was nice because I could let the spray paint dry to damp and then go ahead and add my circles, which is exactly what I did.

Then I stood above it with black paint and let it swirl. It's not going to look exactly like the painting I found, but I still really like it. I could do this sort of project for almost all of my rooms and no two would look alike.

If I did it in Alex's room, I probably would use white paint as the backdrop for the circles, but in my living room, I needed a little color.

I don't have it hung on the wall yet because the circles are still drying, but when I do, I'll post again.

I have another project or eight that I want to get started in the next couple of days. I making a piece of circular wall art for my room that involves using needlepoint rings That one is going to take a few days as I have to use the handsaw and spray paint and screw drivers. It truly is a sculpture fro my wall, but again, is replacing something that would cost me a lot of money at a home decor store.

Are you doing any fun wall projects these days? Share them!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crafting a new body

See how well I use the word crafting in my blog entries?!?

This morning I woke up with motivation. I'm hoping it sticks with me, but I'm motivated to do my best to lose 100 pounds by the time I turn 30.

Next month, I will turn 29 and as I already feel old, the prospect of being in my last year in my 20s and not doing something about the way I look and feel was just unacceptable. So I am going to do something about it.

I know it's not going to be an easy task, and I know I'm going to need support, so that's where I want your help. I want my friends and family to keep me accountable. I am not looking for people to judge me, but if you haven't heard from me in awhile, remind me and I'll write an update. If I post photos of myself eating candy or fast food, remind me. I know sometimes I will break and need a candy bar, but if it's a pattern of badness, I need to know. But you should know that in this department, I don't take criticism well and in the past, when my sister has been particularly critical of me and my habits, it's made me break down and not even try. So don't do that! :)

So here's to new beginnings and motivation that when I turn 30, I'll be at my lowest weight since ... I was 13.


Yup. That's the bathroom of the station. And it's only my face, but I have no before picture and honestly I am a little ashamed of the way I look. So there won't be a public before picture. Those of you know me have a mental image of before.

By the way, here's the math on my 100-150 pounds in the next 13 months.

If I lose 150 pounds in the next 396 days, it's one pound every 2.6 days. With the proper diet and working out, I think that's pretty possible. If I lose 100 pounds in the next 396 days, it will be a pound every 3.96 days, which is VERY doable in my mind.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Crafting the perfect meal

Anyone who knows me, knows I love life and almost everything about life. Probably my biggest love in life (other than my toddler bundle of joy and my husband), though, is cooking.

I truly believe cooking is a lot like crafting. You have to have the perfect ingredients and utensils to make the perfect meal. You really have to craft it together and it often takes a lot of pre-planning -- unless you live with a toddler like I do. Then, I do my best to pre-plan and throw together a meal.

Last night, I wanted one of those perfectly crafted meals. I wanted something decadent, but comforting. I decided to use some chicken I had already thawed for a different meal to make a deconstructed chicken cordon bleu.

I wish I could pretend this chicken cordon bleu was healthier than the version you can get at the store all boxed nice and neatly and cooks in about 30 minutes. This was probably as unhealthy if not more unhealthy than that comfort food!

I cooked a 12oz package of bacon in my skillet while salt, pepper, garlic and paprika had time to soak into my chicken (only one side, because you can season the 2nd side while the first is cooking!)

This gave me the perfect amount of fat to cook my chicken breasts. I should note that I don't like chicken breasts that are really thick, so I usually cut them in half like I'm butterflying the chicken breast and then cut it all the way through, and voila! A perfect way to make chicken more economical for a big family, or a way to make a 2nd chance dish without having to cook much on the 2nd night!

Yes, I cooked my chicken in bacon grease. A friend told me while I was cooking that I was mean because while they had take out for dinner, I was making a chicken dish that was going to be delicious just because it was cooked in bacon grease.

I made a cheese sauce with leftover pizza cheese from a time when we made pizza. The cheese was going to expire by the end of November, so I took my chance to use it up before it did. It might be the first time I've ever used up the cheese before the expiration because I usually forget I have some and buy a new package. I frequently have two or three of the same types of cheese in my fridge at any given time!

I made a simple roux with four tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of flour and four cups of milk. Then I took the cheese and mixed it in until it was the right consistency. Sometimes I use less milk and add later just because it's dangerous to put too much milk when you have a limited amount of cheese.

I piled the chicken with a slice of bacon, some cheese sauce and paired it with boxed stuffing. Yup, some may call me a kitchen goddess, but I cook out of a box like everyone else. The meal was delicious, though, and I am excited to put another dish into my rotation when I have leftovers that need used up! The entire dish, because I was using items already in my fridge, cost me nothing. It was fantastic.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I was full of craft this weekend!

I've had a busy weekend. I started Friday night priming the drawers in the dresser I'm painting. I have one drawer painted and I think it's going to come out really pretty. I'm excited about the prospect reconditioning this dresser is going to bring to my dining room. Maybe it can hide some of the toys to any guests we may have.

That's only primed, but I'll share final photos when I finish the project in the next century!

I spent most of Saturday running around like a crazy person trying to buy a few pieces I needed to finish up some crafts I was working on.

My front stoop looks good, but needs a couple more mums or pumpkins. The straw bale still looks a little bare.

The pumpkins are spray painted in brushed nickel and gold. The mum isn't blooming yet, but should be pretty when it does start blooming. There's a corn stalk and some ornamental grass back there as well.

I bought the wreath at last year's Jefferson City craft show. I am working on one for the door as well.

I think this will make a perfect addition to the wreath I already have out there.

I have become pretty obsessed with crafting. I have this blog, and am stuck on pinterest (don't forget to pin these images!)

I think it's the fall backdrop. I wrote a guest blog for The Midwest Mommy (which you can see on Monday!) and called Autumn nature's perfect backdrop. I truly believe that.

I did two more projects this weekend -- one fall related and the other not. I took a simple hurricane and filled it with Candy Corn. In the middle of the candy corn, I put a small votive candle holder and a candle. I LOVE this as a centerpiece for my small table in my dining room.

The other project I did was taking a wooden letter that you can get at any craft shop and making it into a decorative photo frame. I bought a cheap photo frame (50% off this week at Hobby Lobby!) and the letter. The frame was black and the backing was black as well, so I painted the letter a silver to stand out a bit. Here's the finished project:
All in all a pretty productive weekend. I bought another large frame to hang in the dining room once I do get the dresser done (you know, next century) and am still looking for a giant clock to hang somewhere in my house. I've always been obsessed with big clocks that are decorative, so the next time clocks are on sale at Hobby Lobby (and they are this week, but I spent all my money on other things) I am going to buy one for 20 bucks or so that will fill up half of my wall.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Crafting my front porch

It's been awhile since I've been able to properly craft. I had a few days off this week and after (sort of) cleaning my house, going grocery shopping, cleaning my house again (I have a toddler), I was finally able to do some crafting today.

My plan for this week is to find a hay bale to do my front stoop area. It will be pumpkin filled goodness.

It won't be as good as this (because I don't have steps ... or a corn field ... but this is my dream outdoor decor for the fall).

I have pumpkins sitting outside drying from spray paint, and another inside that I still need to paint, but I need to decide how I'm going to put the "B" on it. I am thinking about a light carve that doesn't go all the way through the pumpkin's skin.

I still have to pick up some mums (did you know you should not get already blooming mums? I just read that on a blog.) and some yarn to make this wreath: 
The wreath will probably be a next week project.

I'll share photos when I finish my fall outdoor decor, but for now, here's a taste of my pumpkins drying on the deck:

Are you working on any fall decorations? Share them! I'm always looking for great ideas!

Monday, September 19, 2011


I work as an interactive managing editor at a television station and as such, I'm an information gatherer.

Being in media is all about gathering in as much information as you can and paring it down to what's important. I'm not always good at that last part. I want to know EVERYTHING about the story. Even if it can't be told in 90 seconds. Which is why the web works great for me. If there's a video to attach to a story, awesome! If there's a quote we didn't have time for during the on-air version, there's always room on the web. The web NEVER runs out of space.

And that's where I fit. I don't always believe in limits. I think stories can be longer. I think lists of friends should have more. I think big. Not always my best suit, but when it comes to this blog, I think you'll love it.

I had an anchor this morning listen to a conversation between me and an executive producer about our new found world of crafting. The two of us are preparing for a craft show (that's a year away!) and have been talking about all the different things we want to make. His response? "Sounds like a bunch of craft to me!"

Which spawned this blog. I'm going to gather ideas and share them (with credit, of course!). And hope that you find some of them to be amazing along the way.

And as we recreate or spin these ideas into new crafts, we'll share those, too, complete with photos and tutorials and even an occasional video.

So the first project I'm going to work on this weekend is this:

I think it should be fairly easy. I can't find the source for it, but I want to use this as a center piece in my dining area. All it will take are some mason jars, tea candles, glass beads and some old hay-like material to tie around the top. Should take me ... 30 minutes for a set of three!

This is my plan tonight when I get off work. We'll see how it works out and I'll post some finished photos of it in my home.