Friday, December 31, 2010

Easy! Custom Lined Envelopes

One of my favorite things to make with my Cricut is cards. (I'm guessing this has to do with my OCD (want to complete the project now!) and my ADHD (has to be quick!) Hey, I have a couple of quirks, people, it's part of my charm!) Anywho, I love making the effort to create the cards, but then feel super guilty sticking them into plain boring pre-made envelopes.

Enter my random brain. Once upon a time, HGTV had a show on called Carol DuVall. Anyone else recall this show? It was a general craft show, similar to Martha Stewart, but WAAAAAY less hoity toity. She had a lady on once that showed you how to easily line envelopes. Since the show isn't on anymore, I thought I'd do my version of what I remember. Enjoy!

This is a great project to use up old scraps and matching pieces from your card projects. To start you need a piece of paper that is longer than your envelope from the top of the flap to just below pocket of the envelope.

Use a pencil to trace the edges of the envelope. Feel free to make the lines as dark as needed since the will disappear later. (Sneaky, I know.) I wouldn't use a marker here since it will bleed onto the envelope and add a little accent to it. Then again, if you're going for a random accent, go for it!

Once you have your lines traced, cut INSIDE the lines by a small amount. You're cutting inside the lines to ensure that the paper will fit inside the envelope. If you cut too much, it will look odd. If you don't cut enough, it won't fit. The example shows about how far to cut.

If you have an envelope similar to mine, you're going to end up with a wonky looking rectangle. Don't sweat it.

Place a straight edge across the wonky rectangle at the point where the rectangle angles in. Don't worry, when you try it, it will make much more sense than my poor explanation here. Crease the paper using the straight edge and then put a good crease in it using a bone folder. This will make using the envelope much, much easier.

Place the colored piece inside the envelope, center it, and line up the creases. Put glue on the backside of the flap, but...

make sure that you use your finger or another tool and smear the glue around. This will prevent it from making those ugly lines on the outside of the envelope. Not sure what the technical term is, but don't like 'em.

Fold the envelope flap down onto the glue and seal it. The great part about this is that you aren't lining the entire envelope, just the part that can be seen, because let's face it, when was the last time you peered into the bottom of an envelope??

Make sure that you leave the envelope open while it's drying. Glue has a tendency to seep out and gluing an envelope shut now isn't the best idea... (Yes, I speak from experience here and yes, I see the smile on your face...)

See, all finished! It goes really fast and makes a great addition to the hard work of custom made cards. (You don't even have to tell them how easy it was!) Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I've been featured!!!

I am super excited. I was featured on Polly Want a Crafter. Check it out!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Candy Land

My department at work was given the assignment to decorate for our annual Christmas party. We decided on a theme of Candyland. After an evening of fun, we came out with these pretty cute decorations. Please note, that these are NOT my creations. This was a group effort. I'm not trying to take credit for them, just show off the hard work. Enjoy!

This was the centerpiece for the snack table. I love the glittery lolly-pops. I heard they came from Garden Ridge. Wonder where I'm going to head to when I'm in the big city???

These came out so stinkin' cute. All they are are large styrofoam balls with over 1,000 peppermints and cinnamon discs pinned on them. I strongly recommend a girls' night with a couple of adult beverages to make it easier. ;)

For the middle tables, we made gumdrop trees instead of peppermint discs. I was able to put my ribbon addiction to good use with bows and loops. I also ribboned the base and the dowels supporting the trees. Thankfully we didn't have time, or I would have been tempted to break out the glitter...

Holy Cow!!

Okay, not really. I mean there isn't a cow involved and nothing has been blessed to be declared technically holy, but HOLY COW!! I just got an email from Cassity at Remodelaholic and Polly Want A Crafter. She wants to feature little ol' me on not one but both of her blogs!!! HOLY COW!!

I started this blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends and give myself a creative outlet. I never dreamed, okay, maybe I did, of being able to be featured by another blog. I am so excited!! (It truly is the little things that make me happy...)

Anyway, Polly and Remodelaholic are two really addictive blogs.
Polly Want a Crafter features some awesome ideas that are both cheap (but don't look it) and creative. Nothing aggravates me more than awesome ideas where the items needed are twice the cost of purchasing the finished craft in the first place. Cassity cruises blogs and submissions and finds the best examples of crafts and remodeling ideas so you don't have to. Check out these cute links from Polly!

Snowflake Specimen Art

"Hand"some Christmas Tree Art

Remodelaholic could be the source for a lot of my bravery in my house endeavors. It was one of the first blogs I stumbled upon and I used the logic of if they can do, so can I. Either of these look familiar? Click on the pic to see what they did with it... Check my past posts to see what I did with my version.

Check out these fabulous blogs when you get a chance. I'm just warning you, they're addictive!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


On the last day of work before Christmas vacation, a co-worker shared this video. While it's not Christmas related, the idea of peace and goodwill to men (and women) is definitely present. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Worst Gets Better...

Without a doubt, the laundry room was the worst in the entire house. If I recall correctly, and I do, it was that room that sent me into a crying fit wondering what in the world I'd done.

(To be fair, the crying fit came after I pulled out an entire skeleton of what must have been a squirrel or a baby raccoon, and yes, I've had that confirmed by someone other than me. Thankfully my older brother put me back on the right track when he offered to buy it off my hands right then and there. He did just the right thing by challenging my ability to do something. I can safely say that stubborn is one of my strongest characteristics. Anyway, I've digressed enough.)

Just in case you've been lucky enough to forget, here is the way the laundry room looked when I did my walk-through.

You can't see the corner that resulted in my questioning my logic, but here it is in all it's glory. The corner of the house had taken a direct hit from a tree limb falling on it last May. By August the water and rodent damage was rampant and had consumed the entire support for the corner. The 2x4 was rotted through and was knocked completely out by a gentle touch. Notice the brick in the picture? Yup, that's external brick. Oops!

I am very happy to say that what was once the worst room in the building is now a bright airy space that I'm not terrified to be in! My middle/baby brother and his wife very graciously gave me their old dryer, so for the first time since I've moved in, I can wash and dry clothes in my own house! No more blow drying pants before car duty in the morning! (been there, done that...) Notice my "new" washer and dryer.

Originally there was a dark nasty cabinet hanging up in the corner above the washer/dryer. While I appreciated the storage, the mold between the cabinet and the ceiling and the general filth of the cabinet meant it was coming out! So, what kind of storage did I want???

**Disclaimer: I'm about to get on a personal soapbox. Watch out.

My family's go to storage option is UGLY metal brackets on the wall with adjustable braces that you place a shelf on. I HATE this type of shelving for a purely aesthetic reason. I appreciate the ability to adjust it and its myriad of combinations, but the metal braces and exposed supports are just not pleasing to my eye, so don't even/ever try to talk me into it. Remember the stubbornness we talked about earlier?. Okay, okay, off the soapbox, you're safe now.

Instead of the aforementioned shelves, I wanted strong shelves that had no visible means of support. Easy-peasy right? Ha! Apparently, Marc/Dad channeled the wood workers of old in a couple of dreams before he came up with the shelf design. I'd be lying if I even tried to describe it.

I just have to say that I love the look and am very pleased with how clean and uncluttered the shelves themselves look. (Ignore the items on the shelves, I know that stuff is cluttered, but one step at a time, people! I'm only human!)

Check out my scary laundry room now! Hours of scrubbing, sweat, a little blood and a couple of tears and I have a room to be proud of. Now if I can just keep all the walls intact, but more on that later...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Elphaba Takes A Seat...

I was lucky enough this summer to spend a long weekend in Florida with my mom visiting her brother, Brian and his wife, Judy. For those of you following along and playing the game, yes, that is my aunt and uncle. It was a GREAT weekend! My aunt is one of the two best shoppers I know. (The other best shopper I know is my other aunt, Gail. Gonga-deal is a legit word in my family.)

As soon as I could feel my tush again, 17 hours is a long time to sit folks as we drove cross country, we headed out to scour Ocala for deals. The first place we went was a local church thrift store. After looking around, checking all the deals and heading for the door, my gut told me stop, and look again. There in amongst the 60's & 70's gems was something very similar to this beauty.

However, you have to imagine it in blue gray velour because yours truly didn't take a "before" picture. Still to this day, I can't think of a good use of this fabric. Anyone?? Anyone? Nope, not hearing a thing. Now, while you're imagining it in velour, go grab a can of paint, spray paint, in bright green, the brighter the better. Step 2, spray the entire chair. Seriously, go spray. Done spraying? Now, check out the pics.

See, I'm not lying. Notice the original color where we popped off the front covers on the edges of the arms. And, yes, it was spray paint. The texture of the painted fabric was much, much rougher than the original color. Ouch. What I want to know is where in the world did it come into their mind that they should spray paint a chair??? Seriously?!? That's the first thing that comes into your mind when you see a blue chair and you want to change the color?!? Anywho...

Okay, I've digressed. Those of you who follow me know this isn't an odd thing. Back to the beginning. The title to this post is Elphaba Takes a Seat. Who is Elphaba you ask? She is witch that was born green and uncomfortable with herself. The exact opposite of her best friend, Glenda. You might have heard part of her story in the tale of The Wizard of Oz. You can learn more about her from her own story, Wicked. Because of my chair's green skin, Aunt Judy named my chair Elphaba and it stuck. It fits her somehow even though she is no longer green, hint, hint.

Now, back to my version of Wicked. Design Intervention is a pro at recovering and reupholstery and gave me the courage to try it on my own. I stopped by a supplier in Houston and picked up some tools that I couldn't have done without. Kuddos too, to the awesome gentleman who helped me. When I explained that I was trying this for the first time, he reassured me and told me that I would be a pro in no time. While he was lying through his teeth, I appreciate the lie more than he'll ever know.

After hours cruising blogland, (this helped tons!) and building up massive amounts of courage, Marc, my dad, & I tackled the chair. Yup, I literally mean tackled. We pulled almost 5,000 staples, not kidding here, and then I took the fabric pieces and used them as patterns to carefully cut the new fabric. Once the new pieces were cut out of the same fabric I used for the Pottery Barn magic, we began the arduous task of putting it back together again.

Notice the brown stuff in the bottom of the pic and in the next one? That's wool or cotton (unknown by me) felting that is put over the wood pieces and springs to add comfort to the chair. Because we disturbed it, we laid it back down and then covered it with a new layer of fluff. It was impossible to get the felting smooth again without the new stuff. We had to staple down the felting, the new fluff and then the fabric. I have no idea how many staples we actually used to put it back together, but I'm betting it was over 1,000. If for some reason you decide to tackle a chair like this, get a pneumatic stapler. There is NO other way to do it. None! (Granted, it also helps to have an awesome uncle who loans you an air compressor on a 2 year/2,000 mile basis!)

I will say that putting the chair back together was infinitely easier than taking it apart in the first place. Definitely more gratifying. Now that it is done, the difference in my living room is huge. The chair now "fits" the room, instead of sticking out like a green thumb.

While I know pride is a sin, I am so proud of myself for charging in head on, after researching, and getting this entire started and finished. A couple of posts ago, I mentioned a table that I had refinished. It's now feeling right at home besides Elphaba.

Remember when I mentioned that my aunts and the term "gonga-deal?" Care to guess how much this beauty was?

She was labeled $15.

Luckily they were having a half-price sale to move out furniture, so she was only $7.50. Yes, you read that right, seven dollars and fifty cents. How's that for a gonga-deal?

A Whole New Look

Last year as a combined Christmas and birthday present I received a large chair, ottoman, and couch from Leslie & family. They were blessed enough to be getting a new set and passed on their old one. Seeing as I was then sitting on a blow up swim float to watch TV, I was really, really grateful. While the basic structure of the furniture was in great condition and super comfortable, the fabric was a tired and wearing thin, literally, in places. (On a side note, after getting their new furniture, M4 and VJ, Leslie's kids tried to give me the new stuff and take back the old because the new stuff wasn't comfortable. I did say no.)

Now, onto the furniture. The couch is a classic denim, and the chair and ottoman were a fabulous striped pattern. In case you missed my subtle sarcasm, I'm not a blue and yellow girl and stripes aren't really my thing. Now, I'm not complaining here by a long stretch. The chair is very comfortable and fabric can always be changed! Besides, one look at the chair and I had already envisioned it in a lovely cream fabric.

So, I approached my step-mom, Sara, and asked her to complete the monumental task of making a slipcover out of a lighter weight cotton canvas. (I was able to trade almost 30 yards of fabric for an entire set of wedding flowers. WooHoo! The labor, not the flower cost.) Unfortunately the fabric wasn't thick enough to cover the stripes, so the entire thing had to be lined. And oh, yeah, did I mention that there wasn't a pattern?!? So, after innumerable hours of hard work, and a couple or three pin pricks, she was able to transform what is pictured above into the Pottery Barn special below!

I have to say, I am knock my socks off impressed! And just in case of a spill, the entire thing unzips and comes off to go in the washer. Again, did I mention I was impressed????

Front Door Decor

Last year, in a fit of pique, I declared that I was going to hang up a Christmas wreath on my front door. Now, what you have to remember is that my house was still in a huge state of shambles. I had literally no place to sit, no door on the bathroom, and wasn't even living here, but darnit, I was going to have a wreath. So, off to Michael's I went. (love those coupons!!) I purchased a wreath form, a plastic garland and some jingle bells. Combined that with gorgeous ribbon and I came up with this...

By the time I actually got this made, it was well after Christmas and there was no point in hanging it up. So, I carefully put it up in a plastic bag on the top shelf of my closet until this year. Now, as soon as Christmas rolled around this year, I pulled the wreath down and took a long hard look at it and decided I didn't like it. (I know, big surprise there huh?)

It was boring and annoying me, so I pulled the whole thing apart. Don't get me wrong, I love the elements of it, just not how it was put together. While I was shopping in November, I fell in love with some glittered hydrangea at a local wholesaler. Unfortunately I didn't love their $6 per head price. So, I found some other less glittered hydrangea on clearance for $2 per head. Add a little Martha Stewart glitter and some Glimmer Mist in Santa Baby and perfection. After adding my new flowers and some glittered oak leaves, I came up with this and I have to say I am MUCH happier with it now!

The glitter doesn't photograph well, but I promise it looks good!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmastime is coming!

I would love to claim that I have been super productive today and have just now finished all of the projects I'm going to post about this weekend, but that would be a lie. Let's be honest here. I've spent most of my day picking after decorating for Christmas, finding my desk again and trying to sleep since I didn't last night (killer allergies had me coughing from 3-6 am! It could be worse, I could feel bad as well.) I do have big news about projects though. Yay!! No, I didn't finish all of these projects today or even this week, but I am super excited to share them with you. And without any further delay...

A couple of years ago, my brother and then future-sister in law went to Florida and picked up some furniture from my aunt and uncle. The table was one of the pieces that came back. It sat in my mother's house and then mine in this condition:

An okay table, but not really my taste. I know, I know, it's some type of wood and a girl should never paint it. Well, if painting real wood pains you, stop reading now and look away, people, look away!!!

After cruising the blogging world for a while, I realized that they were right. Paint is just paint and can usually easily and cheaply be changed. So, I bite the bullet and picked up a can of:Yup, that's right, Aqua paint! So, after a quick drying (love that feature) spray of paint, I realized that I wasn't that brave. So, I grabbed the "glaze" ie watered down brown paint from the living room and master and rubbed it all over the piece. Voila! Perfection, at least in my eyes. I love it now and am so glad that I braved it. Eventually I want to cut down a piece of mirror to replace the marble piece in the top. Don't worry rock hounds, I have another use for the marble. It's not going far!

In a post or two, I'll show you it's new home and neighbor. It's currently tied for my favorite place in my house.