Thursday, December 27, 2012


Happy two year blogaversary to me!


 Jump back in time and check out my very first post...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cheap and Easy Quartz Point Earrings

Generally, it can take quite a while between the time an idea is discovered and the time it is completed and blogged about.  Occasionally, projects (like this one) complete that whole cycle in less than 24 hours.  This happened due to a perfect storm of a day off of work, easy access to the supplies, a super easy project and a late night of election result watching/blogging.

I created these earrings after seeing them on eat.sleep.MAKE.  Please click on the link below to see their tutorial.

I made just one change -instead of dipping the tip in metallic paint, I used a leftover metallic paint marker that we never ended up using for this project.

I was easily able to find the earring backs and jewelry glue at Michaels - and I'm sure Hobby Lobby would have them too.  In Cincinnati I was able to get the quartz points for a great price at the Aquarius Star on Ludlow Ave. in Clifton.

I brought home the crystals and cleansed them in running water and then charged them a bit by placing them in the sun on a large piece of amethyst.

 Then I gathered my supplies and my assistant Leroy.

 Then quality checker Willy stopped by.

Then I got to work.  I made sure to vigorously depress the marker tip to get a pretty thick layer of paint. Once dry (only like a few minutes), I put a dab of glue on a flat side on each of the crystals and put on the earring back.  They were dry pretty quickly - maybe an hour-ish.  Then...Voila!

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 Halloween Recap

Halloween has long been one of my favorite holidays.  This year it seemed to just come out of no where (even though my weekly trips to Michaels should have given me plenty of reminders). Last Saturday, Michaels did finally get me with this half-off adorable little black cat basket and super cheap glow bracelets.  I was so excited to give out something other than candy.  You see, my day job is in Public Health and we spend a LOT of time talking about beating childhood obesity and I just couldn’t give out candy.  I considered toothbrushes but thought people would straight up make fun of me (and they would be much more expensive than the glow sticks).  My job also focuses a lot on the safety of children out walking so the glow stick was just the awesome combo of not candy and safety!  Besides, the glow sticks looked adorable just waiting to be handed out in my little cat head.

I was totally unprepared in the costume department.  Saturday morning I was even dreaming of an awesome costume (which I’m not going to tell you because I may want to be it next year) but I decided not to get it together because we didn’t have any plans, but guess where we ended up going that night?  The costume party at Ludlow Wines!  Dang!  Next year I guess.

But even with nothing prepared I just have to celebrate a little bit on actual Halloween day.  I started with a fun “Halloween” outfit for work – not a costume, just an outfit with Halloween flair.  Several people said that I looked like a witch or a pirate or a pirate witch and several others thought that was just how I was dressing now.  Of course I thought of taking a pic before leaving for work but I just didn't, so you guys don't get to see that outfit.
After work, when it was time to go to my sister’s to hang out with her and hand out candy while her hubby and kids were out trick-or-treating I put on my fun Halloween outfit that always starts with these awesome socks I got in the Target dollar spot a few years back.

Then I jazzed it up with a matching colorful outfit and some fun green and purple eye shadow and...  

...vintage Halloween Troll earrings!

Troll Hallowen earrings

Do you see the terror in their faces as Leroy attacks?

After all the candy had been handed out and my nephew initially ignored all the candy he collected to dig out the NEW TOOTHBRUSH someone had given out (Turns out toothbrushes are awesome Halloween goodies) Mark and I headed to Riverside Korean to use our Groupon.  I hadn’t been there in a while and awesomely they now escort you to a waiting room while you wait for a table. It is an awkward small room in the back with couches, French doors and a karaoke machine.  We were there with one other couple who seemed scared of our enthusiasm for the karaoke machine.  We didn’t officially sing anything but a few bars of our duet version of Toto’s Hold the Line may or may not have been sung.

With bellies full of Ban Chan, Kim Bap, Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap and Myun Dak Bok Um we headed home and a very nice (but cold and rainy) Halloween came to an end for this year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Challange: Orderly Fabric Storage

(This post is part of the Fall Pinterst Challange over at Young House Love...and Bower Power, our fifth house and The Ugly Duckling)

I'm crafty.  

Once upon a time I lived a crafter's dream.  I was working part time at a local craft/fabric store (part of a national chain) and they decided to close my location.  Just as the store closing liquidation started the boss said "Rather than you guys trying to hold on to things until the prices go really low, all employees can just buy stuff starting now at 85% off".

85% off !!!!!!

This was just as the liquidation was beginning so imagine walking into your local craft store and being able to buy anything 85% off.  I did what most any sane crafter would do.  I immediately spent about $300.  $300 at 85% off gets you a lot.  Like $2000 lot.  Three really nice irons? Check.  Three fancy crafting lamps? Check.  Lots of scrapbooking, yarn and quilting accessories? Check. Lots of fabric? Check. 

And the initial $300 wasn't all - my buying spree continued until the store closed.  However, since then I have been rather transient, often living far away or in really tiny or temporary places.  Well, a while back, in this post, I talked about my new place, lucky for me my new place has a giant extra room that we are using for crafts/sporting good and tool storage and I feel like it is time to get this stuff out of the giant tubs it has been living in in my parents basement. I first remember seeing this project years ago when I didn't have a place of my own to do it.  Now that I do (and since I've been rearranging the craft room), I was pumped to be reminded by this pin:

See how the fabric is all lined up and looks just like a fabric store?  I LOVE it.

I started by buying two $20 bookcases from target, some "magazine boards" from my local comic shop and getting my iron and pins ready.  NOTE:  Many places I see this project they use the smaller size comic book boards, but my shop had the magazine size boards right next to them and I find their size to fit really well.

Then, after washing all of my fabric to make sure it's ready to use I set to ironing.  Lots of ironing.  I first ironed it flat, then in half (the same way it comes when you buy it off the bolt).  Then i simply ironed it in half again and it fits the height of a magazine board almost exactly!  Then I just wrap the board and pin with a strait pin to secure the end.  Simple!

I love the way it looks and this is such better storage than the huge plastic tubs it used to be in.  Also, since it's been washed and ironed it is ready to use.  This storage method will be optimal for quilting since I can just unroll the "bolt" and cut what i need!

I really think this new storage method and it's incredible functionality will help me get back to quilting this winter.*

*Once I finishing washing and ironing all of my fabric as this is only about 80% of the first of three tubs.

P.S. Don't forget to check out Jamie's super crafty DIY post over at the ReallyReally Blog.

Monday, October 22, 2012

10 Things... I should have already blogged about, but haven't.

In case you haven't noticed I've been pretty slow about blogging lately, so this is a "catch up" of all of the good things that have happened that I haven't blogged about yet.

1. I completed some home projects.

a)  I went to a very cool garage sale and found these sweet golden birds.  I feel sad for the poor man* who let these go.  Just a few coats of spray primer and they were ready.

 b) I dug this old frame out of my parents basement and gave it a nice coat of "Lagoon" teal.  Then I just added a piece of pre-made chalk board from Home Depot and Voila! (Just a reminder that Home Depot is awesome and will make a cut for you so you don't have to break out all your tools at home.  In just a matter of minutes they had the chalk board cut to size and saved us the extra work.)


c)  I needed a new solution in my bedroom.  I was using my same old night stands with our new mattress which is way thicker than my old one and having our nightstands a good foot lower than the top of the bed just wasn't working out.  So I found this pin on Pinterest and got to it (actually Mark did most of the dirty work).  We just trimmed down the legs of the black-brown table (they no longer make the light blue tables so I went with a color that would match Vallvik and Hemnes) and then I used command strips to hold them together.  I originally used glue but it just wouldn't hold and this way, while they hold together great, I can easily take them a part.

 2. I got a haircut.



3. We went on vacation to the beach.
 And only "fell" in the water up to our necks once**.  Who puts a deep inlet right through the beach?  It did rain most of the time but hey, it made for bigger waves.

We drove through the mountains.

We made it to our beachfront balcony.

We drank a Twisted Turtle and it was delicious.

We went to the Brazilian Steakhouse but  the cinnamon roasted pineapple was most memorable.

Mark proved that he does, in fact, like long walks on the beach.

We wrote in the sand.

We played in the water fully dressed. This was not the only time (see above where I mentioned that we "fell" in the water) and since the weather was damp our clothes stayed wet for the rest of the trip.

Mark drove us home in style.

4. I fulfilled a blog give-a-way.
I finally fulfilled my blog give-a-ways from here and here.  Congrats to Jamie who won both of them.  (Also, I realize that these prizes look kind of suspicious but I swear it's just DIY deodorant and DIY Laundry detergent.

5. I went primal.
Jamie and I both got into the 21 Day Primal Challenge from Mark's Daily Apple.   Being Primal means eating a lot of meat, veggies, fruit and some nuts and dairy but it also means that you should get enough sleep and enough sun and play time to be healthy.  Cutting out rice has been an awesome step for me and has ended a lot of the daily abdominal pain I was experiencing thinking I was still ingesting some gluten.  Being primal has led me to eat some delicious wild passion fruits right off the vine and enjoying an extra rare t-bone for dinner.
fresh passion fruit off the vine

6. I (partially) rearranged the craft room.
So as I'm writing this I realize that these pictures don't make the craft/ sporting good storage room look any better, but I promise it is.  The ever popular Svalbo Sideboard is definately more comfortable in it's new home.
The Svalbo Sideboard joined the Vika Amon. ->
My Svalbo sideboard being used for craft storage.

The absence of the sideboard left room for the birds! ->

This corner still looks the same. :(
 7. We went to a concert (2 actually).
First Mark and I  spent the night out at his friend's Metal concert when they opened for Soulfly.  I was very interesting. Second, we went to a free concert by The National downtown at the Emery theater.

We weren't drunk - it was just the heavy metal coursing through our veins.
Waiting for The National with Mark.
Waiting for The National with my brother David.
Mark, Chris and Alicia waiting for The National.

 8. I've been traveling for work.
a) I had to make a last minute day trip to Columbus just to drop off some papers.  I brought Mark with me so that I wouldn't have to drive up there just to turn around.  I dropped off my papers and we drove to Short North and had some gluten free pizza and Jeni's ice cream, then we visited Skate Naked and Mark skated away the evening.
Mark knows what he likes when it comes to ice cream. Chocolate.  He had two of the four gourmet flavors of Jeni's Chocolate.

 b) I visited Atlanta.  They are very open and accepting there.

c) I visited Mt.Sterling, Ohio.
I learned a lot on this trip, but also got a standing ovation for the karaoke rendition of Love Shack that I performed with one of my colleagues.

There was a beautiful lake.

And a nice little "beach".

I won three prizes in the conference sponsored raffle which left me with wine and chocolates, wrapping paper and gift bags and grilling tools and a beer pong kit, complete with instructions.

9. I got food poisoning.
I slept in the hall outside of the bathroom so I wouldn't wake Mark.  But after the 6-7 hour mass exodus of all food and liquid from my body, when Mark did wake around 3:30 he did go promptly to the store to buy me Gatorade and lots of Pepto.  You can see in the photo below that Leroy (and Willy too) were there - but more so to drink the water out of my glass than to make me feel better.

10.  We met John and Sherry Petersik.
 Cincinnati was the first stop for the Petersik's on their Young House Love book tour.  What luck!  The morning after my food poisoning I (barely) got myself moving and Jamie came to pick me up and cart me downtown for the Books on the Banks festival where we got books signed by John and Sherry and got to hear them give a presentation.  Jamie had an awesome story to tell because they day they were in town was her fifth blogaversary and John even congratulated her in her signed book!! I was just trying not to vom on them and mumbled something about having food poisoning and that the only other reason I would have gotten up that day is if I was getting married.  And then I wrote in their copy of their book (they had a copy for their guests to sign for them!), seriously, I wrote "Love You Always!"  Why did I write that.  That was weird of me, but it was all I could think of in the moment.
Look closely and you can see the line to meet them wraps all the way around the room - and they were the only ones with any line at all!  Way to go!

Here is a timeless picture of myself, Sherry, John and Jamie.

*Just remember Zubin, I paid my $5 for those fair and square!
** When I say "fell" I mean the while walking down the beach we came across a little inlet that was no more than 8-10 feet across and since it was across the whole width of the beach we figured that it couldn't be that deep as it would prevent people from walking up and down the beach.  We were wrong.  We were prepared to go in maybe up to our knees but within about two steps we were up to our necks in delicious ocean water.