Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gold and Silver Duct Tape Vases

Just when I thought I had exhausted all uses for duct tape, I see a gorgeous glass vase posted by Cassie at Hi Sugarplum. She used a cheap Dollar store glass vase and made it custom with my FAVORITE gold duct tape.

I had just bought a new roll of the gold tape and I bought a roll of the silver duct tape and decided this was a great project and was perfect for Christmas decorating. I Cruella Deville'd it all the way to the Dollar Tree to snag a glass vase as soon as I saw Cassie's vase, lol. I did choose a smaller sized glass vase than what Cassie used, had I only wanted 1 I likely would have bought the larger vases but because I wanted 2 I went a size smaller.

This was a simple simple project. I bought a straight glass vase at the Dollar Tree, well I bought 2 actually. I got home and cleaned the vases and then placed the gold tape toward the bottom and wrapped it around trying to stay straight. I wasn't perfect so I pulled the tape back and repositioned it. I repeated the same process with the silver tape. On the second vase, I set the 2 vases next to each other on a table and attached the tape first to the completed vase to get my tape to the same height, and then attached it to the second vase and then released the tape from the finished vase and wrapped  the remaining tape around the second vase.  Try to put your seams in the same places!

This was about a 5 minute project. I buy the gold tape a lot, but never the silver, the silver tape is pretty, give it a try!  They also sell glitter duct tape too but you get half the amount of tape and at a higher cost, so I have not splurged on that just yet, it's a bit too expensive to buy for not having any ideas for it. Target near my work finally got the python duct tape, it only took almost a year for Ohio to get python print duct tape, haha. I snagged a roll of it though before it sold out. :-)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Decoupage Picture Frame

Ohio weather is crazy!  Yesterday the snow was melting off the grass and today driving the kids to school was scary! plus all the melted snow is re-covered.  Many thanks to the school for their irresponsible decision to not at the very least delay operations for 2 hours so the roads could be scraped!  My kids school district does not like to use those snow days! Very stingy! All the other local schools were delayed or closed except ours. But the kids are there and safe and I made it there and back safe, thank goodness for traction control and that there were very few people on the road this morning, it allowed me to drive very slow and be safe without having someone up my bumper.

Okay, enough of my rant over the school district :)

Decoupage was hot a couple years ago but even though the rage has calmed down, decoupage itself is very cool because you can take cheap materials and create something unique, special, and to your liking. I know I have looked for things in the stores and never really found what I wanted but with decoupage I can use scrapbook paper or fabric to create a look that I have been unable to find in the store.

The picture frame I made a couple years ago was made from a cheap frame I found at Michael's on clearance for $1. The scrapbook paper was bought on a 50% off sale for about 25 cents a sheet and a bottle of decoupage glue Beacon brand for $5.99 a bottle at Hobby Lobby bought with the 40% off coupon for $3.60.

You can do this 2 ways one way is to put the paper on the frame tack in place. Using a marker trace the inner and outer edge of the frame against the paper. Using a craft exact-o knife or scissors carefully cut the shape out. Carefully attach the paper to the frame with decoupage glue.

Or you can attach paper to the frame with decoupage glue and allow to completely dry. Once dry using craft knife cut around the outer and inner lines of the frame.

Using decoupage glue it is important to read the directions on the bottle. I added a small amount of the glue to a dish and wet my paint brush before dipping into the glue. Decoupage glue is runny and not thick. Once the paper was attached and dry and cut out to fit the frame I brushed decoupage glue over the top of the scrapbook paper to complete the project.

To finish my frame I used gold craft paint and painted the back of the frame and the sides of the frame. The front of the frame dried with a shiny finish.

Very easy, cheap, and fast project.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cheap DIY - Tinsel Wreath

I bought about 8 strands of gold tree tinsel strands at the Dollar Tree. I only needed 3 strands for my project. Which left me with 5 strands left over. I wanted a quick project to use up the remaining strands. As I was decorating my tree in purple and gold I decided I needed to decorate the living room with the leftover gold tinsel. But how?
I decided that a little gold tinsel wreath would be very cute and having the wreath on the mirror over my couch was a perfect solution. My next thought was how can I create the wreath without spending more money?
I needed something to be the form for my wreath. I first thought about cutting a piece off a pool noodle but thought that may be too big. As I was strolling through my kitchen I saw a Chinette round paper dinner platter (bigger than a normal paper plate) and thought I would give it a try.

I used a soup bowl flipped on the top to draw the center circle on the Chinette plate. Then cut it out. I wrapped the tinsel around the plate and tucked in the loose ends. I used 4 strands of the tinsel. I always have Command 3M picture hanging products around the house and used the small hook to attach to my mirror and to hang my pretty gold wreath.
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jenni's Tree

Yesterday I showed off my main family Christmas tree. Today I am showing off my tree. I used to get a live tree, then one year the handmade ornaments got a little heavy on one side of the tree and the whole thing flipped over breaking most of the ornaments. After that we switched to an artificial tree. This little tree served us well for many years but once we moved into our house I found a large tree that would fit into our family room and the little tree became my second tree.

My tree has always gone up in my upstairs hallway in front of the big triple window but because I put in the storage ottomans in front of the window this year the tree will not fit there. I decided to put my tree in the living room in the corner, where I would only have to move a small tv stand that holds all my jar candles.

I have always done this tree in blue, since blue is my favorite color, but this year I wanted to do something different. I chose purple and gold as my tree colors this year.

My kids like to sneak in different ornaments and in the past my blue tree morphed into a multi-color tree. This year I had to make them stick to my tree's color scheme. Brooke snuck in one red and white ornament on the bottom of the tree. My son insisted one one strand of green lights, I will admit I fought him on this but I let him win, afterall its only 1 strand of lights.

The lights on the tree are a strand of pink, a strand of green, and a strand of amber. All the ornaments are ones I have had like the little gold bows, or ones I bought dirt cheap on clearance after Christmas last year at Kmart. I also created some pledge glitter ball ornaments for my tree.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

O'Christmas Tree

I put my tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I usually do it the Friday after but we had so many people over Thursday and Friday that it was not possible to get everything out of the attic.

Let me start with our main Christmas tree. This is a BIG tree. I am outnumbered on the colorful lights, but if 3 out of the 4 in the house want multi-color lights then they win. Plus I believe that Christmas should be fun for my kids and want it to meet their expectations of what Christmas is. I love looking at the beautiful sophisticated Christmas decorations that some bloggers do in their house or the photo shoots you see in magazines and I always hope there is a colorful tacky tree in an unseen corner that their kids get to truly enjoy.

This tree is the tacky tree in my house, but I love it. This tree has handmade ornaments and handmade treasures my kids have made at home or at school. This tree is colorful, fun, and this is the tree where Santa delivers all the goodies.

I do have my tree that is much smaller and is in a different room, I will post pictures of this tree Thursday :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Target Find - Foxy Friday

I found this little wood tone fox at Target in September and immediately snatched it up. They also had some really cute squirrels but you only need so many animal statues so I stopped at the fox. Though I kinda wish I had gotten 1 of the squirrels, oh well life goes on!

I admit the wood tone was nice but not my favorite, so I painted it a glossy white using Rustoleum spray paint. I was so excited to paint this fox I forgot to snap a before picture.

Today is my last day of work then I am on a staycation all next week, Yipee!  I hope to make lots of treats for Thanksgiving, do some shopping, get my house ready for next Thursday, and go to my city's Christmas festival this weekend. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vega Sport Protein Smoothies

I am now just over 11 months vegetarian. I cannot believe how fast 2013 has flown by. The decision was not hard, but adjusting to the lifestyle has been challenging. You jump into the change but it's difficult to plan meals, at least for me it is. So pasta and french fries become your friend, you won't maintain your weight or lose weight eating pasta everyday. I have pudged up but just a few pounds, I am working to lose it!

At this 11 month mark, I feel like I have had some trial and error and learned that planning is essential for this lifestyle. Any diet or way of life requires planning, but adding in creativity is another essential part of eating a vegetarian diet. If you don't plan and get creative it is easy to fall into an unhealthy vegetarian lifestlye, I have fallen some where between healthy and unhealthy this year. Now that I have been at this for almost a year I am ready to dive into a healthier vegetarian diet.

I started noticing a few months ago I was feeling tired and sluggish. I thought about what I was eating and not eating and decided I was seriously lacking protein and vitamins from my diet. At first I decided to just start taking a daily vitamin again and I felt like I was zipping around (definite sign my diet was lacking) but I still didn't feel "right". I decided to eat more foods with protein but also supplement with a protein shake, so off to the health foods store I went.

Many protein shakes are full of dairy and soy, both make me very ill. I needed to find a vegan protein shake that would exclude dairy but I also needed one that excluded soy. I found Vega Sport which has no dairy, soy, or gluten....SCORE! The lady at the store was extremely kind and gave me several Vega Sport single serve packets to take home to try out their line, that was exciting because the single serve packs are $3-4 each!

Ultimately, I chose vanilla because I like that I can mix in fruits, peanut butter, or veggies and alter the flavor. I will be honest the plain vanilla flavor takes some getting used to. The smoothie is great and packs a whopping 26g of protein per serving plus the PB2 per 2tbsp serving gives me an additional 5g protein! I can tell the difference.

My favorite and almost daily breakfast is a shake, made with a cup of ice, 8oz water, 1 banana, 2 tbsp of PB2 powdered peanut butter, and a scoop of vega sport. I have a few others I like too like adding Bolthouse farms mango smoothie to the vanilla shake or throwing in a few strawberries or fresh pineapple.

Do you have a protein shake mix you like to use?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Horse Candleholder - Anthropologie Knock-Off

I mentioned Sunday that Carmel at Our Fifth House recreated the Antropologie horse candleholder. I had seen some really cute tealight holders in the Partylite catalog over a year ago and decided I could make it myself, and I still may do it if I ever find the time.

What I liked about the Anthrologie horse candleholder is that the hole for the candle is in the animal. The Partylite version has the animal attached to a base and the hole is drilled into the base. The animals are metallic and the base is a dark brown or black

Carmel bought the solid plastic horses sold at Michaels and had to drill a hole into the horse and attached her finished horses to a wooden base for stability. I had a Walmart plastic horse that is hollow so I was able to cut the hole with a knife.
Carmel@ www.ourfifthhouse.com
The Walmart animals have the head attached to the body with glue so it leaves an annoying seam around the neck. I used my favorite pink-to-white spackle to cover that seam and sanded it smooth once the spackle was dry.

I held a taper candle to the desired spot on the horse's back and traced a circle with a sharpie. Next I used a steak knife to cut a slit in the back along the seam. Once I had that slit cut I used a craft knife to cut out the hole. I didn't try to cut it too big because I wanted to size the candle to the hole. This was quick and easy. Once I had the hole cut to the right size, I was ready to spry paint this little beauty. I used Rustoleum in Glossy Black.

Yep, I really screwed the bottle onto the horse's back
I used an empty plastic soda bottle to sit the horse's leg in so I could paint and I also screwed the horse onto the bottle top via the handy hole I cut in its back so I could easily paint its underside.

The taper candle sits in the little hole nicely and rests on the inside of the horse's belly. I think it is very stable so no need to attach to a base.

I only had 1 horse and am actively looking for a second horse, Walmart apparently has sold out of these horses (I have checked 3 stores now). They cost $3 each and paint was just under $4 for a can that will get used on multiple projects. Now that I have been living with this finished horse for about a month I would love to have a set of these horses in glossy red too. Many thanks to Carmel for this great idea! My horse would still be sitting on the shelf had she not come up with this DIY project.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Preparing for Thanksgiving

It amazes me how fast time goes by. I had a ton of stuff to share the last week of Halloween but we had to trick-or-treat in cold rain and high winds so all the cute photos I thought I would get to take just didn't happen. Traditionally we have met at my sister-in-laws house and a large group of us go trick-or-treating together, but one family has met other friends they now prefer to trick-or-treat with and the others this year decided to not do it because of the weather, so it was just us. My son only made it about an hour, once the rain really started to come down he was finished. My daughter and I stuck it out in the cold dark rain.

Since then I have been invested in reading the final book of the Divergent series, Allegiant by Veronica Roth.  Don't get me started on that book, I will post about it some other time. But I will say I have been trying to 1 actually read this one, and 2 get over my feelings this book invoked. Yeah I know its just a book, but this one after reading and loving the first 2 books of the trilogy was upsetting to say the least.

So what have I been up to on the home front?  I had this plastic horse from Walmart that I had plans for (for over a year! LOL) but then I saw Carmel's Anthropologie hack and decided to try that instead of storing my horse for my project. I did mine I think a little closer to the Anthropologie version but hers was closer to my original plan. I have to say I love it the way I did this horse!

I decided to try to stencil curtains. I like how they look but the texture, I don't know just yet. I have not completed this project, and won't until Thanksgiving week. The panels will be used as an interim solution in my breakfast room until we get a new patio door.

I finally got my mirrored console off Overstock that I wanted outside my home gym. It is covered in workout videos right now, so I don't have any good pics of it in the space I picked. Plus I need to get a mirror to go with the console.

Speaking of home gym, I have started to use it again! Yeah, but this has also made me aware of work that I need to get done in that room. I have been hard at work making needed improvements to make this room more functional. It won't be finished overnight but little changes will improve my ability to function in this gym.

I don't really go overboard with Thanksgiving decor, so enjoy the pictures of my entryway. Brooke decided to attach foam leaves to the closet doors. Simple. I use many of the same items for both Halloween and Thanksgiving decor, once Halloween is over I pack up the Halloween items. Outside my house I have the scarecrows on the bamboo sticks, but not much else, it is very windy where I live so less outside is better. We host so the less decoration the better, it just gets in the way but I do like a little decoration to be festive.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY - Homemade Laundry Detergent

So anyone who is on Pinterest saw all the mania over homemade laundry detergent a year or 2 back. Some folks make the powdered and others the liquid version, either way it's supposed to clean very well and is dirt cheap to make and use.

There are a bunch of recipes on the internet, I chose liquid for my HE front loader because I think my washer does better with liquid detergent. About a month or 2 ago I helped my sister make up a big batch of this detergent for her own use, but I never made any for myself because I gave her all the empty containers I had on hand. Of her leftovers that didn't fit in her jugs I got 2 quarts.

Sunday I decided I had enough containers to finally make this myself. I had the ingredients on hand: 1 Fels naptha bar ($1.29) and Box of Borax and a box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (together there were about $8-$10).

Mix dry ingredients: 1/2 cup Borax and 1 cup A&H Washing Soda (This not baking soda, Washing soda is sold in the laundry soap aisle as is Borax and Fels Naptha). Set aside

Boil 4 cups water.

Add 1 shredded bar Fels Naptha to boiling water. Stir to melt the shredded soap.

Use a 5 gallon paint bucket (less than $3 at Walmart) fill 1/2 way with hot tap water. Mix in the powdered ingredients, mix in the melted FelsNaptha/water mixture. Stir. Add more hot tap water to fill bucket to top. Set aside, let cool over night.

This mixture will form a gelatinous blob. I find it easier to remove 1/2 of the soap mixture (about 2.5 gallons) into another bucket or larger stock pot, set aside. This leaves 1/2 the soap mixture (about 2.5 gallons in the 5 gallon bucket). In the 5 gallon bucket add hot tap water to top to refill the bucket (about 2.5 gallons of water) and gently stir to break up the gelatinous blobs in the soap mixture, this will be like a soapy water (5 gallons). Ladle in to jugs.

Take the set aside gelatinous goo (about 2.5 gallons), pour back into the now empty 5 gallon bucket and fill to the top with water (about 2.5 gallons), gently mix until mixture is smooth (making another 5 gallons of soap), again ladle into jugs.

This mixture will make 10 gallons of detergent. Don't be worried that the mixture is like a slimy water when you ladle it into the jugs, as the water cools the mixture will get thick like normal laundry detergent you buy.

The color of the detergent is a pearly ivory color if you want to know how it smells it smells like the Fels Naptha Bar, a very clean soap scent. Fels Naptha is also good to have on hand to rub into stains on clothing. I have a jug that looks blue because I had some left over store bought that I poured into that jug, but this caused that jug to be runny, so it may not be a good idea to try to pour store bought into the homemade, it changed the consistency of mine, but I have no doubts it will work the same.

The cost of 10 gallons is less than $2.00, this should be enough for about 640 loads of laundry in my front loader.

Before you use this in your machine be sure to shake the jar very well to remix the soaps and the water in case there was any separation. If you want a very thick and more concentrated version add less water. I found the blog Budget101 that has a thicker more concentrated version. I may make this to use for stained clothing, this site also has a dishwasher detergent recipe (guess what I am making next weekend), and a few other cleaning product recipes that I may try out.

You can use any container you want gallon jugs work well, as do used fabric softener and laundry detergent jugs. I have a cat so I really like using the old Tidy cat jugs. The flip top tidy cat containers are good too. If you don't have a cat but know anyone else who does ask them to save the empty jugs for you to store your homemade detergent in. If you want a pretty presentation in your laundry room quart or gallon sized canning jar with labels would be really pretty.

I checked both the Purex and Arm & Hammer websites to verify that all 3 products were safe for HE washers before making this detergent. The Borax and Arm & Hammer both are multi-purpose products, as I learn new cleaning products I can make I will share them.