Tag Archives: crafting

Black and Gold Plant Markers

22 Apr

This past fall Nate sold his house (with a yard and a garden) and bought a downtown condo. While I miss being able to use his yard for my gardening purposes, he’s really loving the downtown life and the fact that he doesn’t have a yard to mow.

My apartment doesn’t have any outdoor space, so I’ve decided to make the most of his 5′ x 10′ balcony. I’ll post more on the balcony garden later. Today I’m excited about the plant markers I finished this past weekend.

I’m always pinning cute markers that I think I could make myself, but never get around to making them.





I usually draw a few pictures to remind myself where things are planted, and by the time things start coming up I can usually tell what’s what. Since this garden is on a balcony rather than tucked in the back corner of a yard I’m trying to keep things looking clean and organized. I’m probably a ways from the balcony being magazine worthy or anything like that, but the markers really help to unify everything.

While some of the example I pinned are pretty fantastic I decided to keep my investment low and the style simple. Here are the ones I made and how I made them.

Black and Gold Homemade Garden Markers

Black and Gold Homemade Garden Markers

Supplies:

Craft sticks from Dollar Tree (I used wide ones)
Black paint (I already had some cheap chalkboard paint from Michael’s on hand)
Foam brush (also had on hand)
Gold (or whatever color you’d like) permanent marker (I found mine in the dollar section at Target a while back, but I think a sharpie style marker would be great)

Instructions:

Paint two coats of paint on each side of the craft stick also paint the edges. When they’re dry go crazy labeling them for all your plants. One note about your permanent marker. I tried several different paint pens and even a white grease pencil, but finally settled on my gold pen because it wasn’t too liquidy (which caused the paint to run in the groves of the wood) and had a fine enough point to look nice (I’d read some good things about the grease pencil, but decided against it in the end because the point was unreliable).

Now there’s no telling how well these will hold up outside, but I’m ok with that considering I spent $1 (even if I’d had to buy everything I still would’ve been under $5). I’ll report back at the end of the summer, but I also suspect someone in a traditional garden may experience more wear and tear on their markers than I will on a balcony.

 

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DIY Ornament Wreath

5 Jan

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I mentioned that my mom and I made our own ornament wreaths over Thanksgiving. It was really easy, but there’s a possibility that we didn’t really save any money from one we could’ve bought at the store. It was nice however to be able to pick any color combination we wanted. This is the perfect time of year to start gathering supplies because you can find wreaths and ornaments for cheap since it’s after Christmas.

I followed the instructions from this blog. I won’t go over the whole process since it already exists perfectly there, but here are my notes.

To make this wreath I used:

  • an 18 inch evergreen wreath purchased on clearance for $2-$4
  • a can of metallic spray paint to hide the greenery originally $8ish but got for 40% off at Michale’s
  • 4 sizes of shatterproof ornaments all bought on clearance last year and this year.
    – 70 large (my mom got some extra large and we decided those didn’t look that good so go for the regular big size)
    – 35 medium
    – 35 slightly smaller
    – a still to be determined amount of tiny
  • high-heat glue gun and lots of glue
  • pretty ribbon to hang the wreath with

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A few other notes:

  • I didn’t realize when I started, but I’m pretty sure the blog linked above is using glass ornaments. I’m torn because hers looks really fancy and mine, when you get up close, is a little cheap looking. Shatterproof ornaments all have seams around the middle (except glitter covered ones), and you can’t really hide them. On the other hand I wasn’t really concerned throwing it in the trunk of my car to transport it back from Kansas because it couldn’t really be broken. A friend also pointed out that I could potentially throw mine in the bath tub wash it if needed. Just something to keep in mind.
  • The other thought I had after finishing was this wreath is HUGE. My mom reminded me in a couple years I may have a house with a bigger front door and this will look just fine, but currently it’s completely taking over my narrow 1930s apartment door. So depending on your preference you may want a smaller wreath (it will also take fewer ornaments).

 

Christmas Wrap-up

4 Jan

I just pulled the last of my Christmas time photos off my camera and wanted to share.

Nate and I at our work Christmas party

Nate and I at our work Christmas party

We had a little ice in OKC the weekend before Christmas. Thankfully the roads were fine.

We had a little ice in OKC the weekend before Christmas. Thankfully the roads were fine.

I made all my girlfriends and co-workers little Oklahoma cinnamon applesauce ornaments. The ornaments are super easy (and with dollar store cinnamon and applesauce cost me under $5 to make a ton), and make your house smell fantastic.
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I also gifted them with Oklahoma cookie cutters filled with fudge.
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Wrapping took me so many hours. I’d purchased some cute polka-dot boxes ($1 for 3 at Target) and a white paint pen, so even though I finished the task exhausted I was pretty happy with the results.
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I was especially proud of this wrapping job. We got Nate’s nephew a Hot Wheels race track. I stumbled across the idea to put a road and car on the outside of the package, and I hear his 3 year old nephew loved it.
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My parents dog Zuzu posing with the Christmas tree and gifts.

My parents dog Zuzu posing with the Christmas tree and gifts.

Happy 2014 and New Year Goals

3 Jan

I am generally not a resolution maker. I think I’ve made them occasionally, but they never really pan out. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about good goals to have though. Things that are a bit more short term, and not crazy ambitious and probably unreachable like hitting the gym 3 times a week or cutting a bad food from my diet for the entire year. So here are my ideas for January…if they go well I’ll renew them for February or adjust accordingly.

Fitness: I’ve had a Fitbit for a year, and I love it and wear it every day. My Fitbit goal is set to get 10,000 steps a day which working a desk job can be hard and probably only happens once or twice a week (if that). Fitbit is doing a January challenge and setting small weekly goals. I figured why not follow along with them and give that a try. Also a longer term goal: this year I would like to do another triathlon or if that doesn’t pan out I’d like to run a 5K race.

Healthy eating: Nate got me some sweet new Bento Box accessories for Christmas, so goal is to make use of them and pack some really tasty lunches this month.

Reading: I’m going to read two books this month. Maybe more! I love reading I just never do it enough.

Creativity: Finish a project or two. I’ve got a painting project, an ornament project, a couple crochet projects, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. So there is plenty to do!

That’s probably good for this month. Did you set any resolutions or goals this week?

Where I’ve Been World Map

8 Jul

I’ve had this project in the works for nearly two years, yikes! The family of one of my best friends growing up kept a map on the wall with pins of all the places they’d been. I always thought it was really neat, but as a 15-year-old I hadn’t been enough places to warrant a map. Now I’ve been a few places, and as I was putting pins in the places I’ve been I honestly couldn’t wait to add more!

worldmappins
This is a pretty cheap project. (Prices are estimates because I bought everything a year or more ago.)
World Map $6
Foam Core to fit your map and cut to size $5 (40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and trimmed $1 at their framing counter)
Spray Mount $7 (at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby use a 40% off coupon)
Map Pins $1.50 (use a coupon again)

All of that comes out to under $20, and the spray mount which is the most expensive item will still have plenty left for another few projects.

worldmappins2I’ve actually made a few of these because the first one was ruined when my apartment roof leaked, I made Nate one (and really owe him another because I tried to make it without any help), and I made this one for myself. So a few tips:

-Have a friend help you! It’s not possible to wrangle a big poster over sticky spray mount without messing up and getting bubbles in your poster.
-Follow the spray mount instructions. Do it when the weather is right, and shake it the full amount of time recommend.
-Use something to squeegee the poster down and eliminate bubbles. Hands don’t work very well, but the edge of a binder or book works great.

worldmapI’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Gender Neutral Baby Taggie

15 May

I attended a baby shower this past weekend, and the couple isn’t finding out what they’re having. I discovered that it’s kind of hard to find cute gender neutral baby fabric. When I make the taggies I like to buy the quilted fabrics because they end up looking really nice without too much work. I was fully prepared to make my own mini quilt, but luckily I found this cute animal print and brown set that hopefully is neutral enough.
BabyTaggieNeutral

She registered for some nice little bins, so I cheated on the wrapping.

BabyGift2

T-Shirt Blanket

2 Apr

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My super talented friend Elyse asked me late last summer if I would be interested in putting a bunch of their t-shirts together into a comfy blanket. I was hesitant at first, but she convinced me that they didn’t want anything too fancy and that I could take my time with it. I finished it all up last week (seven months to the day), and I love how it turned out! I kind of wanted to keep it for myself!

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T-shirt Quilt/Blanket tips and what I did:

  • Iron interfacing to the back of each shirt square. It takes some extra time, but is very helpful when sewing on the really thin shirts.
  • I used fleece for the back of the quilt, and I didn’t use any batting or extra layers of fabric on the inside. Elyse wanted it to be pretty lightweight (like a throw), and I would say it’s borderline heavyweight with the fleece alone.
  • After getting the quilt sewed together I added a stitch (see the detailed pictures above) around the entire outside edge of the quilt. It really gives the quilt a finished look since I didn’t use any binding.
  • I “quilted” down the seam of each column. The stitch is in the ditch, so unless you look really closely you don’t even notice it on the front. This holds the front and back securely together.
  • My steps for the front were: wash and iron shirts, outline a square that I want to cut, trim shirts a bit bigger than the square, iron interfacing to the back of each shirt, trim down to my outline, arrange squares in a good layout, sew squares together in rows, sew rows together.

When I delivered the finished blanket Elyse’s husband Ryan said, “Oh I’ve been looking for that shirt, and that one!” (Elyse reminded him that he’d okayed all the shirts included in the quilt.) After a weekend of spring weather it’s turned cold again today, so hopefully they’re enjoying their re-purposed shirts!

Happy Weekend

22 Mar

Do you have any big weekend plans? I’ve got a few things going on and some other exciting tidbits.

Some people get very excited about Easter candy hitting the store shelves. I do enjoy picking up a bag of Starburst jelly beans which you can find this time of year, but this has been the first year I’ve hunted down a specific Easter candy. I discovered Cadbury’s Royal Dark Mini Eggs last year and have been checking shelves for them all month. My dad finally found some in Kansas, and when I went for a visit last weekend I stocked up on a few bags. A friend said she found some at Target in OKC, so I’ll have to check there the day after Easter and see if I find any on clearance. Do you have a favorite Easter candy?

Royal Dark Cadburry Mini Eggs

I purchased my first DSLR camera today! My little point and shoot camera stopped working a while back and I’ve been getting by borrowing from friends when necessary. My Nikon will take a week or so to arrive, and I cannot wait!

Nikon D3100One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, is coming to OKC this weekend and we’re going to see him. I think there are still tickets left, so if you need something to do Sunday night it should be a good show!

I am super close to finishing the t-shirt quilt I’m making for my friend Elyse. Eight more seams.

Tshirt Quilt

I’m making Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas for dinner tonight.

Some friends are getting married this weekend at IAO. I think an art gallery would be a cool venue to get married at, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everything looks, and the fun time celebrating with friends!

Revolve
Source: IAOgallery.org via Flickr

My grandma was telling me about her garden and a book she got, Lasagna Gardening. So I’m going to pick up a copy from the library on the way home for some light weekend reading.

Lasagna Gardening

Have a good one!

Painting Class

18 Mar

I finished up my painting class at the City Arts Center (now¬†Oklahoma Contemporary) way back in November. I had a good time, and I found myself at the end wishing it wasn’t already over! It was different than I expected, but I really learned a lot. Every week the teacher would give us a photocopy to paint from (you could do what you wanted, but I think he frowned on that a bit). The images were mostly women, either a portrait or a full body shot. In the past I’d generally kept away from figures because figure drawing isn’t something I excel at (we look at people everyday, so when something isn’t in pretty close to perfect proportion it’s noticeable). So all of the paintings really got me out of my comfort zone, but I feel so much better about painting people now! And I came out with 3.75 paintings that I’m pretty happy with (the yellow one needs some work still).DSC02342 DSC02337 DSC02339 DSC02340

Chevron Pillow

15 Mar

Before I get started here’s my “before” bed picture with my FreeCycle bed I picked up (actually I think my roommate picked it up for me) right out of college.CIMG4692I’ve been trying to knock some projects out this year and here’s one of them I finally finished last month. My inspiration was this pillow I found on Amazon. I’d purchased a body pillow from Target, but I didn’t really love any of the covers they had to offer. I found some awesome grey chevron (canvas) fabric at Hobby Lobby, so I got it instead.

I really intended for this to be a simple no brainer project, but I ran into several problems. The zig zags went the width of the fabric rather than the length of the fabric and of course the fabric width was several inches shorter than the pillow, so I’d have to piece it together and match the chevrons.

I enlisted some help from my grandma and when we went to start measuring and cutting we discovered that the fabric was printed crooked! We finally got everything laid out and I said, so how am I going to put the pillow in and out? Turns out she assumed I was sewing the pillow in the case and I assumed I’d be able to take it out of the case for washing! So one end has a few snaps that I can now open and close.
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Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. My one complaint is that the case is a little saggy, but that’s not a huge deal.

When I was making my bed up to take these pictures I realized I’m really happy with how this area of my apartment has turned out! I of course could get a fancier or nicer looking alarm clock and a more adult looking throw, but I think it’s pretty perfect for now. So this is the “After.”
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I also got a new set of sheets which I like. I’ve been drooling over this set from West Elm, which also comes in yellow, for a couple of years. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $70 on a set of sheets. Target finally came out with some striped sheets, and while I very much love the width of the stripes on West Elm’s, Target’s on clearance for $8 will do me just fine!

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