Saturday, July 31, 2010

Basement Curtains

A few years ago I made a set of curtains for our townhouse upstairs, heavy to keep out the heat of the sun.  When we moved, I only had one window they would fit. In the kitchen next to the back door:
They look kinda wonky here but they're straight.
For the first year that I lived in this house, I had the ugliest curtains on the planet in the laundry room.  I wish I had taken a picture of them, just to show you how hideous they were.  The were orange and brown with diamonds or something, and so crusty and dust-covered that I'm pretty sure they were original to the house. As in 1954.  The reason that I don't have a pic is because as soon as I had the idea to replace them (see below), I took them down and shuddered as I stuffed them into the garbage can, trying not to inhale the cloud of dust and God-knows-what that flew into the air.
Here's what the laundry room wall looks like (just ignore the pretty curtains and place in your mind ugly orange and brown monstrosities):
There's no curtain rod, but some previous owner had fixed that with some kind of thin wood stick and some bent nails. Genius.
This is what it looks like now. Isn't it lovely? And in the daytime, the room is filled with a soft green glow. Ahhh.
And, for your amusement, here is a pic of Teddy, looking at me like, "WTF are you doing on top of the freaking dryer?" 
He literally follows me everywhere I go. It's pretty much adorable.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Swap-bot: A Nice Pair

Swap-bot swap: A Nice PairI swap with Swap-bot!

This swap had me laughing at the name.  A nice pair of postcards, you pervert! Here are the instructions:

Send TWO postcards to ONE partner.Find a way to make them a "pair". Split a story between the two cards. Make a game or a puzzle to be played with both cards together. Write notes on the backs to explain why (or why not) the cards make "A Nice Pair". Whatever works for you!

I have this giant box of weird postcards from the McSweeney's Quarterly covers (no, I don't know what that is either).  I picked these two to send to a lovely gal named Teresa. I sent them on July 12, 2010.
I think they pair up well enough without my explanation, don't you?  Yes, they're kinda disturbing. But so am I, LOL.

Here's what I got in return:
These are images from the Guggenheim Bilboa Museum in Spain, or so my swapper tells me.  I received both on July 21, 2010 from Camellia.

P.S. Sometimes I think the rough way the USPS handles the PC's makes them have more character, but sometimes I want to kick someone for ruining a beautiful postcard.  They ended up wet, with the address side all chewed up from some stupid sorting machine. Ah, my ongoing struggle with the good ol' USPS.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thrifty Finds Thursday: Kick-Ass Postcards

Someone recently asked me where I find the awesome postcards I send out.  I got a box of 100 for $24.99 at a kitschy shop in Omaha's Old Market, and I've been working my way through those.  Also, I get packs of cards as gifts from family members, and once in a while I'll see one in a magazine all perforated.
If you don't have a kitschy store or awesome relatives or magazines, here's where you can go:

Pomegranate "100 postcards for $14.95. An incredible variety! They just send you 100 random cards. I love them all and I'm sure I can find a way to use every single one! I've probably already used 20 of them and I've only had them 3 weeks. I got my order really fast and they even sent an awesome bookmark as a special gift."
Search for "postcards" and "postcard" on
Have fun :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mormons: Give them Ice Water and They'll Cut Your Grass (or not)

Today two Mormon "missionaries" came to my door. I invited them inside, because it's eleventy-thousand degrees outside and I felt sorry for them.  My dogs were barking like crazy and jumping on them (because that's what they do to everyone).  I gave them some ice water and the games began.

They obviously had a script, but I took over the conversation.  It was funny.  They asked me if I had ever heard of or read the book of mormon, and I said that respectfully, I did not believe it to be divinely inspired and consider it to be blasphemous against the Bible, the one true word of God.  I told them about my devout Lutheran Missouri Synod beliefs, and they kept going back to the script whenever I paused. Like this: Me, "Luther's Small Catechism is a wonderful guide to all things regarding scripture and understanding the sacraments." Them, "So, ah, do you have a favorite parable or story?" So then I'd prattle on about my favorite parable, which is about storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth where rust and moth destroy (Matt.6:16-19).  As soon as I paused, they asked me, "So, um, do you have a favorite Bible verse?" I said, "Oh, yes, of course the most important is John 3:16." The one guy tilted his head like he was thinking, then recited the verse. I thought, of course I know the content of the verse, why do you think I said it was my favorite? Dumb.  It went on like this for about a half an hour, them asking a question and me going on and on and on about something semi-related, emphasizing that LCMS Lutherans evangelize by example and it is God who truly turns our hearts to the light.  When they got up to leave, they said, "If there's anything you need, just let us know, like we can mow your lawn or walk your dogs to help you out." I said I needed my lawn mowed because I was so flat broke, and they said they couldn't do it. Hah.  They asked if they could come back to talk about the "mission" and I said, "Honestly, I don't think my husband would be comfortable with two men coming evangelize to me in our home. But you're welcome to come by for a glass of water."  Buahaha I'm so sneaky.  I'm fairly sure they'll come back, and I'm going to evangelize them again.

You might think it's mean, but I stand behind what I did.  I've seen my fair share of just-out-of-high-school mormon missionaries, especially at Iowa State, and it's fun to talk to them until you see a glimpse of the person inside the Mormon Robot Mask.  For example, the younger one asked the names of my dogs, and while I was telling him, the older one gave him a dirty look, like "don't deviate from the plan, dude!" LOL. The younger one told me his mom had a shihtzu like mine and his name was Gizmo. Cute name for a shihtzu, I must say so.  I also learned about the younger one that he lived alone in an apartment in my town for the first time away from his family (of course) and they live in New Mexico. The other dude lived in a town like 30 miles from here.  I don't think he had a personality, but we'll see if I can get "Elder Gardner" to reveal it next time. [Insert evil laughter].

Oh yeah, and I told the younger guy he could take Lucy because I'm looking for a new home for her after we move, and you should have seen the way his eyes lit up! Then he looked at his partner, and said, "Oh, I can't have a dog."  Will somebody give this poor kid a freaking puppy dog??

P.S. It's a good thing I turned off the Eminem I was listening to before I answered the door. Snort.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mary Engelbreit Mondays

I'm participating in M.E. Mondays at Cherry Chick Jewelry!
I once had a cubicle in a dreary building answering telephones for MCI Customer Service.  The highlight of my day was when my cubicle-neighbor would give me her old calendar page of the day, featuring Mary Engelbreit!  Years later, this is all I have left of it, having used them for crafts and such.

**Hint to family members and people looking to give me things for my birthday which is in SEVEN SHORT DAYS. I'll be turning 26. Again.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Swap-bot: BLOGGER!

Swap-bot swap: I’M A BLOGGER, FOLLOW ME!!!I swap with Swap-bot!

This swap doesn't require anything but time and kindness. I was really excited to hear about it, and signed up right away.  Here's the scoop:

The intention of this swap is to gain exposure to your blog and hopefully gain regular readers and some new followers. All blogs are welcomed, craft, family, diary, career, etc. as long as it is not advertising only!  So for this swap, you will visit each of your partners blogs by using the links on their profile page.  At their blog site you will browse and read your partners blogs, don’t forget to leave a comment or two (be sure to include your swapbot name) so they know you have been there and follow them!!
I'm excited! I always love new readers, and I always love new blogs to read! There are a staggering number of people in this swap: 104.  I have been assigned only 10, but I intend to check all of them out and share with you my faves.

The Hostess with the Mostest, TrainMama:

My 10:
Em at ...consciousness collection...
Dani at True Confessions of a Liar
Rachel at Bare Bones
Brandi at The Logge of the Furie Queene
Sunny at ~* And baby makes 3 *~
Crystal at This Young Mama
Last Minute Bride
Raye at Flying Without Feathers
Mimi at Watercolors by Mimi Torchia Boothby
Angela at Confounded Crafter

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pink Saturday: Rosette Hair Tie & Clip Tutorial

Hello, readers! Happy Pink Saturday! This event is hosted every week by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.  A whole day devoted to pink crafts, antiques, photos, and more.  Perfect!

A few weeks ago I was featured on the blog Recycled Crafts.  Since that tutorial was such a hit, I've decided to do another one.  And this one will be ridiculously detailed, too! Cuz that's how I roll.
I started out with this scrap of knit material.  It was less than six inches long and about two inches wide. 
I folded it over, but didn't press it with an iron, so that it made a tube.
I had some leftover white felt from a Christmas stocking kit.
I took a small piece and cut it into a circle(ish) about 2cm in diameter.
I threaded a needle with white embroidery floss (two strands only) and started with the uneven end.
The first thing I had to do was attach the knit to the felt backing.
Keeping the raw edges of the knit scrap together, I sewed it onto the felt in concentric circles.
Here's another view of the sewing process:
And the finished rosette looked like this. I made two.
With the first one, decided to make an elastic hair tie.  I cut another small piece of felt, and sewed one side of it to the base of the rosette. I put the "ugly" part of the elastic band inside, and sewed the felt down over it.
I tested it in my hair and found that the elastic liked to slide around, so I sewed through it and anchored it to the felt.
Here is the finished product in action.
And a close-up:
Yep, folks, that's me.
With the second rosette, I decided to make a clip.  I had lots of clips handy, and all of them were in colors that look horrible in my hair.
So I spray-painted them white, lol.  I wasn't sure it would work, but it did.  I also sprayed them with acrylic sealer, just to be sure.
I used the same technique with the felt to secure the second rosette to the clip.
The underside was left silver-colored. It's better that way. Here's the front.
And here's a shot of the new hair clip in action.
I like it.  It's a very pale pink that sort of matches my complexion. 
If you decide to try this at home, leave a comment with a link to your pic! I'd love to see what you cook up!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thrifty Finds Thursday: Goodwill is my Mecca

Today's post features a few things I got at Goodwill a few months ago, back when I could afford it. Yes folks, I am officially too poor for Goodwill.
Anyhoo, here's what I got:
A gilded frame with a lovely flower print for $3.99
A ceramic tile willow tree with wooden frame, $0.99

And here are some other Goodwill treasures I've featured in the past. Go check them out:

and last but not least, Vintage Science Textbooks.  
I don't think I got these at the Goodwill, but I need advice on what to do with them, people. Everybody has an opinion, right? Tell me what to do with these treasures!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Swap-bot: Quick LOL PC Swap

In this postcard swap, we were to send a postcard we thought was funny, and a little quip or joke on the back.  I forgot to scan the exact card I sent, but it came in the same pack as this one:
It made me smile.  Then on the back I wrote this:  Q: What do you call an underwater spy? A: James Pond.  Hehe. I am amused.
Here's what I got in return:
I received this one on July 19, 2010 from Becky in Phoenix, Arizona.  I love it.  Here's the back:
I want that button. ROFL.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Swap-bot: Show Me What You Like

These names are full of innuendos! But the descriptions clear them up.
You will send one postcard to one partner, of something you like. It could be a building, monument, country, person, artist, animal, musician. Anything YOU like.  Then on the back write a sentence or two about why you like it and chose it for this swap.
So I sent one that portrays my closet Mary Engelbreit obsession:
Sigh. It's so adorable. Look at the "charms!" and the flowers! and the gingham! and the lace! OMG somebody stop me.

**EDIT** Apparently someone loves M.E. almost as much as I do. Over at Cherry Chick, they're having M.E. Mondays.  Are you kidding me?!? A whole day devoted to M.E. cuteness?!? Sign me up!

Here's what I got in return:
It's an Ansel Adams black & white photograph of Zion National Park in Utah.  The woman who sent it loves Ansel Adams, and so do I, but this print just doesn't speak to me. Oh well, I'm just glad to have the postcard!

P.S. Notice the USPS stamped it on the wrong side. I think they hate me. Here's more proof.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pink Saturday: Paint by Numbers

It's Pink Saturday again! Hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound, Pink Saturday is a linktastic party of all things pink.

A few weeks ago, I posted a tutorial for Pink Saturday on bow-tie hair clips.  To my delight, it was featured on Recycled Crafts blog! My last post is all about that awesome discovery.  You should check it out.  I think I'll make a bunch more!

This week is about Paint by Numbers. Not just for kids anymore, folks! My grandpa, who passed away last year at the age of 74, diligently painted dozens of them over the years. Really intricate, detailed ones.  And his last one, the one he never finished, went to me.  I was honored.  It's very large and not done yet, so I'm going to show you another one that I did, featuring the many shades of my favorite color: PINK!

It's 10"x14", so it will have to be cut down to fit in a frame, which seems like it would detract from the beauty of it. Right now it's just leaning against a collection of milk glass on my hall table.  It does bring me joy when I see it as I walk in the front door.
It was supposed to be different colors, I think, but I chose to paint it as you see it.  It's not perfect, but I think it's beautiful.

I'm now working on another of the same size, also purchased at Wal-Mart. Here's a sneak peak:
I'll show the journey and the finished product when it's all done. I'm getting hung up a little by the paints - see all those clearance stickers? That means it was super old.  Which means that six of the paint pots dried up and I've had to try and mix colors I already had to match them. Stay tuned for the finished product!

P.S. Make sure you stop by and visit Marina at Only Cute Things. She's cute, she's scrapbook-y, and she blogs in two languages!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It has happened. I'm officially FAMOUS.

So today I was going along in my Google Reader, just checking out the various blogs I follow, when I saw this:

I was like, "how did I subscribe to my own blog? That's weird. Oh wait...that's not my blog.  That's Recycled Crafts." Then slowly it dawned on me....I've....been....featured!  OMG!
Look! Just Look! That's me! That's my backyard! That's my head!!!!!
I've been mentioned before as a buddy on Finding My Spark, but I've never been featured for one of my crafts!
I mean, I've only been blogging for like 3 months. I never thought anyone would read it, but some people did, and that was cool.  But this!  I immediately left a comment.
I called my husband downstairs, yelling, "Nate! NATE! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" He ran up the stairs because he thought maybe I was dying or I saw a huge hairy spider, then I started hopping in my seat and screaming, "I'VE BEEN FEATURED! OH MY GOD!" Then the dogs got into it and all 3 of them were barking and jumping around and running into walls and stuff.  Meanwhile, my husband calmly read the post, said, "That's great, dear," and went back downstairs.  At least the dogs love me. 

Then I wondered, was she going to tell me? Isn't that a basic tenet of blog etiquette? That you should tell someone you are featuring them, using their pics, or linking them? I always do....Oh well.  I'm just happy this happened! SQUEE!!!!

Thrifty Finds Thursday: Vintage Science Textbooks

I've been slacking on my Thrifty Finds Thursday. Yes, I created it myself.  Yay me! I suppose, one day, if enough people want to join in I'll get around to hosting a button and a list and all that stuff that people normally do when they host a "day" or "event." But for now, it's just me, and Thursday is an alliteration with Thrifty (yep, former English teacher here, look it up).  

I was looking through some stuff for my garage sale a while back, and I found these old science textbooks from the sixties.  I don't remember how I got them, but I'm pretty sure they were free.
As you can see, I am missing 1, 4, 6, and 8. Not only that, but since Science has come a long way since the sixties, they are obsolete for teaching purposes, other than using them to compare to up-to-date texts and having a lesson on reliability of sources.
This is what the cover looks like.  I thought about selling them, or recycling them, or chucking them, but then I opened one and saw something beautiful.
These texts are filled with black and white (and sometimes color) illustrations of the coolest things!
I mean, how cool is that image?
These texts are full of iconic GOLD.

The question is: what do I do with my newly-found treasure?  I could keep them as they are, but that would mean shutting up all this artistic flair inside a box for no one to see.  I could tear out the pages with art on them and use them for projects, like decopaging or something, but then I'd be destroying a book, and the former librarian in me is yelling "NOooooooooooooooooooooooo!"  I could cut the images out really carefully with a straightedge and an exacto-knife and frame them, but where am I supposedly getting all these frames?

Tell me, bloggers, what I am supposed to do with this thrifty find!