Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sadly I have neglected you this week, readers! My sincerest apologies....
I thought today that I would introduce you a little bit more to my, pets. 
Anyone that knows me knows that I am madly in love with my puggle; Ralph, and my kitten; Merlotte{Mer-lot}.
I will start with Ralph, since he is my first born. 
We fell in love with him the moment we saw him! He was so rolly-polly and cute! We got him from a breeder in Eddyville, and were smitten from the would be too if this little mini monster hobbled up to you and howled. For real. He howled.

I chose him A) Because he is obviously adorable and B) He was fat, and we knew he would retain his soul melting wrinkles. He was made for us! I don't think I have ever seen a cuter puppy, have you?! (Didn't think so.) Ralph is a puggle, which means that he is a mix between a pug and a beagle. Once thought of as a mutt, then a designer dog, and now puggles will soon be recognized as their own breed. (woop! woop!) Ralph likes The following things: the MN Vikings,  the Iowa Hawkeyes, barking at nothing, running through the house at full speed for no reason, eating cat food, and sleeping.  He is so full of life, and so funny! He really is a part of our family...I seriously can't imagine our lives without him! Looking back at these photos, I can't believe how much he has grown! Ralph will be 4 years old January 31st this year, and he has gone from the size of a pop can, to a 40lb beast!

Merlotte came along this fall. She was a kitten that was actually given to a friend of ours that was supposed to be for his little sister. (I'm not a heartless kitten thief, keep reading!) They decided that they didn't want a kitten in the house, (Told you I didn't burgle her from a child!)and with winter and cold weather fast approaching, we took her in. (Okay, I begged Jeremy for a kitten.....same diff.)

Merlotte is FULL of personality. Sometimes, maybe too much so. She loves the sound of her own "meow". She will meow and meow until she can meow no more. She loves not just meowing, but biting toes, antagonizing Ralph, zooming through the house to randomly jump at nothing, sitting on my shoulder while on the iMac watching the cursor on the screen, batting around a NyQuil cap for hours, (really....HOURS) and basking in the sun. She too is growing fast! Ralph has a little bff to cause trouble with!

Aw.....I told you they are BFF's.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Monday.....

Just thought I would stop by on a Monday morning and wish everyone a great day! Yeeeeeaaaaaaah.........I know that I am not alone when I say that Mondays have never been my favorite day. Waking up in general is hard for me...(Not much of a morning person. More of a grizzly bear in fact.) So I did drag myself out of bed, prepared to take on the day, got the kids fed, and was off to work. {Side-note: If you're going to pull out in front of me on the highway only to go 45mph, you have been officially warned that next time, I will just plow right into your backseat in retaliation.} So as I sit here, obsessing over the thought of just climbing back into bed and sleeping a cold Monday away, I will focus on things to look forward to!

1) Halloween party on Saturday! {Woop Woop!}
2) Our Anniversary is on Sunday! {Yay for surviving the first year of marriage!}
3) Halloween on Monday! {Om nom nom CANDY! (I am battling the addiction.)}
4) Jeremy's Birthday on Thursday! {I heart Birthdays!}

So I hope you have as much to look forward to as I do. Perhaps the work week wont be so soul crushing! :p


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year....

This weekend has gone by too quickly!
This morning was a nice one though. Slept in, was know, some of my favorite things. Once we got up and football got started, I decided that I should finally start a project.
Jeremy's mom Kathy had gotten some old windows for me to craft with a while ago, and I could never decide what to do with them. Today I finally dug one out and got to work. I know Halloween is on the way (YAY!) but I was thinking more Rudolph and Santa than Ghouls and Goblins for whatever reason, so I chose to make a Christmas craft.....
This is a "before" of the window: 
After cleaning up the glass and the frame, I had to tape off the glass to repaint the frame section. I use FROG TAPE when doing this type of thing. It works much better than regular painter's tape; creates a MUCH better seal. It is a little more expensive but its worth the extra cash. (You know how I hate spending money so it's gotta be good.)

Once you have all of the glass taped off, its time to coat the frame! I used a regular run of the mill white acrylic paint for this. It took 2 coats for me, but the coverage is completely up to you. I wanted a pretty stark white so it didn't take too much.
I think this turned out pretty good, eh?


Okay, so once you have your frame painted, you're ready to go. Like I said, I was feeling Christmas today, so I picked a snowman scene to paint, but that's just me. I thought that it would be pretty easy, and really cute.

Once I had decided what to do, I was all set. I started by taking my white paint again, and with messy strokes started painting in some snow. (A big reason why I picked a snowy scene...I didn't have to be super precise.) I used a "swooshing' motion (Yes, I did make that up.) for the ground and started shaping my snowman. It didn't take too long to do that, and I wound up going over the snow with a glitter paint as well to add a little bit of Holiday sparkle.  (This photo is obviously upside down, but it wont let me rotate it. Soooooo I guess just imagine it right side up.)

Now that I have my "base" I started to decorate my snowman. I started with a face, then went on to add buttons, arms, a hat, and a scarf. For the buttons, I used very small "sponge-stamp" brushes. They worked great. I just added some small detail on them to give them a little more life with some metallic copper, and white paint.

I also had to give the scarf some shape and movement with some white. For his nose, I accidentally got some black-ish brown on it, but ended up leaving it alone because I thought that it actually looked okay. Made it look a little bit dirty, or textured. His hat is by far my favorite though. I added some patches, a star, and some holly and I think it turned out super cute! Obviously you can add, or not add whatever you like! 
Here is a closer look:

(Again, upside down picture, but you get the idea)

Once the snowman was complete, I just added a "Merry Christmas" message with some holly (I had to add the holly because I didn't space out my text right....I do this ALL the time.) and some more snowflakes to finish it. I outlined the text with the same copper metallic paint, however it didn't pick up really in the photos, but it looks real cute!

Painting on glass proved to be AWESOME because, Oh! I made a mistake?! Well let me just wipe it away! It affords you wiggle room that you don't really get on a traditional canvas. 

Plus, when you hang up your creation it looks bangin' for a few reasons
1) It sort of floats in front of the wall on which it hangs and the paint casts a small shadow on the wall.
2) It "goes" anywhere. With the clear glass, it wont ever look out of place since the "background" color will be that of your wall.
3) It's so unique! It's not very often you see something like it!

I hope you guys enjoyed this project as much as I did! If you happen to try it yourself, SEND ME PICTURES! I would love to see how yours turn out!


Friday, October 21, 2011

DIY Wedding Projects!

With Jeremy and My first wedding anniversary just a week from Sunday, I thought that I would share some of my favorite wedding projects that were made by us!

Like many couples out there, we had a pretty tight budget for our nuptials, and that compounded by the fact that I hate spending money on stuff I can do myself, we had many projects that we did "in-house" rather than order out of a catalog, or online.

The flowers were actually my first undertaking. Now to be clear, I am most surely NOT a florist, & I have never pretended that I am. With that said, I knew that the flowers would be one thing that NOBODY would be able to do right. Not that I wanted something all that complex. I am just overly controlling, and I thought that I would be nice and spare some nice florist the headache that would have been working with the future Mrs. Bratz. Right away I decided that silk would be the way to go because I am a sentimental sap that keeps everything. I purchased the flowers at Evergreen's in Kirksville, and Hobby Lobby. I was very happy with how my bouquet turned out. (may it rest in peace.(long story)) The other part of that was finding something for the girls and myself to put our flowers in at the reception. After a tireless search, I decided again that I would just make something, and my mason jar idea was adorable. Just some raffia at the bottom, wrapped some fall ribbon around the jar, and created a tin star/berries "thinger" and hot glue it all together. Voila.

The next thing that we made ourselves that I also loved was our favors. I am all about the cute country or primitives look, so the galvanized pails worked great with that! Jeremy got us some clear stickers with a big "B" and "10.30.10" on em, stick stickers on buckets, fill with candy = insta-favors! (And a BIG hit with the kids I might add!) We also had massive clear glass jars full of mints and candy corn. (Our dessert table was something to behold! More on that in a second.) We also made a few signs for different things using my beloved barn wood, acrylic paint, and homemade stencils.

Our centerpieces were also a little different. We just used table runners and pumpkins with some very cute floral picks to accent. (In case you didn't notice, we went a little pumpkin crazy, but it was BEAUTIFUL. Perfect fall wedding!)

Finally, Jeremy's ever gracious Aunt Luanne did our cake(s). Luanne busted her butt making a trillion cupcakes as well as the most beautiful wedding cake I have ever laid eyes on! It was so unique (Jeremy actually picked it out.) and we had so many compliments not only on how breathtaking it was, but everyone said that the cake was the best they ever had. So many different flavors too! Chocolate cake, white, pumpkin and more.......A million thanks to Luanne again and again!

I guess the moral of this long rambling is this: When you do things yourself, or if a wonderful family member will help out with some things, your wedding will be that much more memorable, as well as personal. I love having all the different keepsakes that we got to keep because we made them instead of renting them, or having them die or something. DIY is always more fun!! Here are some pictures from that BEAUTIFUL day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Newest Obsession...

So I have recently discovered the glory that is crackle nail polish. I know it has been out for a while, and I am a little bit late to the party, but I am officially coo-coo for crackle!  But....I have to be honest, the first time I saw it, I thought that it was the most hideous thing I had ever seen. I just thought it looked like old peeling off nail polish. I remember years ago when, I think it was Maybeline  or Revlon that came out with it, and it kind of bombed. 
But in the last few weeks, I can't get enough of this "grungy" looking fad. I wanna crackle paint everything! I have the crackle crafting paint, and now this?! It is like it was made just for me! But seriously, what better time to (re)discover something like this?! Halloween and crackle nail polish go together like barn wood and off-white! Er, maybe pb&j is a better analogy for you?
My personal favorite hues of this delightful (but sometimes over priced) product would have to be purple and black. They seem to go with everything! Especially Halloween! I just love it, and if you're like me and almost always have your nails painted, I suggest going out and spending the $7 on it! You can always change the color underneath, and you can't get bored!
In short- crackle nail polish gets two (beautifully crackled) thumbs up!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crafting Products...

Greetings readers!
Today I wanted to jump into something that I am asked about quite often, and that is actually very simple. People ask me all the time what products I use, or how I achieve different effects to my projects. There are many different tools and products that I use, but like any loyal hobbyist or crafter, there are some tried and true staples to my collection. 
Sadly, when you open my hobby drawer, it is a hot mess. Nothing is organized. Instead I abuse my lovelies by tossing everything in together. Sloppiness and disorder. This is how I treat the tools of my trade. 

Pitiful. I know.

Perhaps I could clean it up a bit for you, and actually explain a little?

There...I am not a total troll. I can clean up a little.
From left to right you see some of my paints, (notice the crackle paint on the far right) followed by my sandpaper block, and finally a couple of my brushes, my hammer, and upholstery nails.
My paints are always very basic acrylic paint. Mostly because I am cheap. Each of these run about a dollar at Wal-Mart, or any other hobby store. My most favorite is the crackle paint. I use it on so much it is crazy. It adds a rustic, or antique look to just about anything. 

The other "aging" product that I use is my sandpaper block. Obviously I need a new one; this one is looking pretty ratty. It is pictured on a piece of barn wood; my favorite medium. If you live where I do, you can go up to One of a Kind (just off the square, across the street from Iowa Trust) and they will cut you a piece in pretty much any size you want. We used it a bunch at our wedding. (blog about DIY wedding projects to come.)

Then finally you have my mason jar cup 'o tools. I use mostly coarse brushes because they do better on barn wood, and I like the texture they afford me. However, depending on the project, I use different ones. The upholstery nails are usually the most unusual product that I use. People think it is weird, but when I want to add a little something, or if I am attaching a hanging wire, they look really neat. That, and they are also like a dollar a pack. (I am a "frugal" crafter)

Other things not mentioned specifically are my many stencils (not much of a free-hander) and my glue gun (I secretly named her Sally.) A glue gun is a staple to any hobby-ist crafter, but people are always surprised for whatever reason when I tell them, "Oh you like that? Yeah, I did that with a glue gun." So simple its stupid!

Well kiddos, I hope that I have enlightened you as to how I achieve the level of amazing that I do with my projects. Nothing special, just being creative and finding new uses for some everyday things. (mostly because I'm kinda poor........okay really poor. jeez) 

I look forward to working on some more projects and sharing them with you! I have a couple ideas a-brewin!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Things!

Maybe you're like me. I just LOVE finding new things! New books, music, websites etc. It is only Tuesday, and I have been introduced to some AWESOME new things already this week! It sort of makes my day when someone can not only share a quirky interest with me, but also teach me how to delve a little further into said interest, and share it with others, while at the same time mentioned others are sharing with me! (Are you still with me?)


While at work yesterday, my lovely friend and co-worker, Afton, showed me something that was so exciting that we were both giddy with excitement! If you have not checked out the website, DO IT! Here's the link: 

This site is adorable, amazing, and addicting! It is like a mash-up of twitter, facebook, and a blog. Thanks Afton, another addiction for Andie!

Another site that I found relates directly to my blog. 

This has so many cute buttons, "blinkies", and backgrounds. (Mine is pretty cute, eh?)

If you're a hobbyist like myself, a blogger, or just interested in new things, take a few minutes and click the links above. These sites are awesome, and deserve attention!

Now after looking at these, I am all inspired to start a new project! If you'll notice at the top of my HOME page, there are some new pages! (Yay!) Take a look at them! One of them is a PROJECTS tab that I am hoping to be able to add something to very soon! Peruse a little bit, and love my blog as much as I do!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Falling In Love With Fall .... All Over Again

Greetings blog readers! 
It just so happens that this is a particularly dreary Monday, and I am already missing the weekend. Perhaps it is because my weekend was 100% fantabulous. Yes. I said FANTABULOUS. Why? Did I go on an amazing trip? Not even close. I spent almost the entire weekend in my cozy little home with my Husband and fur-children doing autumn-y things. It was glorious.
Friday night kicked everything off with watching one of my favorite, albeit not the best acted, movies from my childhood; Hocus Pocus. I believe my love affair with S.J.P. began there.
Saturday, after a station event, I went home and performed one of my more beloved October rituals; The Carving of the Pumpkins. Every year Jeremy and I have so much fun with this. I don't know if it is because it reminds me of carving pumpkins with my Dad when I was young or what, but it truly is one of my favorite fall things. We had our scentsy warmer going with caramel apple wax melting and wafting the fall scent through the house, and the smell of pumpkin also hung heavy. It was a warm and fuzzy kind of feeling, if you will. 

Then finally on Sunday I went into project mode right from the start of the morning by painting a pumpkin. Now Pumpkin painting isn't something I normally do, but I had an idea and went with it. This happened to turn out great! Something I will surely try again. Metallic paint made it look oh-so-great! Then I made some fall themed cupcakes and enjoyed the American Sunday tradition of watching the NFL. The night ended with The Walking Dead season 2 premier on AMC (AMAZING), and Dexter on Showtime.
I so much wish ALL weekends were as lovely as this last one..