Sunday, September 21, 2014

Big Changes Coming My Way!

Alright, it's only been 8 months since I last posted... and yes I considered just killing off the blog multiple times since obviously I wasn't very committed to rambling aimlessly or crafting this past year. However I have something happening in about 3wks that will likely change that. You see, after over 3 1/2yrs of renting a house, and running out of room for any big DIY projects, and simply collecting "someday" pins on Pinterest I'm going to be able to use my power tools, the things I've learned, and all those pins because we are BUYING OUR OWN HOUSE AGAIN!!!!!
That right there is going to use up every spare second of my spare time for the foreseeable future! I have SO MANY plans once we get the keys that I'm driving my poor friends crazy non-stop talking about them, so in an effort to save some friendships I decided I needed a place to talk about my plans, share photos, frustrations, seek advice, and generally keep a record of all the chaos I start up with our new home! 

We're moving in about a month after we close, to give me time for a "few little projects", which currently include (as the major things) priming & repainting every single room, including the big finished basement... so only around 3,500 sq ft total. Tearing out all the flooring on the first floor (which is around 1,200 sq ft of carpet, ceramic tile, and the ugliest builder grade oak you've even seen) and replacing it with a dark laminate wood floor (and while I have removed carpet before, I've never torn out wood or tile... am I crazy???), let's see... oh and staining all the builder oak cabinets with General Finishes Java Gel (my favorite gel stain of all time, and what I use on any furniture I build).... hmm.... tiling the 1/2 bathroom floor, replacing the backsplash, and replacing the fireplace tile hearth & surround (no I've never tiled anything before either). There is also the idea in my head that I might be able to build a new entry closet in front of the current one, thus allowing me to open up a wall in the kitchen to what is currently the entry closet and make it into a walk in pantry but I might talk to a contractor friend about that one ;) 

We won't even get into my plans once we actually move in... but they may include converting the front formal living room into a combo home office/lesson room/craft room with wall to wall built ins and a huge work table in the middle of the room, adding french doors, and I didn't even mention the upstairs or basement yet did I? I hope you like DIY because Chaos -n- Crafts is becoming Chaos -n- Construction! 

I hope you'll join me as I "Pinterest My House" in these upcoming months!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Fox Said... Happy Birthday!

Just a quick post. Today is my husband's 39th birthday... he and the girls have been cracking each other up with the whole "what does the fox say" thing for a few weeks now (yes we avoided it as long as possible) so when I saw the adorable What Does The Fox Say collection from Lettering Delights I knew I had dust off my Cameo to use it to make his birthday card.
 I wanted to keep it pretty quick and easy, but wanted a bit of texture so I opted to layer the background (birch tree background is a Silhouette store file) on dark gray ac cardstock and then just did a pop dotted PNC for my fox & speech bubble using textured white cardstock. I love how crisp and cute it turned out! PNC remains my #1 favorite thing about the Cameo!
I wanted to have a bit of fun with the inside as well so I used a birthday cake from Miss Kates Cuttables and another of LD's fox images to PNC a pop up for the inside. 


Wishing my "foxy" hubby the very best year yet! Happy Birthday honey!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Faux Pyrography aka woodburning

Well... yeah... that whole "post more often" thing I had planned hasn't actually happened, I'll blame my anal planning as the main reason. See I really wanted to go from the toybox to the full sized loft bed and then slide into my entertainment center build because, well... the entertainment center is so freaking amazing that not a day goes by that I don't look at it and say "holy crap, that's amazing and I built that" but I feel like I need to post in order... and my daughter still hasn't even had her room clean enough for me to take photos of the bed I made her, and let's be honest here... she's an almost 10yr old girl, it's never going to be clean. So... I'm going to semi clean it tomorrow and get that post up this weekend. Until then I was playing around in my basement craft room (when I should have been cleaning) and had a little idea... that actually turned out cute & is super easy.
I love pyrography, I'm utterly amazed at some of the details and designs I've seen online. I actually picked up one of the $30 kits (with my coupon of course) from Michaels last year, but I've only messed around with it a couple times since it turns out a super crazy hot burning tool and a nosey "what'cha doing mama" toddler don't mix well. Needless to say it's shelved for awhile.

So I had some scrap wood laying around, and had been doing some stamping... and my little brain had a rare moment of clarity and I thought... stamp in brown on that wood, and was thrilled that it sort of looked like it was burned on.





Tutorial is super easy.
1. get some wood, you can use scraps you have laying around, you could pick up some at the craft store or home center, you could buy some wood tags (I bought the classic tag shaped ones on Amazon here: wooden tags) and found the other shapes at my local craft store.
2. get some brown ink, I'm using Ranger's Archival in Coffee
3. find a stamp you like
4. stamp on the wood
done... well I suppose you could seal it with some clear spray, I'll be testing it with resin later this week.

See, no rocket science here but it is super cute and really does give a similar look to wood burning w/no risk of burnt fingers or homes :)

I've also been super busy playing around with epoxy resin for the past month or so, I'll do a post soon to show you things I've been trying and working on... I might even try selling a few pieces so check for that too!

As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

woodworking adventures part 1, overcoming the fear.

This is a tad embarrassing, mostly because I finished this veggie bin stacking toy box this past spring and I'm only now getting around to posting about it. I look back on this project now and almost laugh at my fear of my own power tools, only because I've done so much more than this fairly simple build since then... but baby steps have gotten me to where I am now, so step along with me ;)

It was about a year ago that I became slightly interested totally obsessed with woodworking and learning how to build things, it started off "small" with a scroll saw (which I still haven't really learned to use, oh the irony in that) and quickly escalated to me discovering Ana White's site and wanting to build everything I find plans for... which meant my crafty woodworking aspirations turned into great big build plan aspirations and that meant I needed more tools. So I ordered more tools... a miter saw, router, kreg jig, and the biggest bad boy... a table saw. One slight issue. I was TERRIFIED of these new tools. A few google searches on tool safety will lead you to staring and lots of experienced builders who had accidents resulting in lost fingers, multiple fingers, bruised body parts, even severed arteries and death. Um.. I wanted to build stuff, not die. So I left those tools in their boxes and remember writing my best friend worried that I wasted a ton of money because I was too afraid to use my tools. They stayed in their boxes for a couple months while I read up on building, found some amazing women builders to follow and watched A LOT of safety videos.

I then tried out my miter saw, the rush was crazy... sounds silly but it was so empowering to use that tool and cut some simple wood. I LOVED IT and was hooked. I did a few small projects (that I might some day get around to posting... framing mirrors, etc).

However the first project I really wanted to build was a much needed toy bin for our livingroom/entrance... and that required not only using the tablesaw, but doing angled cuts. I was NOT up for that. Luckily my dad was visiting from CA and has experience building, so my plan was to have him help me.... which still turned into me being too afraid to use the table saw, so I simply watched him. He cut all the lumber for this piece for me. I then used my kreg jig (best tool EVER) to put it all together, my miter saw (who I was no longer afraid of by this point) to trim it out, and my beloved General Finishes Java Gel to stain. I highly recommend if you're new to building that you find someone to watch first, observing how my tool would work without actually being the one to work it at first really helped me learn to respect it, and not fear it.

So this piece of furniture (and it really is, it's not a junky fiberboard box that will collapse, it's made with 3/4" Purebond and is so sturdy I could easily sit up there with my kids) is a collaboration from myself and my dad... and we LOVE it!

I don't have plans for this since we sort of winged it looking at my inspiration from Land of Nod (which for the record would have cost me over $400 not even counting shipping, I assure you I didn't spend anywhere near that price to build this, mine was under $100 and customized to fit my space)

prior to staining, you can see the pocket holes that hold this together. I opted to make it all one piece instead of stacking 2, saved me a piece of wood not having to have a separate bottom/top like 2 pieces would have required too.
 Java Gel is AWESOME! You just rub it on with an old sock!
my little impatient helper, she wanted to fill it up as soon as it was built!
 1st coat on, I ended up using 2 coats of the Java and then 2 of the clear satin sealer
 All filled up in it's spot! Not only does it store a ton of toys, but it's easy to see and find them now!
 There are no words to express how great it feels looking at this everyday, knowing that I saved a ton of money, made a lasting piece of furniture, and learned to overcome my fears of building!

Next time I'll show you my first solo project, I made my 9yr old a full sized loft bed with platform! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Personalized Shower Gifts

First off... it's been about 2 months since I posted, I figured that was about enough time for most of you to totally forget I even existed, so you'll be totally thrilled to "re-find" me :) If I posted all the time you'd just become bored, and so I do this for you really... I'm thoughtful like that!

I also have SO MUCH stuff to share, eventually. But really... not only did I make a stacking veggie bin style toy chest, I also made this totally awesome (if I do say so myself) full sized loft bed with huge play platform for my oldest daughter, and then an approx. 8' x 8' entertainment center which totally freaking rocks (and I do say so myself, I LOVE it) so I'm going to get off my butt and get those all photographed and posted soon, really, well... probably.

Anyways... my photos today aren't great since I snapped them quickly before we ran out the door (it didn't occur to me to make a gift bag until about 1/2 an hour before we had to leave, opps) but I think you'll get the idea.

My favorite BIL (I'm safe saying that, I don't think any of DH's family reads my blog and if they do then it's likely only said BIL and his future wife so I'm safe either way LOL) is getting married next spring to a super sweet (girl/woman/lady sheesh I'm so bad at this... um... we'll just refer to her as future SIL). They live in NYC in a small apartment, and simply don't need a lot of stuff... so I wanted to give what anyone in their position would want, money. However I wanted to do it in a cute way, and include a couple little more personal touches. I saw this idea first on Pinterest and I couldn't decide if it was so cheesy that it was cute, or so cheesy that it was just cheesy but decided that with a few changes I could make it super cute.
Get it, showering her with love & good fortune? The examples I saw online were using boring umbrellas and just hanging money, I found out her favorite color and found this adorable umbrella, then I learned how to fold cash into hearts by following these directions: http://www.easyorigamicrafts.com/blog/2010/03/money-origami-folded-dollar-bill-heart/ which I found way easier then even the vidoes I tried following along with, best tip is to use really crisp bills. You'll also want to hang your hearts securely (I used clips from Ikea & tried them on with Twisted Teal Trendy Twine which was so cute with the umbrella color... you need it) and keep your strings short, otherwise they will tangle when you close/open the umbrella. Mine was a button open one that REALLY opened forcefully so it was important to make sure the money hearts were really secure.

I realized I wanted a cute personalized gift bag and svgcuts.com came to the rescue, I used the gift bag from their Acorn Autumn Kit and it was so easy and perfect that I might never buy another gift bag, besides being huge but only using 3 sheets of apper, it even folds up for storage (plus the 3d acorn in this kit is one of my all time favorites)! The flower is from the silhouette online store. 
One of my personalized gifts is a wedding countdown block set. I used a 2x2 cut to size, painted dark brown and distressed with some sand paper, and then simply cut my text out of vinyl. The other side of the bottom block says "our anniversary" so that they can continue to use it past the wedding. I bought this great burlap ribbon at M's earlier this year and cut it thinner to wrap the blocks up. 

I also got this idea from online and thought it was super cute, so I made my future SIL a personalized (her name is on the other side) cup and filled it with her favorite candy, sour gummies.

Lastly, I had to make a card. I CASEd this one and changed up the colors. the umbrella top is pop-dotted and I added stickles to some of the hearts and also pop-dotted them... the card was too cute to hide in an envelope so I made one using a sheet of acetate and sealed it shut with some washi & a custom sticker I made. 

I wish my BIL & future SIL a lifetime of happiness and can't wait for their wedding in the spring (my girls get to be flower girls and are over the moon happy about that) Only 30 more weeks away, crap I better start exercising now!




Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trick or Treat with Trendy Twine

Are you ready for some BOOtiful twine? I'm normally very into neutrals but I love going all out with bright fun decorations at Halloween... I honestly didn't think anything could top all the great colors Trendy Twine released last Halloween but I was wrong. Just look at the amazing new release colors, and even better... look how great they match last years releases too! Eeeekkk :::swoon:::


Don't you love them? I can't pick a favorite... neither should you... get all of them! 

To show just how well the new colors go with the old I used the super fun new Trick or Treat along with all of last year's releases on my project. 

heheheee don't you love these adorable little treat boxes? They are from the Silhouette store and as soon as I saw them I knew what they were missing, some Trendy Twine of course! OMG it makes the cutest hair ever!!!

I realized my treat boxes would look super cute in the cauldron I made last year and that it was missing something.. why a giant bow of Trick or Treat twine of course! I love how it ties the whole thing together (literally hehee)

These little boxes are super fast to put together and the twine holds them perfectly, I told my girls they would have to untie the ends because if anyone tears these up I might cry. 

After you get back from your online shopping to snag all these great colors don't forget that you still have plenty of time to enter this month's  Disney inspired Trendy Twine Challenge, winner gets a $10 store credit!

Be sure to check out all the other great Halloween treat box projects the amazing design team created, then get out there and create some of your own! 

You can find all of the great colors I used, and more HERE!

Colors I used in today's project:
  • Trick or Treat
  • Lime Licorice
  • Orange Licorice
  • Grape Licorice
  • Gray Licorice
  • Grape Limeade







Thursday, August 1, 2013

Celebration Time (come on... let's celebrate)

No seriously, what is with me and the flashback song references lately when posting? Oh well... just go with it because that's what we're having over at Trendy Twine today... a huge party to celebrate color number fifty, accurately named... Celebration!

This Disney themed twine is gorgeous, such a perfect twist for all your theme park projects, and beyond!

For my project today I wanted to really show this twine in all it's glory and I had some fun making a little jewelry gift set in a matching gift bag.
Did any of you ever make friendship bracelets when you were younger? They seem to be making a come back and my 9yr old was interested in them recently so I bought her a book (since I had absolutely no idea how to make one anymore, this isn't like riding a bike folks). Turns out they are really easy and fun to make, and what could be more fun then using Trendy Twine to make one?!?!

I used the Celebration twine to make my bracelet and then I made a Mickey charm from shrink plastic which I actually used my Gelish nail polish to color and sparkle up... the shine is gorgeous in person!

Of course, I immediately thought of what else I could make with the shrink plastic, and matching earrings were the perfect choice! I also used my Gelish polish to color & glitter these, then just a little dot of glue to attach them to some earring post backings you can buy at your local craft store or online. I see many more custom earrings in my daughters' futures!

What's cuter then a Trendy Twine Celebration pom pom? Not much I assure you... I decorated my earring box (from the Silhouette store) with one and I love it!

 I couldn't leave my gift bag out, so my Minnie Mouse gift bag also got some Celebration twine on her bow and a braid along the handle. 


I hope you've enjoyed viewing my projects, & that the song has now left your brain... time to get your butt over to the Trendy Twine blog <~~~ (click that, right there) and go check out all of the other awesome projects showcasing this fab new twine! Then head over to the Trendy Twine store and get yourself some... there might even be some other great new color releases <wink>