Thursday, June 30, 2011

*Cough* *Cough*

I know I've been promising to show off some finished projects soon, but the universe seems to be against that.  I had all intentions of finishing up a couple different projects this last weekend, but then I got a cold.  A nasty cold that everyone says lasts about two weeks.  I'm about a week in to it and it feels like it's been a week too long.  By the time I get home from work (where I've spent the day feeling sick, having a hard time hearing what customers are saying to me, and feeling foggy and confused all day from the medicine) all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV.  I made a big pot of soup on Tuesday, but that's all I've felt like making this week.  Until I saw this:

Cough Drops

A tutorial for homemade cough drops!  I can't guarantee that I'll actually make them, because I don't have candy molds, or a candy thermometer, or powdered sugar... but I'm considering it, because I've been popping lozenges like candy and I'm sure homemade ones would be a lot better for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Help Me Start a Series

I've been thinking about starting a series for a while.  I mean, not that long since I've only been blogging a couple of months, but, for most of that time I've been thinking about it.  I like the consistency a series brings to a blog, but until now I haven't been sure if I should commit to something.  What if I get busy (like I have been lately) and don't have time to make projects consistently?  What if I can't find enough people to be guest bloggers?   Hosting a linky party means I have to remember to put up the party post each week, and then look at all the entries, comment on them... I know a lot of people do them, but they seem like a lot of work.

Then I realized I was putting too much pressure on myself.  There's no reason I have to have a weekly series.  And suddenly a series didn't seem so scary.  Creating a post once a month is no big deal.  If I can't find time for one post a month, then I should just close up shop and give up on this whole blogging thing.  And if it turns out to be easier than I thought, I can always make it more frequent.  So it's settled and my series will start in July.

Here's where I need your help. 

I'm torn between two concepts:

     ~A round up of some of my favorite projects I've seen
       that month (a la Best of the Blogosphere at
       Centsational Girl)


     ~A feature of one of the lovely ladies who have blogs I
       love (the way the SITS Girls spotlight different blogs) 
       ~  this could be a combination of a post from me saying
       what's so amazing about the blog, as well as guest
       posts by the bloggers proving why they're wonderful

What would you rather read?  I'd love to get your input, since ultimately you're the ones who'll be reading it. 

Friday, June 17, 2011


I know that's not a word, but I think it's the perfect description of these cupcakes my coworkers got me for my birthday tomorrow:

I managed to restrain myself long enough to take a picture before I dug in to them and realized they were in fact yumeriffic.  I'm generally not a fan of cake (I don't really have a reason why) but these are like a cross between cupcakes and muffins which makes me love them.  They have different flavors each day so my cuffins (cupcakes + muffins) featured: 

If you live in Portland (or are ever in the area for some reason) you have to stop by Cupcake Jones to taste the cuffin yumminess.

Plus, since cupcakes are all the rage right now, you'll look stylish while eating them! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wall Stencil ~ Second Attempt

Grrr... I can't seem to get this right.  Remember the contact paper stencil I tried to use in my guest bath?  And remember how I failed miserably?  I had all intentions of making a folder stencil like Brooke from All Things Thrifty, but then I started thinking about how long it would take to measure out where to place each stencil, trace it, then paint it over and over again.  It seemed like too much work, so I gave up on that idea.

After seeing how wonderfully the Frog Tape worked in my office, I started thinking about how I could use it to stencil.  I created a Moroccan inspired shape that was the width of the Frog Tape that I thought would be easy to cut out and put together.  Here's my template:

I traced it on my tape and started cutting.  After I'd cut out a few I decided to try it out.  Sorry I didn't take pictures of the tracing and cutting.  I figured I'd document the steps when I cut out more, but since the project didn't work, that didn't happen. 

I stuck a couple of my Frog Tape stencils on the wall and pressed down really hard to make sure there was a good bond:

It didn't work very well.  I'd had to reposition the tape too many times to try to get it lined up evenly and now it'd lost some of it's stickiness.  Plus, it still wasn't perfectly even.  For some reason, even with the tape not adhering to the wall and the shape not lined up, I decided to keep going. 

I painted over my stencil with the original paint color (no picture) then waited for it to mostly dry before painting over it again with two coats of the second color (no picture of that either).  By now the tape was not looking too good.  I'd handled it a ton, then painted it three times when it was barely stuck to the wall in the first place. 

I waited impatiently for the paint to dry, still sure that it would look amazing, but when I peeled off the tape I had this:
Sorry!  I didn't realize the photo quality
was so bad until after I'd repainted.
 It needed a lot of touch-up, but I still thought it might work.  Then Handy came home and pointed out how uneven the shape was:

I don't know why I hadn't noticed it.  I guess it was my stubborn desire for this idea to work.  Handy said it would have bothered him every time he saw it, and so, in the end, Handy scrapped the project.

I think my Frog Tape stencil idea totally could work, so here are some tips to make your attempt successful where mine failed:
          * Choose a smoother surface ~ in this case, even Frog Tape was no match for my heavily
             textured walls, but it you have an orange peel texture (or none at all) I'm sure it would
             work great 

          * Create a template that is easier to apply ~ the Frog Tape may have been able to hold on had
             I not repositioned it 15 times before finally deciding it was good enough

          * Use similar paint colors ~ because of the difference between my two paint colors I had to use
             two coats of my second paint, putting more stress on the tape

          * Have patience ~ I didn't let the paint completely dry between coats because I was so excited
             to see my idea come to fruition.  If I'd let the tape dry after reapplying the original color, it
            might have formed a seal and given me crisper lines

So my second attempt at creating a painted wallpaper effect was a bust as well.  But don't worry, I haven't given up yet.  I've got yet another idea in the works, and I think this one might be a winner.

I'm linking up to:

craftUndertheTableandDreamingTodays Creative Blog
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm Still Alive

I've just been really busy with non home/blog stuff.  You see, during the months of May and June I have 8 gift giving occasions, so not only do I have to shop for all those gifts, I must also attend the functions that go along with them.  And when you add all that to my work schedule (along with the normal chores that need to be done around the house) I don't have a lot of other free time.  But we're nearing the end of the present zone and I've got a couple of projects almost finished that I think you guys will love.  Thanks for sticking with me while I've been ignoring you, but I promise it'll be worth the wait.

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