Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hotter'n Hell

That's just something people in Texas say when referring to the heat. It's a true statement, but I've always hated the saying (which is why I chose to immortalize it right here on my very own blog??) There are a lot of things I've never really understood about Texas, yet at the same time I am strangely devoted to it. I'm sure any fellow Texans (native or grafted-in) will find it easy to relate.

Right now, I'm sitting in our semi-air-conditioned house while Kennedy drives across town to buy 1/3 the amount of sod we need for our front yard. The reason being, that's all that will fit in my Jeep at one time.

It's very, very hot outside, but luckily all we have left to do is fertilize and throw down the sod. EASY! The hard work is over!

Also, a couple of days ago when Jaclyn was over, I "accidentally" pulled the toenail of my left pinky toe off. "I was only trying to trim it!" Anyway, now there's this exposed/raw skin that I can feel with every step of my socked-and-shoe'd foot. I have been walking around practically barefoot for the past couple of days, so I hadn't noticed the pain 'til now.

Also, if you're wondering how someone can get away with walking around practically barefoot for 2 days in the middle of the week, well, I just don't leave the house. That's how!

I'm thinking our next DIY project will be installing a grocery store in the back yard so I literally never have to leave.

You know what will be awesome? When we're completely done working on this house. But then I suppose we'll sell it and move on...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Twist

Sometimes I want to frame a photo, but then I think it's missing something. Then, a couple of years ago I stumbled upon a neat little craft to jazz up photos.

Guess what photo I decided to use? That's right, a photo of MY DOG. I just can't seem to stay away. I wonder if I'll ever love kids as much as I love my dogs? At this point, I just don't see how it's possible...

Anyway, the twist to which I am referring is making a photo 2-D. I had already made one of cute Elvis when we first got him, so I decided I needed to get Cece caught up in the shrine department.

Notice the subtle "pop-out" of the photo. Here's the photo I decided to use of Cece:

She's just so freaking cute!

I used the following materials: several copies of the photo above, a black foam sheet, scissors, craft glue.

First, I decided how many layers I wanted in the photo. I generally stick with 3 layers, because any more gets complicated and takes too long and runs the risk of looking messy. So for this photo I went with the background/Cece's head, then her muzzle, then her round button nose.

Like so:

I had printed out 3 copies of the photo, and then cut one layer from each. Later, I decided that I could get away with only destroying 2 layers and keep the 3rd as a spare copy, like so:

Ok, and sorry but for some reason my computer thinks it's hilarious to UN ROTATE photos that I have previously rotated. So then I get side-ways photos. Loooove it.

Then I took the black foam sheet and traced the top two layers on it. Then I cut the traced areas out and glued them to the photo layers.

That traced section is actually traced onto a foam sheet that has a sticky side. Then I just had to peel the white backing off it and stick it on. But if you can't find that, then just glue it like I said before...

THEN, (and here comes the hard part,) glue all your layers together.

That's all! I am loving these easy 5-minute crafts lately. All of the results with barely any work.

Here's my finished result:

It was totally an accident, but that top spike of Cece's hair ended up hooking around the photo mat. I liked it and kept it because I thought it made the photo pop out more. Also, the frame I used is a semi-shadow-box frame from Hobby Lobby (half off!) I find that it works best if you are 2-D'ing your photos, so it doesn't get all smashed and defeat the purpose.

And here is a photo of my dog shrine/kitchen decor:

Any questions?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello Yellow!

This blog is long overdue for a little sprucin' up! This feels a little more summer-y. Also, here's to hoping this will inspire me to get some other projects done.

It's been a long time since I've said "I'm bored," but it happened to me today. Actually, it kind of crept up on me in the last couple of weeks. My sleep pattern has been awry since Jennifer's Bachelorette party, which is causing my days to be filled with naps.

Note to self and others: Don't stay out 'til 3am. Just don't do it!

Anyway, bored means I just don't want to do anything. LORD KNOWS I have plenty to do around here. Instead, I'll just complain about it and not do it. 


The following project is a little variation on the Custom Etched Bar Glasses post. This time, I took a handy little gift card to Hobby Lobby (Thanks Mel & J.T.!) and found some amazing green glass jars on clearance! The big one was $5 and the smaller one was $3. Cha-ching! Or, score? 

I left Hobby Lobby with intentions of brandishing the jars with dog bones, or dog paws, or some cute dog pun. I wrestled over it all day, thinking it would "just be so cute" to etch one or all of those things on each jar. After all, I have been wanting some cute jars to display dog treats for a while now.

Then my judgement got the better of me, and I decided that dog-related decor is a slippery slope. Same with cat-related decor. I am, for now, going to keep it to a minimum by only decorating with photos of my dogs, and giving & receiving birthday cards with pictures of dogs doing hilarious things. (That might also be a slippery slope, but I'll keep you posted.) 

Here's the project:

Chalkboard Jars

What you need:
- Glass or ceramic jars
- contact paper
- craft knife
- chalkboard paint 

Draw some wavy rectangles on a piece of contact paper. Stick it to the jar. Make sure most of the jar is protected by contact paper if you are using Chalkboard spray paint. If you decide to go the paint-on route, then you should be good...

Here's what mine looked like after I was done with the spray paint.

Then once it was dry, I peeled off the contact paper and voila! This was a nice, easy, quick project, that semi-cured my boredom.

Because when you're bored, you want to see quick results so you can go back to sulking and watching re-runs of The Nanny, but still feel like you accomplished something today.

As far as what I'm going to write on the little chalkboards, it will be dog related. For now. But I like the versatility that the chalkboard surface offers. Maybe one day I'll use it to label a specific kind of cookie or snack. Or "KEEP OUT".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This is my 90th post! Ten more and maybe I'll bake (photoshop) a cake!

Today is also my birthday! I am FINALLY 26....I thought it would never get here! (kidding...who actually looks forward to a 26th birthday?)

Funny story, even though I'm 26, I am still getting turned away from night clubs at friend's bachelorette parties for looking 12. Apparently my ID also looks fake. But who's gonna be laughing in 26 years when I look 26? ME! That's who!

But that's neither here nor there.

Things at our house have been at a standstill as far as renovating/decorating/remodeling. For one, I am STILL trying to find a full-time job, over a year later.  Not that I'm complaining, because I love staying home with the dogs.

Another reason for our standstill is that it's finally been warm enough to use our pool. Like every day. So when we decide to make time for lounging poolside, we are pushing aside progress on the house. Our pool has never looked better, though! Come over and swim with me sometime!

Slowly, but surely, we are making some progress on the office. But I have a feeling it would be going a lot faster if I could just get motivated. We'll see what this weekend holds.

So, while I do not have anything to share house-wise, I do have a fun little project that anyone can do (homeowners or not!) I guess I'm on a bit of a craft kick.

I'm not sure where I heard about this, but it had to be a combination of reading other blogs and googling. It's one of those "'twas blind but now I see" type of deals, where I didn't even know this craft existed!

Custom etched bar glasses

This is a little gift-set that I whipped up for a dear friend's "Stock the Bar" wedding shower. Great party, by the way! I had never heard of this type of shower, but it was so much fun, and the happy couple got lots of goodies for their home bar.

I asked Jennifer (the bride) to send me 4 inside jokes that she and her fiance have. Something that they would hear and only they would know what it meant. (I'm not sure why I felt the need to explain what an inside joke is, but let's just consider it part of the tutorial.)

Here's what you'll need for this project:

-4 glasses (or however many you want!)
-exacto/craft knife
-contact paper
-pen or marker
-glass etching cream (just so you're prepared, it's like $8 for a 1-2oz bottle, but a little goes a long way!)

Those are the basic things you will need. You may find a way to be more efficient using other tools, or you may want to customize this to your own needs (i.e. Margarita or Martini glasses, or a mirror!)

First, I drew the letters onto a square piece of contact paper. I didn't like the way it looked, so then I typed and printed the letters out and traced them onto the white contact paper by layering them and holding them up to a window. It was really quite complicated and difficult, so I suggest using clear contact paper. (White was what I had lying around, so that's what I used.)

(This was my first attempt when I hand-wrote it. I later took this off and started again.)

After I peeled the back off of the contact paper, I tried my best to center and level the sticker onto the glass, smoothing out all bubbles.

Then I took my exacto/craft knife and traced around the parts that I wanted gone (i.e. all the black marker.) You can see where I started to do that above. This is a very time-consuming, hand-cramping part, but take care to be exact so your edges aren't all jagged! Don't worry about scratching the glass because the exacto/craft knife isn't sharp enough to do that.

Once all the necessary pieces are cut out, apply the etching cream liberally and let it sit for a while. (I let mine sit for like 5 minutes, but I think it would have done better to sit for a lot longer...)

Also, I suggest you wear rubber gloves, because this stuff is pretty strong.

Once you're satisfied with how long it has sat there, eating away at the surface of the glass, rinse with water. I also wiped my clean with a damp paper towel to make sure I didn't leave behind anything that would etch where I didn't want it.

Dry with a dry paper towel, then peel off the contact paper.

Really? That's it???

It was so easy to do! The hardest and most time-consuming part is definitely cutting out the contact paper. However, if you decided to do something else, like a silhouette, it wouldn't take as much time.
I actually saw something really cute on Etsy where they made a dog treat jar with the silhouette of different dog breeds. It was A-freakin'-dorable, and if I didn't have a couple of mix-breeds, I would definitely be making it!

Maybe I'll get a glass jar and put a paw-print on it?

(Careful, Sara! Your house is on the verge of having too many dog-related decor items!)

I think the bride loved the glasses, and if not, well she didn't tell me! After writing this post, it makes me want to go etch the heck out of everything in the house!
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