The endless uses of chalkboard paint

So, chalkboards and chalk are a funny thing. They really aren’t used in classrooms at all anymore, and yet they are EVERYWHERE in the design world. Maybe our nostalgia is what’s making them so popular?

Anyway, pre-wedding I had bought two cans of chalkboard paint to make chalkboard signs, and then never used them. For anyone who has been married, you’ll have a lot of stuff like that.

So, when I found these great candlesticks at Goodwill, and was displeased with them only being a set of 2. I decided to improvise and make a 3rd item to complete their set.

I started with a glass bottle, a can of chalkboard spray paint, and a trash bag.

Making sure the bottle is clean, spray it with chalkboard paint (Outside. I shouldn’t have to tell you that, but I know I do.) and then allow it to dry. Try not to spray it too much- if it runs, it will be really noticeable, especially in the way it takes the chalk.

When it’s finished, you can use chalk to finish the design however you want- I just wrote out our last name, because it’s a great name that is also a word. Way to go, double duty last name!

(Side Note: Plain white chalk is really hard to find at certain times of the year. Try the craft stores, or a teacher supply store. Forget Walmart, Target, Meijer, or any of the stores you think *should* have it. They won’t.)

If bottles aren’t your thing, here are some other ideas that may be more your style.

Label your spices, or just decorate your flower pots.

Paint the cheap-Goodwill painting and paint the frame. Way prettier than your standard message board.

Old Tin Trays (also a thrift find) can be painted as well. I think one of these would be pretty hanging on a front door with a welcome message, like this:

Until next time!



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On tiny people.

Little (well) known fact: Lady is obsessed with babies.

Other little known fact: When you get to be roughly 24 or 25 years old, suddenly you will be surrounded with tiny people. Sometimes a little sooner, sometimes a little later, but roughly around this time in your life, you will feel like everyone you know is on a mission to repopulate the (already over populated) earth.

I like tiny people. Not quite as much as Lady does, but I do. This is obviously evidenced by my gushing, gooey, full of photos post about my little niece and nephew. While I’m not looking to have kids just yet (Sorry, Lady, you have to wait a few more years if I can help it) I am lucky that I have TONS of friends and family members popping ’em out.

So, what’s a girl surrounded by pregnant ladies to do? She finds a couple really useful crochet patterns and buys a bunch of yarn.

Baby blankets make fantastic gifts, especially when they are soft, cozy, and made with love.

I got the idea for this particular blanket from this post on Purl Bee, but…. um.. secret: It’s just a giant granny square. Lots of people make tons of small granny squares and stitch them together to make a blanket, but with this one, you just keep going. You just do row after row until you get it to the size you want.

I also added a scalloped edge to mine, but that’s totally optional. For those wondering how I did it: Starting at a corner, do 6dc, ch1, sc, ch1, 6dc, and so on.

And then of course there are hats. (P.Bizzle is representing today, as I do not have my own tiny person to model hats for me.) Tiny people are, well, tiny, and they are obviously prone to having chilly little heads, especially when you live in an area that is subjected to cold winters.

So, hats are also a wonderful option as well- I personally like the idea of gifting them with blankets as matching sets, but if you’re low on funds/time/patience, hats work up much faster than blankets, and still get the handmade gesture across.

This particular hat pattern (well, part of it) was purchased from a very wonderful Etsy seller. You can find her shop here.

From what I can tell, most of the patterns from the shop use the same base pattern, with different decorative motifs. I purchased one with a decorative motif I specifically wanted, but this particular hat was made using the base hat pattern, plus a flower from another pattern I have.

And that’s that! Wrap it up, maybe add a thing or two off a registry if it’s for a baby shower, and gift away!

Until Next Time!


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On Magic Yarn Balls, and gifting in general.

Hey lovelies!

Ok, so, I have a confession to make. Something I have not even told Lady, for fear that she would be jealous.

I signed up for a Craftster swap. A Magic Yarn Ball swap.

*GASP*! I know! I totally cheated on my bestie with some lady I’ve never met- sending her little doo-dads and trinkets and handmade things, all balled up inside a tangle of yarn.

Why did I do this? Well, I just couldn’t help myself.

The perimeters of the swap were simple: Find a pattern (crochet or knit) for your partner. Buy appropriate yarn for said pattern. Take 15-20 things (at least 5-6 handmade) and wrap yarn around them to make a Magic Yarn Ball. Ship, Recieve, done.

So, I thought I would share some photos (taken by my swap partner) of the things I made

(Possibly Spoiler Alert for Lady: You may just get something similar for Christmas, so stop your whining)

First, all the yarn I sent. The top 4 yarns went with the pattern I gave her, the last one is something from my stash. I had told her I liked that yarn, and she hadn’t tried it, so I thought I would send it to her.

The yarn goes with this knitting pattern, for leg warmers. She picked 3-4 patterns she liked and I just selected one of them.

On the outside of the ball, was a vintage key, and 3 pairs of doily earrings.

I also gave her 2 crochet pins (I made them, but they were technically floating around my stash. I never wear them, and I knew my partner would like them), a scarf tie (more on those later), some scrapbooking supplies, and beads (and the key and earrings again)

Next up is the mystery yarn, the other crochet pin, an anchor brooch, a flower pin, and a fabric headband.

And lastly, the part that Lady will probably hate me for most…. I made her a set of HP cards like the ones she liked on Etsy. This was actually the easiest thing for me to make (leftover cardstock from the wedding + printer) but my swap partner apparently screamed and teared up a little when she saw them.

Yay stranger love!

Anyhoodle, I just felt like sharing this little project with everyone, and talk for a moment about gift giving.

It’s interesting to me how we give gifts. I’ve always loved doing it- there’s some weird joy I get about giving gifts, almost moreso than I get from receiving them…. but it’s even stronger when it’s a gift I made, or something really unique.

Why? Well, as someone recently put it, you’re trying to “win”. (He said he always tries to “Win Christmas”). The idea is that you get the best “OMG, I LOVE IT” from your recipients, and by getting that, you get this happy, smug feeling about how awesome you are at gift giving.

I’m totally this person. I start planning in August or September. I go crazy with gift wrap. I get crazy cutesy with bows. I do cute little tags. I spend more money than I really have to get someone the *perfect* gift, or I’ll spend ages making something that I know the person will love. I try to out-Martha everyone, basically…

And when I get that “OMG, I LOVE IT” (or Lady’s momma messages me to let me know she still hates me), I feel good.

And that is ok…. because it means I love my friends and family, and I love seeing them happy… and that I’ve won. 🙂

Until Next Time!


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Dear Blog…

Lady and I are very sorry that you have been neglected.

Once again, Lady has fallen ill, and I have been quite the busy bee… interviewing for jobs, taking care of babies… you know how it is.

So, I just wanted to take a moment, grovel shamelessly for abandoning you, and post some pictures in hopes of making it up to you.

First, some adorable photos of children:

That would be Miss L. Obviously you have heard of her, since you saw my previous post where I made posters for her and her baby brother. She stayed with me in the first half of this week.

For those of you who haven’t met my sister, Miss L is her clone. It’s totally unreal.

That would be Little Man. Check out those rocking side burns. He stayed with us for the second half of the week, and goes home in the morning.

I have to say, I’m going to miss both of them… they’re great kids.

NOW, I will give you a sneak peek of some projects that I’ll be posting about in the near future.

One of the projects was inspired by these photos:

One of the projects involves this:

And One of the projects will utilize this fabric (Which came from a 90’s “Teacher Dress”, of all things… isn’t it awesome?)

Until Next Time!


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A Tale of (the) Cashmere (sweater redo)

Ok, so I’m still playing around with fancy post titles. Don’t judge, k?

A long, long time ago, before I moved, I found the most fabulous Ann Taylor cashmere sweater at Goodwill. It was gently used, and the color was insane. See Exibit A.

A slightly over saturated Exibit A.

The only problem with this awesome find is that it was an XL, and just generally looked sloppy on me.

So, what’s a girl to do? I devised a plan.

Or the shorter, more concise version.

Step 1. Take in the body

Step 2. Move the shoulder line up a bit.

Step 3. Shorten the sleeves.

Step 4. Embellish.

Here is the finished product:

Now, I realize that it’s hard to see just how much I took it when it’s on the mannequin. While Susie Singer here shares similar measurements to me, she’s built a little wide.

To further demonstrate how much was taken in, and to show you how to do it yourself, I took this photo for you:

Whoo! See that? Now, that’s how you take in a sweater!

Until next time, lovelies!


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Finally, a project off my list!

As Bird mentioned, my life has been a bit bootastic lately.  Did she mention she shared her little bug with me?  No, well then I won’t mention it either.  On top of feeling icky, life gets a little hectic with work, family, etc, so sorry I’ve been absent.  If only we could get paid to sit around and be crafty and adorable all day.  Oh, the good life.
Nevertheless, here’s my project:

I’d been seeing posts on Pinterest like these:

and began to get inspired.

My mister is always great at giving gifts, and I always feel like mine are very generic.  He’s a musician and often writes personal songs, which is quite hard to compete with.  Lately, he’s been in cahoots with Bird up there about planning for another surprise and got pretty upset when my nosey self tried to snoop on a conversation they were having.  I decided I need to absolutely make it up to him, and LoveMap was a perfect way to do it.

I first started by making a list of places that have been significant in our relationship.  The place we met, our first date, where we first said “I love You,” as well as a couple of places that are very specific to us, like when we went camping.  After the list was complete, I headed over to Google Maps to make the maps.  It took some time, but eventually I was ready to edit and print.

After the maps were printed, I headed over to my local Archivers to find the perfect book to put it in.  (Did I mention I’m in LOVE with that store?)  In retrospect, it probably would’ve been much easier to find the book first and then edit the maps according to size, but I found one that would work.  I chose a tag book with chipboard cover  and accordion style spine.  I had to alter the original accordion to fit in more pages, but that didn’t prove too difficult.  Just took some patience and a clear head. (Something that probably would’ve been easier if I weren’t rushing to finish at 5am.)

From there, it was simple.  I gathered some specialty paper and went to town, covering the pages and the tags, creating a cover on photoshop, and stitching away at the maps.  This project was made MUCH easier by my handy-dandy Xyron.  (Seriously, whoever invented that thing should be given an award.  Or at least lots of cookies.)  I’m pretty satisfied by the way it turned out.

And someone else was happy too.  =)

Until next time,


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Sorry we’ve been slacking…

Lady and I are both pretty ill this week. I have a project ready to go, I just need decent pictures…. Maybe tomorrow?

In the mean time, here’s a fun little something I found on Pinterest. It reminded Lady and I of undergrad, back when we directed short plays, did children’s theatre productions, and enjoyed theatre history lesson with the magical Dr. O’Hara.

Gotta tell the truth- I’ve been feeling pretty nostalgic about my undergrad years this week.

Until next time (hopefully tomorrow),


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