Category Archives: General Ramblings

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!

-Bird

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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!

Birdy

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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!

-Bird

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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),

Bird

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Week Three: Something actually off my list!

Man! Talk about slackers. Lady didn’t get time for a post last week (don’t blame her… she’s got a stink-tastic job) and I did two projects, neither of which was actually on my original to-do list.

So, getting back on track, I finally broke out my sewing machine!

A while back my younger sister commissioned me to make her a new diaper bag. She wanted something that was gender neutral, and had a divider so she can keep her kiddos stuff separate. Oh, and a zipper. And no flap. And it needed to be big-ish, but not huge. And slouchy, like a hobo bag. And pockets. And a cross body strap. And a cool print.

WHEW! Really, she wanted a cool purse with a divider.

So, after searching the web and finding a bag shape that was close to what she wanted, I drafted a pattern and got to work! (Ok, really, I drafted a pattern, bought supplies, moved, then got to work about a month later… Details.)

Anyway, here’s the finished bag!

 

This bag has all the requested features: It’s slouchy, big enough to fit a bunch of baby stuff, has a divider, 2 pockets, all that jazz.

I’m honestly really sad that we picked such a dark, busy print, because it doesn’t photograph the details well at all. See those pleats? No? Well, they’re there. (Promise.)

And that super fancy complicated zipper casing with cute little tab at the end of the zipper….. yeah, that’s what the above photo is supposed to show…. hopefully you can tell, because it was a pain in the you-know-what to figure out. I love the look of it, but still!

The momma modeling her new bag. I promise, this sweatshirt is huge on her. She’s really a skinny-mini, even after 2 babies. Brat.

And the adjustable tie strap! I love that it turned out looking like a bow.

So, that’s it for today! Lady should have a pretty neat project to show you this week, and I have a couple clothing posts and a Thift Store Shopping Guide coming up soon! So Stay tuned!

Until Next Time!

-Bird

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Things You May Not Know About: Lady

‘Ello lovelies! In keeping with Bird’s last post, I thought I’d fill you in on my top 5 quirks…. of the moment

 

1.  Big City Dreamer:

Born and raised an Indiana girl, I’ve always longed for the big city life.  I fell in love with the Chicago skyline the first time my hazel’s took a peep.  I take mini vacations on a fairly regular basis and could easily live in a suburban outskirt like Schaumburg or Oak Park. were it not for the cash and my ridiculously strong connection to family.  Perhaps it’s better this way, where the Windy City can continue to draw me near.


2. Always a Bridesmaid:

Bird’s wedding this summer marked the 2nd of 3 weddings in which I was/will be the Maid of Honor.  For Bird’s wedding, I was actually “Lady of Honor”  because she’s wonderful and does things like that.  Next summer I will stand by another good friend’s side for her big day.  Weddings make my heart leap with happy thoughts and I can hardly wait until my big day.  Relax, no ring on this finger yet, but someday.  My mister is still in undergrad, so we’ll wait until he graduates.  Never fear though, it just gives me plenty of time to build up my wedding wish arsenal.  See what I mean here:  http://pinterest.com/jlwiles/wedding-wishes/

 

3.  Mr(s) A-Z:

Okay, so if you’ve met me even once, you probably do know this, but if not, it’s imperative that you know.

I LOVE Jason Mraz.

Our love affair began several years ago and has held strong.  I believe I may have every song he’s ever recorded (and some that random YouTubers have captured on their fan cams).  His voice can instantly calm me down in nearly any situation.  I’ve seen him play live several times and hope to one day be able to meet him in person.  His outlook on life is what I strive to believe and his musical talents are so plentiful, I don’t know if I could list them all if I tried.  The greatest part about his music is that its so eclectic and well rounded.  Oh yeah, and he’s super hot.  Take a listen:

Special points if you noticed it was filmed in Chicago!  🙂

4.  If it ain’t got that swing:

I’ve been fluent in East Coast swing, and well acquainted with Lindy Hop for going on 7 years.  =)  I was president of Ball State Swing Society, where I also met my mister.   Now that I’m a “real adult” it’s a lot harder to find time to fit this hobby in, but I still welcome any opportunity to throw on my dancing shoes and swing the night away.

5.  Landlocked:

I’ve never seen the ocean.  Saddest thing ever, right?!  I know.  Though I would love to spend my days floating on the open waters, I’ve never been given the chance.  Despite my years of insisting I wasn’t outdoorsy, time spent camping with that guy up there has made me realize my nature loving side.  One day I hope to see the ocean from the sandy shores of Greece.  Until then, I’ll just keep sittin’ on the dock of the bay… by tiny ponds and creeks.

Tell us somethings we don’t know about you!

Ever yours,

Lady

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Things You May Not Know About: Bird

 

So, it’s late on a Friday night, Lady was super busy this week caring for a sickly boy and didn’t get time to post a project, and I have a something I could show you for this upcoming week, but it has yet to be photographed.

Out of my current state of mind (bored + fighting sleep) I made the decision that this blog should have a segment titled “Things You May Not Know About”, in which we tell you about something you did not know about. Classy stuff.

Today’s topic is myself. How original.

So, here we go.

1. I recently got married. Lady was my Lady of Honor. I have the coolest last name ever. (It’s Amore. I’m not lying. Coolest name? Yes, indeed.)

(Lady and  C.Jo being awesome friends…. those program fans were a really good idea.)
2. I have a weird thing with four leaf clovers. I can only find them when I’m not trying to find them…. so they have this whole symbolism for me of keeping yourself open to the unexpected and all that jazz. The full story is much longer and way more poetic, but it’s late. Short form.

(Ohhh…. so sneaky and hard to find)
3. If I like a band, I will listen to their music over and over again for weeks on end… and it drives my husband crazy. (Oh, yeah… go listen to The Head and The Heart…. I have been… for weeks…)

4. Some day, if I have a daughter, she will be named Everly. Everly Irene. If by some chance I know you in real life, and you steal this name before I have kids, you will be disowned by me so I can still use it….. So please don’t. You’ve been warned.


5. I have a shoe problem. Particularly with Seychelles brand shoes (Current styles owned=5). They always fit my feet and are cute and comfy…. even if they make my wallet cry.

(Current Seychelles shoe wants… *sigh*)

And, there you have it. Some things you may not have known about me, that you now know. TA DA!

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