Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sometimes Gambles Pay Off

And sometimes they don't.

Well, lucky me! A fortuitous browse in the clearance section at the grocery store has already paid for itself.

What did I find, you ask?

Only a stockpile of Cricut cartridges - twenty two of them. Why did Dillon's have them in the first place? No clue. But they ended up being clearanced for $2.49 each.

That's 90% off, people!

I mean, not to brag too much, but that's a smoking deal!

One thing - I don't have a Cricut, I have a Silhouette {which I love love LOVE}.

But a ton of eBay users have Cricuts.

And guess what! {can you tell I'm excited?}
I've already sold enough to pay for the bunch of them.

Yay! I can pay for more crafting supplies. {or something more practical like paying off my credit card}

But really, I have my eye on this.

Brag fest over.

Anyone else have steals and deals to share?

and sorry for no pictures. boo to picture-less posts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Updating a Bathroom {without breaking the bank}

Last month I saw a post on House of Smiths about a quick update for their master bathroom floor. Seriously? They did it for under $45? No way. Sign me up.

The Lowes in Topeka sells these "planks" for $0.88 each. Each one is a square foot. I needed approximately 50-55sqft. I couldn't tell because the shape of our bathroom is funky. So I guessed.

You might be asking yourself, "what was in their bathroom that made it so horrible?"

Well, let me show you. This is what it looked like when we moved in. Awful stains {highlighted by all the awesome arrows} and all.
A huge cut in the linoleum from one doorway to the other. It doesn't even make sense why it's there.

First, I scrubbed the floor with a TSP solution and let it dry. Then I used this bottle of Henry Floor Primer {cost: $6.55} and primed the floor and let it dry for about 2 1/2 hours - the bottle says to let it dry completely before you begin.
You can see the primer if you look closely. It smelled like perm solution and looked like skim milk.
Then I spent the next 6 hours laying the planks.

{And I wanted to add that I'm not really THAT slow, there were about 4 or 5 pieces that caused some undue stress. Right around the door frames. The final piece took me a full hour last night. So, I'm thinking those 4-5 pieces probably took me about 4 hours and the other two were the rest of the floor}
And removing the toilet.
I love how it turned out. In the poor lighting of our bathroom, it actually looks really good!
And just so you can see it with the awful lighting to compare to the before pictures, I've turned on all the lights and snapped a picture or two.
For $55? Worth every penny!

Next up, new toilet.
Has anyone installed a toilet? Would you be interested in a step by step of the process?

Then thinking about staining the vanity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Quick Gift for a New Mom

Have a friend with a new baby? Of course you do, it's Spring and baby season.

I like to bring a gift the first time I go and visit the new little family. Usually I bring something for the baby, but this time I figured something for the mom would be more practical, especially since I haven't found a little outfit that I love. {unbelievable, I know!}
I went with Hyacinths. A potted flower is the perfect gift! If you choose flowers, select something just about to bloom, not at the height of flowering. It will be prettier to look at just a little bit longer!

If you want to make a sweet gift even sweeter, add a cute little pennant flag.
To make it even cuter, welcome the new baby!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Every SuperGirl Needs a Disguise

But really, there's no question about the identity of the owner of this one!

My niece Ellie, who turned 3 last week, has started running around with a fist in the air and shouting, "SUPERGIRL!"
I quickly volunteered to make her a superhero outfit for her birthday {Hillary was going to buy one off Etsy for her, otherwise} and knew she'd need at least a cape and a mask.

And a crown just seemed like a good idea.

Well, I got the cape made and then sorted out the crown{s}.
I made two: one for when the first one gets broken.
{they're paper mache/chipboard}

I work best with deadlines, so Monday night I got all the finishing touches worked out, got everything ready to mail the next morning and went to bed.

*forehead slapping moment*

I FORGOT TO MAKE A MASK. Oh.bloody.hell.

First thing Tuesday morning I turn on my Silhouette, search for a mask design, and use freezer paper as a template - it's the BEST thing ever for knit or difficult-to-work-with fabric. I was able to bang it out in about an hour and some change.
I didn't have a template for the cape and just guessed proportions for both the cape and the mask.
I hope they fit!

Now I'm just waiting for a picture of the birthday girl in her disguise.

Also, I can't believe how long it took to make the freaking cape. Seriously, I question people who make them on Etsy to sell. Because that means they actually ENJOY making them. Crazies. I would have to charge $50 to justify the amount of time and quarters I had to put in the swear jar. And I'm not soliciting. I really don't want to make another one for a loooong time..

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

How Not to Make a Clutch

Start with a tutorial from an awesome blog, but don't follow it closely.

Add in WAY more pockets than in the tutorial. It always works.
Also, don't use a zipper foot, as recommended.
And then when you are having problems, don't rip it out and try to fix it. Do just think it's going to work out.

See that picture below?
It won't.

So, here's how to make a cute clutch that you can be proud enough of to actually gift to someone outside of your blood line.

Follow directions.

Don't bend the rules when you aren't sure what they are to begin with.
Do iron between all the steps. It makes a huge diff.

If it's not coming together, don't plow through. Stop and pick it out and do it again.
{if you don't know why, look at the picture above with the crazy zipper}
And what you'll end up with is one perfectly pretty bag to tote all your chappysticks around in. And maybe keys and some other stuffs.

I've made three. Two turned out cute.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Luck, Luck, Luck, Goose!

During the months of November and December I was apparently REALLY lucky! I won all these gorgeous things. First, this postage stamp garland from D.Sharp Studio.

It's simply amazing how pretty and detailed each of these stamps is that comprise the garland. And the colors are so perfectly placed.

Then I got this gorgeous set from Penelope's Press. I was able to pick what I wanted and selected personalized notecards and a set of gorgeous recipe cards.

I've used the notecards already and they're so nice and plush and lovely to write on. My letterpress efforts were nothing like this. Something to strive for!

From another blog I won an item of my choice from DownEast Basics. So, since it was cold I picked out this sweater/jacket. I LOVE it. I love it so much that I got one for my sister-in-law for Christmas.
Sadly, it's no longer in stock but they have a few jackets in their clearance section for less than $20. Seriously, I loooove it!

Next, these fabulous snowflakes from Vinylize It. They're pretty fabulous. I could never cut these out on my silhouette and have them be so pretty. I had them send me a set in light gray and one in white. The effect is exactly what I wanted! Next year I'll be ordering from them again. And now I'm thinking since it's March I should start taking them down...
OH! I almost forgot this last one from Bakerella! I was sooo lucky to be one of the 10 winners of a signed copy of her book, Cake Pops.

Thanks to all the fabulous blogs for having giveaways! I'm one lucky girl.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

My Twenty-Ninth Year Begins

{I bought a cake for my pity party for one}

Ryan was out of town for my birthday this year.
It was really hard.

I am having a hard time aging 'gracefully' and accepting that time actually does
pass even though you will it to stand still. At least until I'm ready.

What seems to be the most difficult is our lack of children. I know Ryan only wants to have 3-4 kids {which is hilarious since he's the oldest of NINE} but I just think we should worry about the first. I think Heavenly Father will let us know when our family is complete. And it doesn't feel complete yet.

So, Ryan being gone, me turning 29, and no kids in the near future = depressing birthday for Chelsea.
I know, boo-hoo, pity party for me. That's why I bought the cake.

But it really was one of those days that I was feeling so sorry for myself, I even had a talk with myself to snap out of it but it just didn't work!

So, I thought I'd make a list of all the blessings I DO have to be thankful for.
My 'gifts,' if you will:

My handsome family. Ryan, my sweet and superb Ginger, {why do American red-heads hate being called Gingers? I'm pretty sure it's just American Gingers. Ryan hates it. I love it. It's my birthday so I win.} and our cute lil pup.

My extended family. My sisters are some of my bestest friends, both by birth and by marriage, and I have such hilarious and strong brothers. My parents are Ryan and I are BOTH very grateful we don't have completely insane in-laws. I just wish we lived closer.

My warm and comfortable house. I'm in such a great town, with a beautiful little house that keeps me sheltered, and sheltered in luxury, and I know I'm truly lucky to be a homeowner, especially with me being unemployed and married to a doctoral student. There are so few of our acquaintances that own their homes that I know I'm extremely blessed in this regard. It really is a comfort knowing we can do whatever we'd like to our home and it's OURS. Renting had its time in my life and I'm glad to be done with it.

My generous and awesome friends. I have so many wonderful people in my life that have shown kindness and strength by examples to me and kindness to me or my husband. We have undoubtedly surrounded ourselves with the greatest people we could imagine.

My craftiness. I'm going to toot my own horn. I'm pretty resourceful and craft-oriented when it comes to life. I love seeking out good deals and hunting down bargains {there's an old old door on the curb down the street and I've resisted it for 4 days already; if it's still there in the next hour, I'm going to grab it and paint it and save it for a special project} and I love that people will call me to find good deals for them. Seriously, I have people call me.

My homemaking skills. I'm counting this separately from craftiness because a glue gun does not a meal make. I bake and cook for others more often than I cook for Ryan and I. It's too difficult cooking for the two of us, especially when one doesn't like most leftovers. So, I invite others over to share our meal. I know it's a little silly and possibly vain, but I thrive on validation. You can ask Ryan about that. He tells it another way. I'm glad I had a mother who forced us to cook for the family one night a week and for my dad who ALWAYS looked at the food ads and shopped for the best deals. I had a roommate in college who commented on the fact that I actually took the time to look at what was on sale for the week and plan my grocery list around that. Mostly it was because I was such a poor money-manager that I HAD to. But I remember my parents poring over the food ads and it's just what you do, you know?

And last, but not least {I'm just getting tired of typing because I'm trying to listen to Antiques Roadshow, too} my testimony. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. He has one especially for ME. How awesome is that to know my prayers are heard and my wishes are counted. To me, it's everything. One of the best things about moving to a new city is having insta-friends through the Church. Sure, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle, but if you put yourself out there {which, believe me, was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone} you'll get anything back tenfold. I've made friends tenfold. My testimony of the goodness of people and the light of Christ through others has increased tenfold because of our experiences since Ryan started school here. Away from our families, orphaned in the middle of the country, we feel anything but. Heavenly Father has taken care of my physical, spiritual, and emotional needs, and for that, I'm eternally thankful.

So, what I thought was a horrible way to start a horrible year of being 29 and barren? isn't so bad after all.

Besides, Ryan brought me chocolate from Ghirardelli Square. He gets some points back. If he's gone next year on my birthday...well...all deals are off.
{and it was delightful!}