First Craft Show

First Craft Show

I recently did a small Make &/or Bake Sale for Alzheimer’s research. It was the first time I’d ever done something like that. I didn’t have a lot of props and I used sticky notes to show prices, but it went really really well.
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So First ever show a success! Aaaaannndd a friend asked me to share a booth with her in October, so second show here I come! I’m very excited! I have to make some more items and look around the house for some props. If you live in Tennessee, or want to visit, it’s the Grundy County Craft Show on October 1st. Come and see me!

Some items that will be with me in Grundy County:
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Also, I’m taking orders for custom jewelry for gifts or upcoming holiday party gatherings and for custom bags. Get your orders in early for a special surprise!

Wall of Inspiration

Wall of Inspiration

I’m a huge fan of using inspiration, idea/goal boards. I think they are a beautiful way to keep your goals and inspiration ever at the front of our minds.

Since I don’t have an office, my desk sits against a wall in a hybrid hallway that open to the living room, and so I wanted to create a beautiful and simple way to display my ideas, to do lists, goals, and things that inspire me. But I also want the area to have it’s own feel since it’s my workspace.
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Want to make your own wall of inspiration? Follow along below!

MATERIALS:
Staple gun with 6mm staples
Four 12×12 squares of cork board
Four 13×13 squares of fabric (depending on the thickness of your boards, you may need more than an extra inch all the way around)
Four picture hangers and screws
Screw driver
Scissors

I started with a 4 pack of 12×12 cork boards. Then I selected fabric that matched my living room enough not to clash, but is also different enough to give the area it’s own feeling. I decided to use only two colors, but another great idea would be to use four different fabrics.
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I cut 13×13 squares out of the fabric. I made three from the light color and one from the darker charcoal color.

To start attaching the fabric to the board, I placed the fabric face down and the cork board down in the middle with at least an inch of fabric showing all the way around.

Using the staple gun, fold the fabric over the cork board and staple once in the middle. (I was working on a carpeted floor, so I placed a piece of board under where I stapled for support.) Then do the same thing to the opposite side pulling the fabric gently to make sure it will lie flat in the front.
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Now repeat on the two remaining sides, so that your piece looks like the one below.
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Now working from the center staple on each side, fold and pull the fabric down and place another staple in between the center one and the corner. Repeat on each side of the board. Now you have three staples on each side.
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Now to tackle the corner. Take a pair of scissors and cut a square out, to look like the second image below.
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Now, fold one side over holding the fabric taught, but not too tightly. Then fold the other fabric over and put one staple in the corner. Repeat for the other three corners.
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Now, how to hang them on the wall. Eventually I hope to find and up-cycle some decorative frames, but until then, I took some tooth hangers off of picture frames that I have standing. You could buy some at a craft or hardware store, but it’s always awesome to use the opportunity to reuse/repurpose something!
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To attach them, simply measure to the middle of side, place the piece and screw in.
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Now the fun part! Hang them up and start pinning inspiration, to do lists, special quotes and phrases, and anything else that inspires you!
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Need more space to pin? I took an old picture I was given, painted the frame and covered cardboard in fabric to match. I’m upswing it for my home study course.
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I also made a pretty little paper pocket to hold study materials. X-)
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So what do you think? How do you keep inspiration and to do lists present in your mind?

The PB banana shake

The PB banana shake

Its very cold out and snowing, so Kelly and I decided to save our lungs and throat by running on the treadmill today. It was a short one about 30 mins.

I wanted something light and flavorful for my post workout so I made a PB and banana shake!

The recipe:

  • 5 oz milk (soy, almond, cow, etc) or water
  • 5-6 tbs peanut butter unsweetened
  • 2 medium bananas
  • a dash of honey
  • 1-2 tbs protein powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ice
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    I don’t drink milk, but I love coffee and so always have half & half around. I mixed the half & half with water. So feel free to substitute!

    It’s very delicious! Now it’s time to settle in to catch up on my drawing! I’ve fallen terribly behind.
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    The Greenway and a Kale Smoothie

    The Greenway and a Kale Smoothie

    My friend and I trained this morning. We did a little over 3 miles…though not all running. I brought Lulu to join us for her first trip to the greenway. She has some training of her own to do as a running buddy, but over all she did really well.

    During our trek, I used an app called Charity Miles. You can run, walk, or bicycle for whatever charity you pick. I did ASPECA today, in honor of Lulu being with us, but I plan to change it up.
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    We weren’t home 10 minutes before Lulu passed out. While I made an after run snack.
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    This week I’m going to experiment with kale green smoothies.
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    So today I used 8 ounces green tea, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 cup baby kale, 1 banana, 2 cups frozen mixed berries. It was very delicious! I was warmed by a friend that kale is very strong in smoothies, but I can’t taste it at all in this one! Tomorrow I will try 2 cups and see if I can handle it.
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    Alice in Wonder Land Birthday Dress

    Alice in Wonder Land Birthday Dress

    My friend Malinda called me up two weeks ago to see if I could help her make a dress out of playing cards for her little sister to wear for her birthday party. I accepted right away with a million ideas floating through my head! After talking a little to get a feel for what her sister might want, I drew a couple sketches and planned a meeting. Between work and life, I ended up with about 48 hours to get it done.
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    Fortunately I have a wonderful dress making partner named Ella. She is flexible enough to help me with many sizes and never complains when I stick her with a pin.
    20130128-085350.jpg (Ella is an antique Acme adjustable dress form. I bought her from a lovely shop on etsy, DesertBlossomVintage.)

    So after Ella got adjusted, I went to work making the dress. I don’t usually get nervous making dresses, but this one felt different. It’s for a 12 year old’s birthday. So it had to be perfect!
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    I got started making the skirt and top. Once those were sewn together, I added the zipper, lace around the top, and the bubble hem with tulle. Sewing the cards on was the hardest part.
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    The result! I think it turned out pretty well for the project runway time frame I was on. πŸ˜› (please ignore the fold lines on the fabric… they were fixed.)
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    My friend said her sister loved it!!! They had a wonderful time at her Alice in Wonderland party, painting tea sets. Best of all no one lost their head!

    A Very Spidey Christmas Project

    A Very Spidey Christmas Project

    I picked up a bunch of Spider-Man comics at an antique mall a while back for my Dad’s Christmas present. I also snagged a vintage style Spider-Man poster off Amazon. My original plan to house these was to pick up some old picture frames from goodwill or some other thrift store. But I decided to go for a different look that makes much more of a statement. I decided to make the “frames.”

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    My Dad loved them!! I think he was a little shocked by them, but he absolutely loved them. I know he couldn’t wait to get them hung up in his media room. I’ll be sure to post a picture once he hangs them up.

    For those of you who would like to see how I built them, continue reading. For those of you who just wanted to see them, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it!!

    To Build
    First I bought all the materials from Lowes online and they had them ready for pick up in 20 mins! I bought:

    • 5- 8ft x 2 inch x 1/4 inch wood slats
    • 3- 24 x 36 inch metal sheets
    • 3- 18 x 24 inch clear acrylic sheets
    • 12 socket hd cap screws & 18 hex nuts & 12 6×3/8 screws

    I also used some black acrylic paint, black and red spray paint, poster board, wood glue, staple gun, and hand saw that I already had.

    I used poster board to create my spray paint template. First I drew the spiderweb with a marker and then used a utility knife to cut the web out, keeping all the pieces. I used the web itself as a template for placing each piece on the metal. I used painters tape to attach them. Covered large areas with magazine pages. I used black low voc spray paint. While that dried, I created the Spider-man mask template and painted it on the metal as well.
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    After painting the metal pieces I began measuring for the holes to be drilled into the metal and plexiglass. To do this I worked from the back of the metal so that I could write on it. The plexiglass has a protective film that I wrote on. I suggest keeping it on until you attach it with the bolts to the metal.

    I measured the metal and plexiglass pieces in pairs and numbered them to match. I did this because even though I’m using the same measurements on each piece, most likely the metal and plexiglass have subtle inaccuracies. So numbering them to match ensures that they will fit together.

    Because of the size pieces I bought, I already knew I wanted the plexiglass 6 inches from the top and bottom of the metal and 3 inches on each of the sides. Once I had the glass positioned to those measurements, I traced the corners of the plexiglass onto the metal for reference later.

    After tracing the corners, I broke out my ruler and from the plexiglass corner measured 1 inch on either side. I made little tick marks on the metal to match the ones on the glass. Then lining up the side of my ruler to the side edge of the metal, to ensure a straight line, I drew a line across the glass slightly longer than an inch. I repeated this from the top edge, so that the two lines crossed. That is the point to drill your bolt hole. I drew a small circle around this point. Repeat this process for the other three plexiglass corners. Then remove the plexiglass and using the tick marks already there and the metal edge, continue using the ruler to draw the crossed lines and circle the intersections. (To test your measurements place the plexiglass back over the metal. Your circles will be visible through the plexiglass glass. Make sure all the circles line up.)

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    The plexiglass doesn’t need any prep work before drilling, but be careful not to go too fast or you make crack it.

    The metal I used was very thin, and when drilling the hole, it will bend the edges of the hole down. So I didn’t want to drill from the back and have the holes cause space between the metal and plexiglass later. To avoid this, I took a nail and hammer and made a pin hole through my drill point from the back and wah-lah! I can drill from the front of the metal.
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    I made frames from wood to act as a base for my project. To do this so that the metal actually sits on top of the frame, I measured and cut the wood at a 45 degree angle so that the interior of the frames were to be 34.5 inches for the long side and 22.5 inches for the short sides. I don’t have any cool power tools so I used a hand saw and guide to cut my pieces.

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    After all the pieces were cut I painted them mostly black, sparing the area that will be covered by the metal. Once that dried, I glued the corners together with gorilla wood glue and let it set over night.
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    I used a staple gun to re-in force the corners after the glue dried.
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    I attached the metal to the frame making sure each metal corner lined up with the frame seams. I then used a hammer and nail to make 4 guide holes through each metal and frame for the screws. I pulled the nail out and screwed in the 6×3/8 screws

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    Next it was time to attach the plexiglass to the metal. I took the film off each side and put the bolts through each hole. I laid it down on the table with the bolt faces and front of the plexiglass towards the table. I positioned the poster/comics on the plexiglass, also face down, and then laid the metal over it face down with the bolts going through the holes. I then tightened nuts over the bolts to hold in place.

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    I then measured across the frames in order to cut a support for the frame. I made the pieces 1 inch longer on each side to over lap the back of the frame. The bolts will travel from the plexiglass all the way through this support across the top two bolts. I measured where the bolt holes should be by placing the piece across the frame right under the bolts. Then I drew a line from the bolt to the bottom of the board. With my ruler, I then measured to the middle of the line, creating a kind of t shape. That intersection is the drill point. After I drilled them, I slipped two nuts over the bolts to secure in place.

    20130109-085600.jpgMy dad is going to hang them with picture wire attached to the two bolts across the top. I learned so much by building these and I can’t wait to share my next project with you!! X)

    Green Smoothie

    Green Smoothie

    I made my first green smoothie last night! It was delicious! I’ve seen them around and always wanted to try them, but never had a blender. Now I have a Hamilton Beach small one. So I’ve been stocking up some recipes.
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    I used 2 handfuls spinach, 1 peach, 1 banana, and 1 cup water. Blend it all together really well and enjoy!
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    I had this one after my run yesterday. It was fantastic for a post workout meal. So I’m sure I will come across many more delicious recipes to share!

    Paintings for Christmas!

    Paintings for Christmas!

    A friend of mine gave me some pictures she didn’t want any more. I took one of them apart this weekend, and painted the frame.

    Adler’s mother loves pigs, and so I painted her a Christmas pig. I cut the mat from the original picture to fit the new one, and added some ribbon to the top for it to hang from.

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    I have two more pictures, to transform into Christmas presents. Not to mention I promised to post about my dad’s very Spidey Christmas present… Its all coming very, very soon.

    Lulu

    Lulu

    Meet Lulu. She’s a 9 month old shiba inu. Adler and I adopted her from PAWS located in Murfreesboro, TN almost 3 weeks ago. (You may have seen the post.) Adler has named her Lulu after a rare Rx7 race car.

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    She warmed up to us so much. She now wags her tail to greet us when we come home and she snuggles up on the couch.

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    She will play with us outside and she loves to explore the outdoors. I’m planning a little hiking trip with her. She is very intelligent. I’ve been able to teach her name, train her on entering and exiting the house, and to go to her crate or come to me by command. All with only praise, without the use of treats or food reinforcement. I would love to start on some other things with her but its difficult to reinforce and train without the lure of food… at least for me. However, she still won’t take bits of kibble, treats, or even bits of chicken from my hand yet.

    I’m beginning to think she may have been abused and not only neglected. Not only because of the food, she also will not go into the bedrooms no matter the coaxing. She will come to me, but the second I stop petting her, she immediately heads for the door. She also will not play indoors with us, or with her toys. The most she’ll do is chew on them in her crate. So I bought her some interactive toys, and I bought myself a book that goes into even more detail on shibas.

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    I read it last night. It had some fantastic information, but it solidified my suspicions of abuse. Shibas have a very long memory and negative experiences stick with them. So if she was punished for playing or going in bedrooms it’s going to be long journey to reverse that. But it’ll be worth it for her to feel free and happy in her own home.

    I’m hoping the toys will help encourage her to play. The green ball is for large dry treats for her to nibble at. The black one is a kong. I’m going to put wet food inside with just a few bits of cheese or sardines. Then I’ll freeze it and ta-da hours fun and surprises. The red one is good for several things, it will help keep her teeth clean. There are ridges we’re I can put peanut butter as a treat, and one end has a hole through it for stick treats. These should help her understand play time is fun and acceptable. X-)

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    I bought the toys and the book from amazon.com. But I’ve also recently discovered an app: wag.com. It is for all pets, not just dogs. They sell almost everything; food, treats, toys, food bowls, collars and leashes, and other accessories.

    An Adventure in Training

    An Adventure in Training

    Adler and I adopted a shiba inu puppy last Saturday. She’s about 9 months old and very shy of people. She is so sweet though, and has opened up so much during this past week. Adler named her Lulu. I little to girly for my taste, but some how it has stuck.

    Shiba’s take longer to bond with their family than some other breeds, but Lulu is proving to be more cautious than most. The rescue thinks it’s because she was neglected. I can’t wait until she’s used to us, so that I can start training her. She’s already crate trained, potty trained, and leash trained… Completely ready for the fun stuff, except that she won’t eat from my hand. I can’t get her to take anything from my hand, chicken, treats, her own food… Nothing I’ve tried so far has tempted her enough to take it from my hand. Hopefully with a little more time she’ll come around.

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    In case you’re wondering, that is a blanket with different faces of Jack from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Great blanket and now it’s hers. X-)