Friday, May 31, 2013

High Five For Friday

1. Melissa came to visit and it was great! Lots of roomie love goin' on. Brenden was back in America for a few days too! It was great to see both of them, even if was only for a little while. 

2. I moved my afternoon workout to the mornings this week. By morning I mean a 5 am wake up time. I'm always so exhausted if I try to go after work that I don't get anything accomplished! But by going in the mornings before work I have so much more energy. Like my pink shoes? Vibrams are the bomb. 

3. When Melissa was here, we went on Rollercoaster Road! It's a road near Clemson where the hills are so steep you can't see the bottom. Crazy! It's been on my Clemson Bucket list forever, but I just got around to going. It was terrifying and awesome. 

4. I sewed my first pillow cover! Including a zipper. The zipper made me want to pull my hair out, but it all worked in the end. It's nice because once I get tired of it, I can take it off an put on another one! You'll see another more detailed blog post about it soon. 

5. You're probably wondering- what in the WORLD is that last picture of? Well, guys, it's the hose in my kitchen sink. It had been broken/stuck for a few months now and no one could figure out what the deal was.  But GUESS WHAT. I fixed it! I am strong independent woman who don't need no maintenance man. So yeah. This picture is evidence of my repair skills. 

Linking up with Lauren again on this one. 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Homemade Apple Chips

Hello again! No craft tutorial today, but here's a delicious snack you can make! Have you ever seen those fruit chips at Trader Joe's that are amazing and amazingly expensive? They're great, but here's one that's better (and cheaper!) I originally found this recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen, but changed it a little. 

1. Preheat your oven to 225. Find an apple or two. One apple makes A LOT so unless you're making chips for a big group, you'll only need a few. 

2. Core and slice, with a mandolin if you have one. I didn't even know what a mandolin was until a few weeks ago, so it shouldn't surprise you that I didn't have one. There was a mandolin-type thingy on the side of Melissa's cheese grater that I borrowed (thanks roomie!) and that worked just fine. My slices are a lot uglier than the original picture, but hey, food is food. 

3. Lay out the slices on a baking sheet. Important: The original post said to use parchment paper on the baking sheet, but I didn't have any so i just went without. I mean, it technically worked....but they were just a little sticky. So learn from my mistake. I highly recommend the parchment paper. 

4. Sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon over the apples.  I didn't measure this, but I just used enough to cover them. It's really up to you. The recipe called for cumin, which was weird, but hey if you're into that then go for it! 

5. Bake at 225 (or as low as your oven will go) for 1.5 hours. This will vary depending on your oven, so keep an eye on them. Let them cool when they're done, and enjoy! 

If you happen to try it, let me know how it turns out! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If I get struck down by lightning, this is why.

A while ago, I saw some music wall art on Pinterest (original link), and really loved the idea of using music to decorate. The original artist printed out a giant sheet of music at Staples, but if you know me, you know I'm not into putting that kind of effort in on a project. Soooo, here's my version: 

Rachel's parents had an old church hymnal lying around (Thanks Crofts!) and said we could use it for art projects. I knew it would be perfect for my canvas. 

I started by ripping out pages of music. I felt a little guilty doing this, but I just told myself that Jesus probably likes art, especially art made of songs about Him.  Forgive me Father, for I have crafted.  I did some big pieces and some small pieces, and had a nice little pile to use when I was finished. 

I didn't have a plan for this (do I ever?), so I thought I'd just see what happens.  I used my trusty Mod Podge to make the pieces stick. I put down a layer of glue where the piece was going to go, stuck it, and put another layer on top. I did this until the entire canvas was covered. 

When I was finished, I did one final top coat to seal everything in and give it a glossy finish.  I like the eclectic look of the music pieces, rather than one uniform sheet.  When I put the Mod Podge on, it yellowed the pages a bit, and I like that antique feel too. This is definitely something I'll hang on my wall. 

The Cost?
Canvas: $5 for a 2 pack (You'll see what I did with the other one soon!)
Music: Free
I already had the Mod Podge, so I guess that was free too.

Any ideas for what I can do next? I'm open to suggestions! Leave a comment and let me know! 

 I'm linking up with The Winthrop Chronicles for this one. Happy Crafting! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thrift Store Repurpose.

Now that it's "summer" Rachel and I have done a TON of crafting. I put summer in quotes because we are both working, but it does mean that we can spend our weekends doing cool projects! Yesterday, we spent all afternoon making things. It was a grand time! 

Rachel got 2 of the same mini wine glasses like I did for this DIY, also for 50 cents each! On the first one, she used shells that she found on the beach in Charleston, and the second she used mini buttons and rhinestones. 

The shells are hot glued in the glass so they won't move, but the tea light is interchangeable! I think the button one would look adorable in a little girl's room. 

One of my projects was to update this frame. Clemson's gift to the senior class was a very pretty picture of a tiger's eye and I wanted to frame it. In case you've never gone frame shopping, nice ones are really expensive! I found this one at the thrift store for $2, and I knew I could make it work. 


The brown was really terrible with the tiger picture, so I decided to paint it black (paint is 57 cents at Walmart, you guys. No excuses.) The first coat of black looked almost like a wood stain, but because I wanted a solid black I let it dry and did another coat. 

Slightly better... 
I LOVE the way this turned out. I think the black really brings out the stripes in the tiger. Thanks Clemson!  


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pretty Up Your Place.

Last week, I found a cute little glass vase at the thrift store. Best part? It was 25 cents. I couldn't have  a plain vase in my apartment though (gasp!) so I decided to spruce it up with some paint. 

I wasn't really sure what I wanted when I started, so I just started pouring paint in the vase. I chose white, swirled it around, and added a little purple. 

Swirling got old after a while, so I took a spongy paintbrush and swirled it around inside.  The brush had Mod Podge crusted in it (thanks Rachel), so I used that to my advantage to make the lines around it! 

I had to go over it a few times to get the lines straight and the way I wanted. I like the way the colors blended together.

I couldn't just have an empty vase sitting around though! And it's kind of a mini-vase, so real flowers just won't do. So I went to my trusty Hobby Lobby and got some flowers. I normally don't do fake flowers, but these aren't half bad! They seemed like a better option than real ones.  I'm happy with it! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Diamonds and Pearls- Wine Glass Conversion

This project was inspired by my roommate Rachel. On our weekly trip to Hobby Lobby last week, we found some rhinestones and pearls for half off! I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with them, but then I found this glass (two actually) at a thrift store for 50 cents. They're only about 8 inches tall, so I wouldn't actually drink out of it, but it's a perfect blank slate for decorating! 

At first, I wasn't sure how to get them to stick. Elmer's won't hold. Mod podge? Too slippery. Hot glue? Perfect. As long as it doesn't get too gloppy....

I started by adding jewels around the stem, and working my way out from there. It only took a VERY small dot of hot glue to hold them, so be careful about that. If you add too much, it will start to squish out the sides. Don't worry about the little strings leftover when you pull the hot glue gun away- they don't stick to glass and you can pull them right off. 

I kept going all the way around the base of the glass. I considered adding them up the stem, but I was running low on rhinestones and I still have another glass I want to do! There was no rhyme or reason to my gluing, and I like the random pattern! Yes, I glued each little thing by hand. With cost of labor, I could probably sell it on Etsy now for like $20.  

Anyway, who wants to use an 8 inch wine glass? Probably no one. Instead, this makes a perfect candle holder! This will probably sit on my coffee table when I finally get settled in DC (Hi, roommates) Another successful DIY! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend In Review

What a busy weekend! I came home to hang out with my family and hardly got a minute to rest! I don't mind though, I'd much rather be busy than bored. 

It was my grandpa and his twin's 80th birthday this week! We had a party and probably had enough people in that house to break fire code. 

They wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a decent picture, so this is what I've got. Aren't they adorable? 

My grandma has a beautiful garden with red hot pokers, pink roses, and tons of stuff I don't even know the name of. Check out these! Pretty, right?  #nofilter

And THIS was the view from their front porch. I love seeing those North Carolina mountains. The smoke stack is an old factory that is in the process of being demolished. I think it looks pretty cool! The clouds were really pretty, and really cooled the weather down. It was nice. 

This is what I wore:
 It was a little chilly (unusually cold day for May), but this dress has stood by me for 2 years now. I got it from Forever 21 and honestly surprised it's held up this long. I mean, Forever 21 isn't exactly known for their good quality clothes.

And these goons were at the party too. Actually, JT was looking pretty normal here. Of course, the one I'm related to is the weird one....

Also, because I went home, Rosie got to sleep in my bed! We love having sleepovers. Here she is getting all tucked in  :) Love her!

This week, on the agenda is thrifting with Rachel, a DIY project or two, a new sewing project, and Brenden's coming back to America for a few days! So get ready. Tons of posts to come : ) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DIY Maxi Skirt

I had such a good time making this skirt, I decided to do another! I've seen maxi skirts and dresses all around, but I've never been particularly motivated to buy one. They seemed a little pricey for something you could probably sleep in. So, I decided to make my own! 

I went to Hobby Lobby and got some jersey knit fabric. It feels just like a soft t-shirt! Something's not quite right though, see? 

Turns out, the lady at Hobby Lobby cut it crooked! Darn it! I'm not experienced enough to know how to deal with this! *cue panic* 

After a few deep breaths, I knew I could figure it out. I pre-shrank the fabric, because with knits like this, it may draw up once you wash it. It's best to get it out of the way so it doesn't pucker if it shrinks. After I laid it out, I pinned along the ugly edges so I could cut off the extra fabric without it moving around. 

I used my rotary cutter and made the edges a little more even. When I washed it, the edges curled up, and that was really frustrating, but it's nothing I couldn't deal with. Pinning it down really helped.  Also, if you sew and don't use a rotary cutter/mat I would highly recommend it. You don't have to fool with scissors and it's much faster. Worth every penny! 

By cutting it at an angle, it make one edge narrower than the other. I used the smaller end as my waist, and the bigger end as the hem, that way it has a bit of an A-line effect. Also, like my pin cushion? It's from my sweet roommate Rachel : ) Tea and sewing are a few of my favorite things, so it's perfect for me! 

I looked up quite a few "maxi skirt" tutorials on the internet, but none of them satisfied me. They all had elastic on the outside, or did something strange that I didn't like. So instead of using a tutorial, I reference my handy dandy Sewing In A Straight Line book by Brett Bara, and followed her steps on how to get the best looking hem and such. 

First, I sewed the side seam. Because it was folded in half, I only had one piece. I sewed the edges with a zig-zag stitch because it seems sturdier.  Notice how I have my pins pointing down- that makes them much easier to pull out as you sew. It's the little things. 

After I sewed the side seam, I turned the top down 2 inches and sewed a tube for the elastic.  I used a thicker elastic for this skirt, and I like it a lot. 

After I did the waistband, I tried it on and everything looked pretty good.  A lot of the tutorials I saw said you didn't need to hem it, but I wasn't happy with the raw edge. One quick hem later and I was done! The stretch fabric was a little hard to work with to make sure it didn't stretch in weird places. It's far from perfect, but I made it! And it's incredibly comfortable. I'm so excited to show it off! 

For this skirt, I had to buy fabric, matching thread, and elastic. With my Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon, the total cost was around $8.00! Of course, you could pay $40 for this Gap skirt, or make your own. You choose. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

I guess I'm a real grown-up now.

I graduated on Friday! It's so exciting! I finally have a B.S. in Psychology. That's all psychology is anyway, right? B.S.? Get it? Kidding, this is awesome. 

Waiting to walk- heading in the tunnel to get into the coliseum.  

President Barker is retiring (sad!), and I was part of the last graduating class to get to shake his hand. 

And of course, a photoshoot with the family afterward! 

Rachel was nice enough to come to my graduation! 

And later we both went to Melissa's! 

 And of course, I had to read the statue! The legend has it that if you read our founder's statue while you're a student you won't graduate on time (or maybe not at all? Who knows). But now that I'm no longer a student I can read it! It was life changing, guys. Seriously life changing. So much that I can't remember what it says. 

I love this University. Don't worry, I'll be back to visit.