DIY Ring Dish

I spend an inordinate amount of money on monogrammed things.  Lately, with a slew of friends getting married, I wanted to get them something special with their future names on them.  Well, my monthly student loan payment rolled around and I realized I could not do that.  Never fear, Pinterest is here!

I made this adorable polymer clay ring dish for my friend who is getting married soon, and it has her future name in it!  I love giving little dainty dishes when my friends get engaged so they have a cute, and safe, spot to place their rings if they need to take it off (showers, doing dishes, etc)

So my normal supplies: A wine bottle (because I do not own a rolling pin), a cheese board (because I have no adult cutting board), an x-acto knife (because I have very few priorities in life), a block of polymer clay (used one small block to make the dish), a stamp kit (the only reason I wanted to do this), and a few oven-safe glass bowls.

So I rolled the polymer clay into a ball, as seen above, and flattened it out with the wine bottle rolling pin

I chose the oven-safe bowl that would help the dish keep its curved shape.  I used Pyrex here and pressed the top down to cut the dough.

I cleaned up the edges a little bit with an x-acto knife.

You want to make sure that the actually flattened dough needs to be larger than the opening of the bowl, since it needs to sit on the edges and curve slightly in.

I had a cute Martha Stewart stamping kit that had tons of letters to set and a little contraption that holds the letters together.

Unfortunately, I did not apply even pressure to the stamp, so the word didn’t come out so pretty but I didn’t want to risk the dreaded double-stamp and have to start over, so this is how it ended up getting baked.

I love seeing people make other polymer clay ring dishes.  I’ve seen using multiple colored clays rolled together so that it creates a marble effect, so this may just have to be another project for another day!

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Christmas 2015

This post is sooooo late, but I just wanted to share my Christmas decorations this past season.  With 2015 flying by and work kinda of being a hot mess, I had a really late start to decorating for Christmas.  It was literally a week left before I even got the tree up!  

First, I found these adorable cardboard reindeer heads at Target, so I put one together and it was our prize buck!  My boyfriend grew up hunting and this kinda went with my rustic theme.  I used a garland that his mom made for us with wooden beads and paper straws (so adorable) and it went perfectly with our burlap ribbon.  With left over ribbon, I tied little bows to disguise our 3M Command Hook stocking holders.  I REALLY wish I could have splurged for a burlap tree skirt, but I think the glittery one just adds enough modern twist.

Of course, the best addition to the decorations was our pup, Chloe.  She’s an old lady and she does really well with Christmas decorations and not knocking them over.  She definitely made this Christmas special.

DIY Headband Holder

Call me Blair Waldorf, because I own an unhealthy amount of headbands.  The only difference between Blair and me is that she actually wear shed headbands, but that is a conversation for another day.  After a kick of reading tons of organizing blogs and pinning organizing things, I am across this pin for a headband holder!
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In utter defiance of buying actual things, I decided to cover up my oatmeal can with some card stock and washi tape.  Oh I forgot, I was once on an oatmeal kick and went through tons of these oatmeal cans every month.

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Obviously you want to wrap the card stock around the can and trim accordingly.  Life is not perfect, so the card stock will be too long on one side and not long enough on the other.  Choose to pages whose prints match.  Or don’t match, if you like to live dangerously.

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So yeah, trim everything up and make it look pseudo neat.  Again, or not, if you like to live dangerously. Side note: these scissors are super small and made my hands hurt.

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Before I attach to my can, I lined up half of my washi tape onto the edge of the paper

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I wrap it around the can and then use the extra piece I cut to complete covering it up.  And voila, in like literally a minute, you have a pretty headband holder!

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I have a little shelf with a bit a height limit to put this on, so I didn’t put it on a pretty pedestal.  I actually made two–this one is for my fat headbands, and I made another with a similar pattern for my skinny headbands and elastic hairbands.

I have seen different ways of decorating these holders all over Pinterest.  Some people use fabric or burlap to give the can a little bit of friction and the head bands stay put better.  I actually think the can itself does the job, since the headbands are slightly smaller circumference.  People also use extra thick paper towel rolls for super thickness and grip, but I think that’s just a waste of a roll of paper towels.

A Basket of Babies

My friends are having kids.  On purpose.  It’s like the strangest thing ever.  I am no where near responsible enough to have a kid.  I can’t even give a gift right.  Thank goodness for baby registries, because I have not the slightest idea what a newborn would need.  That being said, I LOVE to buy tiny little presents and make a huge gift out of it!  Since I can’t ball out with a stroller off the bat, I like to do it more affordable and put it in some presentation.  Thus, the baby basket!  Not to be confused with….

 

 

Ok, so let’s start with the goodies.  I start with a common theme.  Home girl went balls to the wall on bath toys, so I scooped those up and put in a usable container.  It’s so key that the container for a “basket” be something usable.  Since I went with bath toys, I would have preferred to put everything in a baby bath tub, but someone already got it for her.  I then opted for a plastic tub that would be able to house all of toys I picked up for the little guy. The most favorite thing that my boyfriend loves about wrapping presents is that he gets to use the shrink wrap.  WE LOVE SHRINK WRAP!  It gives any gift basket the most professional look.  We bought the whole roll rather than the individual bags because we do this thing a lot.
  So…it shrinks when heat is applied.  I’ve never seen a man handle a blow dryer so well!  Watch it closely because that thing works FAST! In our case we had to be super careful because we did have cardboard and sharp edges in there that could possibly puncture the wrapping.
Instead of a card, Momma asked us to bring a children’s book (genius! I am going to be doing it from now on!).  I wrote a sweet message to baby and something for mom and dad.   

The basket was definitely a hit!  Also, how much fun is it to find a children’s book! It brought back so many old memories of when I started reading.

Home Sick Art

Right now, I am traveling down to Orlando, FL for a pharmacy conference. Nerd Conventions, as I have so kindly referred to them during my school days. Going out of state strangely makes me homesick. Well, actually, that makes a pretty big deal of sense.   Nothing is weirder than when you go somewhere and Jeopardy comes on before Wheel of Fortune. Twilight Zone, I’m tellin’ ya.

I feel like homesickness comes in various forms. Of course right now, I am missing my dog, my boyfriend, and my bed, in no particular order. There are some days I yearn to be back in Richmond to hang out with my pharmacy phamily (yes my BF cringes when I do that) and have a few margaritas and snark at the dental students. Other days, I want to be hoopin and hollerin in Blacksburg at a tailgate or just having midnight Backstreet Boys karaoke (my people).

For a temporary fix, or to make matters even worse, I love any form of art that touches on Virginia Tech (aha, two paragraphs later, I make my point).   I have seen all these string-and-nail art boards on Pinterest ever since I started pinning.   I finally sat down and had some time to make a Virginia Tech-themed one. Mainly because my cousin heard me bitching about it and went out and bought some nails for me to make it. I literally had everything else, just no nails. That was stopping me. I am ridiculous.

 

I went online and found a boxy print of the state of Virginia. Virginia is one of those states with borders drawn by rivers and mountains and what not. This one was like a third-grader drew Virginia, so it was exactly what I was looking for.   I traced it onto the board ever so lightly.   Luckily, I was using a dark paint. If you are going lighter, I highly suggest tracing before painting.

I started out paining the board maroon. When one goes to Virginia Tech, one readily has maroon pain on hand for any sort of crafts that may come one’s way.

 

I painstakingly cut a heart out of a post-it note. I made it rather large because there are so many nails going around it that I didn’t want some weird over-threaded heart. Who knows.

It actually doesn’t look too shabby. I absolutely hate that Blacksburg was on the West Virginia border.  Because, well, West Virginia, and that the heart is kinda off-center and that I can’t really get any quality threading done to that border.

  

I nailed around the heart.  Hi, my name is Kathy and I don’t know how to rotate my pictures. Ever. Or take an iPhone photo in Landscape.  Please tell me how to adult.

I then nailed around the state. As you will see later, I ended up taking out every other nail unless it marked a corner or divet. It was just way too many nails for one leeeeeeeettle heart.

The fun begins: I take burnt orange thread (yes, burnt orange. No, not orange, but burnt orange) and start wrapping it around each nail. Instead of the mixed criss-cross abstract threading, I wanted to do a sunburst threading to show off the heart, and the Blacksburg love.   This was actually the easiest part of the whole project and make sure you wrap around each nail VERY tightly otherwise it starts to sag later and you end up with an orange cobweb of lies.

Things I would do differently: trace and nail before painting then spray-paint. As you can see, the metal nails kinda stick out like an eye-sore and I am not the biggest fan of that.

I really cannot believe I took so long to do this project.  It is quite easy.  Even for lazy people like me.  I guess the only and literal stall was actually getting the supplies to do it. Oh right, I guess I did have to get the board too, but it was not too expensive.  I think it was like $4 for the board, and the craft stores always have 40% off coupons, so really it was like $3 for this project for me.

School Supply Re-Do

I know you’ve seen them.  those fancy gold school supplies lurking in the aisles of Target from the Nate Berkus Collection. But really, who has $20 to spend on a pair of scissors.  Not I, said the grad student in six figures of student loan debt….

So, what is a college grad to do, with a whole bunch of school supplies she amassed over 10 years and a bottle of gold spray paint that she used to re-furb a bunch of other stuff for her cubicle? Oh yea, spray paint my existing office supplies gold…duh.  And unlike other bloggers, I did not buy super fancy things to destroy.  These have literally been sitting around since I have been in high school.

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These push pins have TOTALLY been around forever, and yet I can’t seem to get rid of them.  Until now.  The scissors however, I accidentally took with me from my old cubicle at my old job.  No one noticed though, so I’m just gonna go with it.

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Since I have an aversion both to the outdoors and staining carpet and furniture, I used a small cardboard box and sprayed everything inside of it.  I pushed a few pins into the cardboard to keep them upright and covered the metal part of the scissors in duct tape, because I did not have painter’s tape, though I swore up and down that I did.

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Whatever I did, it got the job done.  I wish I had actual painters tape, because some paint did seep in below the seams and I got a ton of sticky duct tape residue on the blade– not exactly ideal for scissors.

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A few dollars later, I ended up with some pretty good dupes for the Nate Berkus line of office supplies.  It may not have the reflective metal shine of the actual line, but it’s shiny and it’s gold and it goes well with my current office decor!

DIY Agenda

I like to think I am a lot of crazy. Not a little, a LOT. I am very neurotic about a few things.  Nothing confuses me more than a 17-month Agenda. You know, one that starts in August and ends in December of the FOLLOWING YEAR. And when they sell more agendas, it’s in the same pattern. Like you think you’re getting a great deal, but then you end up with FIVE MONTHS OF NOTHING. I really really do not understand.

Second thing I do not get about agendas is how they can get SO EXPENSIVE. The Kate Spade one is $50. The Lilly planner is $40 (38…whatever). The one I got last year from Paper Source was $30. I thought I was absolutely crazy for getting it at all.

During my search for a new planner during my odd 5-month limbo, I was on my spending freeze, so I really did not want to get anything super expensive, but something that was suitable to my needs. Like why would I pay for something that isn’t even suitable for my needs?? Nothing. So what did I do? MADE MY OWN!

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Yea, I made my own agenda because I am too cheap to shell out money for a pretty little planner, and too aggravated with the existing options. AND I did it with just a Word document and about 104 sheets of paper.

The template that I went by was very similar to the format of my Paper Source planner. Like I said, I loved it but it was not worth shelling out $30 every year. With the following easy steps, I made the planner with everything I needed.

With a series of grids and grids within grids, a pretty little border, and some labeling of months and dates, I was able to get a planner I found easy to use. Please let me know if want specific details to get the look of this planner!

Moral of the story: don’t pay for anything you don’t want. If nothing is out there, do it yourself!

Baby Shower Favors

It’s that time. My friends are starting to have kids on purpose. While you think throwing bridal showers and bachelorette parties are stressful, baby showers are a whole other thing. Apparently it’s a thing now to have very lavish baby showers. Thanks, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian.

Pro Tip: Throw a shower jointly with friends and divide the responsibilities. While you may not agree on everything, at least you don’t have to do everything yourself. My responsibility was to make some party favors. After throwing a bridal shower, I quickly learned that it’s important not to waste your time and money on something that people will just toss right away. Edible and practical favors fo’ sho’.

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I may or may not have went HAM at Bath and Body Works with the hand sanitizer (at $1 a piece). People use hand sanitizer. And if they don’t, they don’t have a place in my life (nasty). Pro Tip: use a coupon at BBW. I’m all about the coupons.

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We are attaching little labels to each bottle with a pun. We had gotten Sweet Pea-scented hand sanitizer, so the label reads “Thanks for honoring our Mommy-to-be and her little Sweet Pea.” We used this template from Occasionally Crafty. Since we don’t have a color printer, just a laser one, we decided to turn it into a gold foil print. Save the template as a JPG and darken the image in PicMonkey so the gold can stick. Trust me.

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Now comes the hard part….cutting each circle out. But look how pretty and fancy it is when it’s gold! A quick warm up with a glue gun get’s all the tags on their nice and tight and you’re done with the favors!

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Now everyone else is stressing about the rest of the party and I’ll be snacking on some cheese and other brunch-type items. Pro Tip: always volunteer for the favors.

DIY Tray

One thing I learned from my purge and my spending freeze is that I do not need more things. Things, schmings, amirite? Well, instead of buying things I don’t need, I just find things in my house that I no longer want (but are similar to what I want) and just change it into something I do want.

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Take this tray for example.  I am pretty sure it had just been sitting in our linen closet for years, unwanted and lonely.  I had been searching for a gold tray for my office, but instead of dropping $20+ for a tray that is just decor, I got a $3 spray paint bottle and just went to town on it. No one is going to miss it.

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After spray painting my tray with a gold metallic finish, I began searching for LOTS of things I wanted to spray gold–boxes, staplers, tape dispensers.  Unstoppable. So basically, $3 for all brand new stuff for my office, but isn’t really that new.

Monogram of the Month: June

I think it has finally happened. I am out of monograms. Actually, the bracelet I wanted to feature, I lost a few months ago. I’m pretty sure I left it at one of the stores I was working at, or the Black Hole that is my room swallowed it. In a New York-artsy mood, I decided to create my own monogram.

For someone who loves monograms, it is silly that I don’t keep one so close to me.  Not wanting to splurge on a monogram sticker to slap onto the back of my planner, I decided to draw one by myself! My planner from Paper Source actually makes it incredibly easy to draw on a monogram free-hand and re-trace it with a metallic sharpie.

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I may not be a VCU student anymore, but I can’t help but love how chic the school colors are when done tastefully. Also, I still pledge allegiance to Orange and Maroon. What can I say, I have an identity crisis.

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I don’t remember the last time I used a pencil, but I am happy it shows up and erases well.

 

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I used the Marley Lilly monogram app on my iPad background as my monogram inspiration. My Signature is messy, so I did not trust myself to just write my normal letters. Key tip in re-drawing something: don’t look at the image as a whole, look at them as lines and how one line connects to the next.

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Re-trace the sketch with a gold (or other color) Sharpie. I found these on clearance at Target. I knew I had a reason to get these!

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Only some of the lines got filled in. I like how rustic it can look, even though it’s shiny.

Now, what other things can I monogram??