Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gone Junkin': Last junking trip this summer!

Hello Everyone!

I had a crazy junk couple of weeks. I went out last weekend and this weekend...and as a result I will not be going out again for a while. :) I spent all day sanding and I have a feeling that I probably have another day full of sanding left. Boo!

Here are my finds!

The bookcase my grandmother gave me. This is the process of being sanded.

The desk I got for free from a local frat house. My husband can't quite see the vision in this piece. I'm going to sand it, paint it and the drawer is going to be a planter.

Okay, so it's a mess (that's what happens when you have 5 projects going on at once), but this is my new table! I got it off Craigslist. Solid Oak for less than a 75$. Totally worth it! (Can you see my gym bench sticking out...might use that with the table)

On a side note...those "curtains" are placeholders until I can order the fab Amy Butler fabric I want. Maybe that will be in the future....

Scale. Will be used as a decoration on the new bookshelf. Scale is from J.B. Knacker in Gilbert, IA.

Tealight holders made from insulators and springs.

Junk Refunkery Finds. In the summer, it will be a plant stand and planter.

Slowly getting there...still looks a bit disjointed..

Headboard that I'm going to from a friend.

Chairs that will get painted to go with my new table. The middle one is from Junk Refunkery and the other two are from Furniture Zone (both here in Boone)...the lot was less than 12$.

Little one helping me sand down chairs.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Idea Thief: Faux Capiz Chandelier Tutorial

Hello Everyone!

I had two long winded posts in a row, so I thought I would break it up with a fun one. Remodelaholic has the tutorial on how to make this amazing light fixture for $70.00. That's $230 less than their West Elm inspiration!

Visit Remodal-aholic for the tutorial!


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

If you haven't heard of NaNoWriMo, you're probably not alone. In NaNoWriMo's own words:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down. As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2010, we had over 200,000 participants. More than 30,000 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

So, to recap: What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month’s time.
Who: You! We can’t do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let’s write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.

Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era’s most enchanting art forms! To give yourself permission to write without obsessing over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To stop being one of those people who say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel,” and become one of those people who can say, “Oh, a novel? It’s such a funny story–I’ve written three.”

When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins 12:00:01 November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at 11:59:59. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

This has been on my bucket list for a couple of years. I thought about doing it while I was in law school, but I gave that idea up after about two minutes. After-all, finals for law school were just a few weeks into December. It was insane to think I could write 1666 words per day. (Yes. I've done the math)

However, I think this month might be the golden time to do it. My daughter is big enough she can play on her own, my husband is super busy with school, and I just might need something to keep me busy during that time. So, I'm committing to NaNoWriMo this year! I might not post much on the blog in November, but I'll hopefully have a novel to show for it at the end of the month. Who knows, maybe I'll write the next "Water for Elephants" ---which was in fact written during NaNoWriMo for your information!

I'll try to post excerpts as I go if anyone is interested! They are sure to be riddled with poor grammar and spelling. Wish me luck!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Facebook Social Norms

Facebook Friend Requests

A few weekends ago I was in Texas at a friend's wedding. We were having a good ol' time enjoying some adult beverages, chatting about old classmates and of course, someone brought up Facebook. I mentioned that someone we all know won't accept me as a friend on Facebook, and while I don't really care (it's not like I actually like this person or care what they are doing with their life), it was a bit irritating to be denied when I knew them in high school and college (and it turns out this person is friends with all my friends). We had a good laugh while I ranted about how silly the whole thing was. I swore that when I got back to my hotel room I was going to request again and in the request point out how irrational he/she was being. Because, in the converse, it's completely and total rational to continue to request to be someone's friend when they have no interest. When I did get back to the room, I had completely forgot about it and didn't send the request. (Thank goodness I didn't bring my lap top to Texas)

I have already created enough awkward situations with Facebook 2 am post-bar. Specifically, Person A bullied me in high school. In an undergraduate course, we talked about bullying. I go out with friends that night. Then at 2 am, it's clearly the perfect time to address Person A about said bullying and it's impact in society. The next morning I see I have a message. I don't immediately recall why I would have a message waiting for me until I read the response from Person A. I now remember my brilliant idea. Person A's response is pretty much everything my initial message is not. It's clearly written by a sober person. It's apologetic, thoughtful and actually uses punctuation, lowercase letters and refrains from explicit language. At this juncture, I decide to delete it and pretend it never happened. I have a feeling Person A did not have this attitude. This "incident" has pushed me to advocate for breathalyzers on all computers from the hours of midnight to 4 am.

I had forgotten about our Texas conversation (and my loud affirmations about friend requests) until this morning's commute. The radio station I listen to asked if anyone had an unusual friend request situation. One of the DJ's had received a friend request from someone he didn't really know, hadn't seen in years, and didn't particularly like. He had just left the request unanswered because he didn't know what to do with it. Then, after not seeing this friend requester for years, ran into him a few weeks after the friend request. The first thing the person asked the DJ was why hadn't he approved the request. The DJ mumbled some excuse about not checking his Facebook (although he had very recently posted new pictures of his son). When the DJ got home, he approved the request out of guilt.

So, now I'm thinking about Facebook, and the situation it has created in our society and the concept of "Facebook Friend." I personally approve requests based if I have met the person in real life. If I have met them, and they aren't creepy (and I mean like serial killer creepy. I have a pretty good threshold for just plain unusual creepy), I'll probably accept the request. Every once in a while I go through and weed out the people I haven't seen in years and don't plan on seeing and who I have no desire to know anything about. Oh and the people that are just too dang depressing. You know those people. The ones that only post very negative posts about their ex or their job or their situation. They could win a million dollars and they'd post about the taxes they have to pay. However, for the most part, I think if I ran into people I was Facebook friends with, I would probably have an actual conversation with them. I generally like most of them.

On the flip side, my husband gets severe guilt about denying friend requests. I've gone through his friends and asked him who people are and he often has no idea how he knows them. I find this very unusual. These people can access your information, and you aren't more picky? He just doesn't want to hurt people's feelings.

There is my dad who only approves people he's absolute real life friends with. This is from a professional side. He doesn't want employees as friends when he's their boss.

There's my mom who I'm not sure if she even knows how to deny a friend request (or even to accept it). The other day she was blown away to discover she could de-friend people. I had to guide her through the process, but in the end she deleted some people she didn't know very well.

Of course, most people (well except my husband) do a friend thinning out eventually. It may be because you've moved to a new stage in your life (when I had my daughter, I got rid of people I didn't really know so they couldn't see her pictures). You may have started a new job or are now applying for jobs. How do you decide who makes the cut? Close friends and family? People that aren't annoying? People that haven't posted seventeen status updates in an hour on such inspirational topics such as "it's raining" or "it's cold."

Have you ever discovered you've been de-friended? I had a girl I went to high school with (she's younger than I) de-friend me after being my Facebook friend for a couple of years. I only realized recently because I saw her post on a mutual friend's wall. No hard feelings especially since it took me two years to realize I had been de-friended. Obviously we're not close.

I once had this guy that I was kinda friends with in undergrad (but not close with by any means) send a message me and about 30 other people. It said that if you got this message, you hadn't commented on his posts or wrote on his wall and since you didn't do so, you clearly didn't care about him. Then the ultimatum, he was going to give us a week to post something on his wall or he was going to delete us as friends. Well, that's unusual. It's quite impressive that he went used so much time and effort to determine out of his friends list who hadn't been active on his profile. So, I save him some clicks and de-friend him myself.

I've had friends that have noticed their friends list shrink when they started to post politically charged statuses or links. I'm an equally opportunity political friend approver. I have friends that are all faiths and political parties and don't really mind when they say crazy things. It's probably one of the more entertaining aspects of Facebook. However, if you are too crazy, expect a comment. I would expect one in the converse. If you post that Obama is Muslim or that he wasn't born in the United States or that Michele Bachman should be elected, I'm probably going to show you why this is completely ridiculous. It's my civic duty.

I have had one friend request denied by an ex-boyfriend. I get it. We're not dating. Haven't really talked in a while. But honestly, don't you think we've moved on? Can't we be adults? Oh well. Or there's one of my best friends who I'm going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding who de-friended me because I played a prank on her. But it's not like she's changed her photo in 50 years or ever posted a status. Not much of a loss. ;p

I also have a pet peeve. If my Newsfeed is filled with your Farmville requests, I'll probably hide your posts. I assume you'll do the same if you're sick of hearing about my kid or craft projects.

I worked with a guy once that any time he saw someone walking by that he had requested to be friends with, he would call them over. He would then ask them, in front of co-workers and customers, why they had denied his Facebook friend request. They all had some sort of excuse. (Mostly they didn't bother to go on Facebook) It comes down to this little fact: if you're willing to call someone out on your friend request, you have just proved why they don't want to be friends with you. So going back to fellow college and high school student, maybe this is why this person hasn't approved my request. Or maybe they are just a Jerk. Yeah. Probably just a Jerk.



Monday, October 24, 2011

DIY Sunday: Yarn Wrapped Wreaths

Hello Everyone!

I'm excited to bring you a creation we did with our craft club this month! We made yarn wreaths! If you're on Pinterest (and if you aren't, you should be!), you will have seen this project becoming quite popular. We decided to jump on the bandwagon and do the project. After we did the project, the next day I got my DIY Magazine in the mail, and they had a little ditty about how their entire staff did the project this last month!

I decided to do a tutorial because we did discover some new things we didn't know about prior to doing the project. :)

Yarn Wrapped Wreaths


Wreath aka Pipe Foam Wrapping (None of us purchased the foam wreath forms. Why? How? You ask? Well, you don't need to! Read more about our wreaths below little craft grasshopper)
Duct Tape
Yarn (We didn't know how much to get, but I found to do one solid layer around it took about half of the yarn in one of bunches (what is the word you use for yarn? Is a package of it called a bushel or something?!?)
Hot Glue Gun (You don't actually need this if you are just wrapping the yarn and aren't decorating the wreath at all. But that's no fun)
Decorations (As you can see, we used things like branches, felt flowers and flowers)


Step One: Create Your Wreath

Now, you could go and spend too much money on a foam wreath shape. But that's silly for this project! What you need to do is head to your local home improvement store (and that doesn't mean Wal-Mart!) and ask someone (or wander aimlessly for an hour..that's usually my method) where the foam wrapping for pipes is. You will probably end up with a large selection in front of you. We found through our trial and error, that it's pretty important to feel the foam. You will want a sturdy foam that is going to take the shape you want. I found that isn't the black cheaper stuff, but rather the more heavy duty stuff that is used for copper pipes. One "noodle" of it cost $3.00. Not a bad price and I even had a little left over to create some sort of toy for my daughter!

Also, I have seen a great idea where you take a swim noodle and using it for the same purpose. If you can find them cheap enough and don't mind a thicker/wider wreath, that may be a good option.

Play around with the foam and decide how big you want your wreath. Cut the foam to size and using duct tape (and probably another person...another tip we learned through trial and error) to close the circle in. Use an ample amount of duct tape.

Step Two: Wrapping...and Wrapping...and Wrapping...

Okay, this step can be a bit boring (unless you are with a fun group of gals and chat the whole time!). It's pretty simple since you just wrap the wreath with your yarn. You can start it one of two ways. Knot it on the wreath or use a hot glue gun to secure it. I probably would lean towards hot glue gun, but I also referred to my hot glue gun as the "elixir of life" I probably have an unhealthy attachment to it.

You can do it many ways. You can be clean and put the the yarn side by side or you can make it a bit messy and overlap. You can be like my friend and switch up the colors. Have fun with it!

We discovered that if you make your own wreath form, you will want to make a couple of layers of yarn. You may want to wrap two or three times to give the wreath shape some support.

Step Three: Decorate

This is really the hardest step. We busted through the wrapping and then we're just staring at one another like "What do I do now?!?!" My two crafty friends used some berry like swag on theirs. (Or as you can see, one of my friends when crazy with the berry stuff. We started to say that her wreath is "Fall with Jazz Hands" So, every time we refer to her wreath we have to say "Fall" and use jazz hands.)

I did felt flowers. Which wasn't really all that original since I did that on another wreath I did. I would post how to make them, but honestly, just Google felt flowers and you will get a 101 tutorials on a 101 different types of flowers. (Is that a lazy blogger thing? Not to actually hyperlink to the tutorials?) A little tip I would recommend, if you can manage it, you may want to put clips on the back of the flowers so you can switch them out based on the season. I did this with my other wreath and was going to do it with this one. But I got lazy and gave up trying to cram the clip into yarn wrapped part.

You can also hang a fun yarn wrapped letter. That's a pretty simple project. Just hot glue and yarn! This is another place you could do a seasonal letter and switch it out!

You now have a beautiful wreath to invite people into your home!

My wreath. I'm on a grey & yellow kick lately.

Yarn wrapped letter and super cute yarn. this one got some extra TLC after the fact. An extra layer of yarn made the wreath a bit more circular and sturdy.

Linked up at:


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gone Junkin': Surprise Junk Trip

Hi Everyone!

I had a fun day finding some fun junk. It snuck up on me though! Late last night I made plans to go to one garage sale and that turned into a garage sale/junk shop in three different towns! My daughter hung in there for a few stops and then my awesome hubby took her for a few hours so I could have some fun with the girls. I got two little toys for Lila at one place and then found some fun stuff for me!

Up first, a fun yellow cart for my front porch. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to jazz it up yet, but I had some stuff sitting around that I put on it for now. I think I'm going to rotate the decorations based off the season. We'll see.

Yellow cart find at J.B. Knacker

Second find, a old wooden tape measure. Made it into a star design.

Found this gem at J.B. Knacker in Gilbert, IA.

And last, and my absolute favorite find, a locker bench from Iowa State. How cool is this?

Found a place for it!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Show & Tell: Twine Wrapped Letter Wreath

Hello Everyone!

So I had to share a fun wreath my mom and I worked when she was visiting a couple of weekends ago. I saw the idea on Pinterest (Seriously must join the addiction with me) and it took off from there. When I have a moment, I'll try to post the one we made for her. (As well as some more pictures of mine)

I have a even more fun project I did with my craft club yesterday that's a wreath. (I'm on a bit of a "wreath" kick as of late). I will post an entire tutorial on Sunday on how to complete that project. Until then, enjoy my first attempt at a wreath!


Monday, October 17, 2011

MOPS Craft: Hot Glue Letters

Hello Everyone!

This week at MOPS we tried a project I've seen floating around Pinterest. You use hot glue to create raised letters and then paint over the entire thing. Since we are doing it for a group, we did a more economical version with cardboard; however, I do think it would work better on a canvas or glass jar.

Hot Glue Letters


Cardboard (or preferably canvas or even a glass jar)
Hot Glue Gun
Acrylic Paint


Step One: Cut to Size

If you're using cardboard, cut to the shape and size you'd like your sign to be. Most people in our group did 8x 10 so it could be dressed up and put in a frame (without glass)

Stretched canvas does not need to be cut to size. (Not to state the obvious)

Step Two: Make a Draft

Using a light hand and pencil, create the saying or word you'd like on the cardboard. Some that we had was "Our Family Name Est. Since Anniversary Year" or "My favorite hugs are sticky" or "What Makes a Home is Who is In It" or "Yarn and Love are the Best Gifts" or "You Are My Sunshine"...lots of great ideas. I have also seen a cursive "love" that I really like.

Step Three: Trace With Hot Glue

Trace your light letters with hot glue. Don't worry about strings. You can pick those off once you are done!

Step Four: Paint

Using acrylic paint, paint over the entire thing. I mostly see these projects done in white, but black and yellow also turned out great. You may want to do a layer, let it dry, and try again. I dabbed on the letters to get better coverage.

Generally, cardboard will start out kinda soggy but will harden up as it dries.

Step Five: Put in a Frame

Dress up your sign by putting it in a frame with no glass or you could try putting ribbon around the outside.

Check out some of our creations!

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