Friday, December 18, 2009

New Blog Title

I decided to change the name of my blog. It was originally called, "My creative attempts" but I have since found another blog with the same title. We even started posting some of our projects at the same linky parties! Small world. I decided to change my title so there's no confusion, and so she won't think I stole her blog name! Ha! My address is still so you don't need to change your link at all if you have it saved somewhere, I'm just changing the title. Thanks so much for all of you who follow my blog, and for all of your sweet comments! I love ya! Happy Holidays!
I hope with all the parties and presents we can remember the real reason for the season!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Inexpensive gift idea - super cute treat dish!

(These plates are the same size even thought the pic makes the top one look bigger)

Most simple and affordable - but still cute - gift idea!

I first saw the idea on Poppies at Play a long time ago, and have been meaning to make one, but didn't have the time or reason to, until now, my sister-in-law's birthday was coming up, so I decided this would be a good idea for her. I found the two plates and the glass candlestick holder at the thrift store (the pink plates really look awesome in person, super cute and funky; in all the pictures, the orangey splotches look gross, but in person, they're really cute) Anyways, after washing the plates, all I had to do was put the top plate upside-down, I traced the top of the candlestick holder with washable marker, just so I knew where to put the glue, and following the instructions on the E6000 (strongest glue known to man!), I glued the candlestick holder upsidedown onto the bottom of the top plate.

After about an hour, I put glue on the bottom of the candlestick holder and the center of the bottom plate, and flipped it right side up, gluing them together.

(the bottom of the candlestick holder just happened to fit perfectly in that little circle on the middle of the plate!)

Now that it was all together, I used a heavy can of wheat to weigh it down while it dried. It takes between 24 and 72 hours for the glue to fully cure, so I let it dry fully before giving it away.

I think it turned out so cute, I am going to make one for myself! This was probably the most inexpensive, simple, quick... yet... cute, useful, fun gift idea ever! And there's so many possibilities because you can do so many different colors and sizes too, depending on what dishes you find. And because you can make it yourself, it's more thoughtful that way. Great Christmas gift if you're running out of time before the big day next week!

I really shouldn't say how inexpensive it was to make because then my sis-in-law will think I'm a cheapo.. ha ha It's really not about how much I spent, (I would've spent more.. but when you can make something this cute without spending more, why would you?) So for the good of everyone who needs an inexpensive gift idea, I'll share. Not including the glue, I spent a total of $1.50 on this gift! NO KIDDING! Each plate and the candlestick holder were .50 ea at the thrift store. Yeah, a treat dish like this would've been at least $20 at the stores. Can't beat that! I LOVE IT!
Today, I am linked up with none other than Poppies at Play Creative Cats Friday! Go check out the other awesome ideas today!

I'm also linked with Met Monday at BNOTP!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Black Bean Brownies ... Yeah you heard me!

I didn't take a picture of mine, but they looked just like the normal brownies above.

One of my sister-in-laws told me about a brownie recipe using nothing but a brownie mix and a can of black beans, and eliminating the oil and eggs, etc. and I thought I would try to make it! I called 2 out of my 3 sis-in-laws to see if they knew how to do it, but they had no idea what I was talking about, so it must have been the 3rd sis, but by that time, we had looked it up online. It really is just taking a can of black beans, draining them, rinsing them, putting them back into the can and filling it with clean water. Then you dump the beans and water into the blender and blend until pureed. Once its all smooth, mix in with the brownie mix until smooth. Bake as directed on the box. They surprisingly turned out really good! Kind of dense, but also fudgey. The next day, they kind of had a moist fudgey layer on top, (as most breads or baked goods do) but they were really good. Sounds weird, but if you don't have eggs or oil, or want to boost your protein, give it a try!

Burp Cloths and Bibs

I made a couple of these for my girlfriend who was expecting her first girl, I got the idea from "DIY Showoff" to put a hand towel (just bought at the $1 store) on the back of the bib, which I thought was an excellent idea to absorb more drool!! For the shape of the bib, I just traced one of my sons bibs that I liked the size of, (adding an extra 1/2" for seam allowance) and that's what I used as my pattern for the front fabric and the towel, I put right sides together, sewed them together, and left just a couple inches to turn it right side out. I top stitched all around the whole thing to seal it up, sewed on two small squares of velcro, and it was done! Very simple. It didn't take long at all. I was trying to do the burp cloths (cloth diapers) with the cute fabric on the middle panel like she did, but I ended up not having enough fabric, that's why I just did the band of fabric on each side. They turned out pretty cute, I think, and it was fairly inexpensive. It's a fun idea because they are unique and no other baby around town will have the same ones!

Chair - finished like 2 months ago! Sorry!

I haven't posted in over a month, that's SAD! Here are the before and after pics of the chair I redid for my Mother in law's B-day. The after pictures aren't as good as I wanted them to be, you can't see the distressing at all, but in person, it turned out just how I wanted. And from what she said, she seemed to love it too! I was really happy about it. Anyways, here's the before and afters!


Cute little covered button in the center. That was SUPER easy and cute, it added just the right amount of extra detail. I am definitely going to cover buttons more often now!

The fabric was on sale at the fabric store, I used a coupon to get the new foam padding for the seat, and I got the chair at Goodwill, so it ended up being quite the affordable gift!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Pleated Pillow

If you haven't seen this.. well... then here it is! This is the most awesome pillow ever! I've made several plain pillow covers, but haven't ever seen this pleated front before.. This has a pleated front, and is just an envelope back. Super Easy! But I never would've thought it up on my own.. I saw this post on Living with Lindsey, and just HAD to try it! I was really happy with how they turned out and they were very easy! You should try it!! Here are the ones that I made for my mom's B-Day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cold Saturday morning + Estate Sale = Very Happy Me!!

My mom and I braved the cold and went out yard sale-ing early Saturday morning. We found this estate sale, and I'm SO glad we went there first!
We found some AWESOME stuff! I was so excited! I've been looking to change the colors in my room, instead of burgundy (which it's been for 5 years) changing it to Aqua, Gray, White and Black. I found the most gorgeous blue jars/vases (?) for a buck each!

I also got some milk glass vases to put in my room as well, .50c each!

Some cute little pewter sugar and cream cups (they need a little bit of shining) but they were very cute for .50c each. Also that little blue glass vase was .50 to go in my mom's bathroom.

I thought at first this was like a door knocker thing, but my husband convinced me that it's like a hand-towel holder. I just thought it would make a cool thing to hang on my wall. I've since painted it black. Love it!

I also picked up this foot stool type thing for $2, which I've also painted black. I'm planning on putting a little cushion on it, so it doesn't look so outdated. But I think the black paint already has made a world of difference! It went from 70's looking.. to updated and modern, I love the circle design!

In this picture, you can also see a bag of wooden dowels, .50 and some socks that my mom had to buy for me cause she felt bad that I was in sandals and freezing cold.. ha ha What are moms for. Also, do you see that rediculously awesome frame around everything?? I got that at the next yard sale.. $4! I was going to just lean it against a wall by itself, but then I thought it would make an AWESOME faux headboard with some wood, batting and delicious fabric! Hopefully that project coming soon.

I just love how it's old and chipped looking, I don't want to change it at all, I don't think. Mmmm, isn't that pretty..

-Later, we did get some more awesome deals, I also got a great umbrella stroller with a canopy for $4

-My mom got a PERFECT condition changing table for $15! (for one of my sisters when they have kids) It's gorgeous!

-She also got a baby swing, a nice one with the mobile, lights, music, etc, for 5 BUCKS! Woo hoo!

-She also got new towels for one of her bathrooms for $3 new.

-She also got a very cool little cupboard with windows on it to make my daughter a finger puppet stage.. more on that to come!! $3!

-I also got a super awesome clock, it's so fabulous, I can't even describe it, but I don't have a picture of it and it's dark and late and cold and it's in my car, so I'll have to post it later, but it was only $2!!

I thought I'd just throw this cute little thing in here cause I love it, I just found it at the DI for .50c, it was white, and I spray painted it black.. now it's going on my wall too!

Yard sales are the best, I'm so sad the season's almost over!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Frankenstein and Dracula! The Pillar People..

(posts by Julie)

When we finished our house, I wanted to decorate for the holidays with something unique and fun, so I made these 'pillar people' for Halloween. I have put them up every October for 11 years, but they had become so faded that I didn't put them up last year, and boy did I hear about it
from the neighbor kids! So rather than start over, (I really don't have time right now to make new ones) I decided to do a quick touch up with some acrylic paint so I could hang them up one more time.

Before the touch-ups
(The cut out part on the frankenstein is where the gutter sits too close to the pillar, I couldn't slide it between them so I had to cut the fabric.)

I painted over the pant lines, (the faded pants just look grey as long as the lines are dark) the purple vest and coat, and the green face and hands. You can't tell from a distance, but the paint didn't cover the purple very well, it didn't spread well over the double-knit. Also, the green is a little brighter than I like, but oh well, it was quick. The frankenstein face and hands fabric is a rip-stop nylon and the paint went on smoothly there, maybe I'll fix the color when I take them down.

After the touch-ups

I also have 'tin soldiers' for Christmastime, and ideas for a set of people for Thanksgiving. We'll see if I find any time to put them together!

Aren't those awesome!!? (GREAT JOB MOM, I LOVE THOSE!!)

I'm participating in ASPTL DIY Day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Easy B-Day Present - $0

My daughter's little neighbor friend was having a birthday party this morning, but I didn't want to spend any money, so I just found some fabric I already had, and then put together a cute little pillow this morning. I wanted to make it have a little something special, so I got some alternating fabric to make a little letter "A" for her name on the front, and I also sewed an extra piece on the front like a little pocket.. It only took about a half hour including cutting, ironing and sewing. I already had the fabric, so it didn't cost me a dime!

I just ripped the fabric (love that! no cutting)
front piece, back piece, and a smaller piece for a pocket (same width, shorter height)

I just sewed the A onto the smaller pocket panel first and hemmed up the top edge of the pocket. I then sewed the pocket right onto the front panel.

Then I just sewed 3 sides and 3/4ths of the 4th side of the front panel to the back panel, and then flipped it right side out, filled it with poly fiberfil, and then sewed the small opening up.


Cute easy gift. You could do so many different colors or styles, and adjust it for different ages, boys or girls. And the "free" part is what I like most!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tray Re-do

I saw this tray made out of a cupboard door from the Crafty Nest, and I fell in LOVE! I'm talking serious drooling love. Isn't it gorgeous??

So, I've actually been looking for an old cupboard door every time I go to the thrift store, just so I could (try to) make something similar to this. I hadn't found one, but I did eventually find a tray that I really liked at the thrift store for just $3, and it was good sized and very sturdy, so I figured it would do the job.

My sister in law's birthday is coming up, so I thought I'd make it for her. Especially because I loved the black and white so much from the Crafty Nest's tray, and that is SO my SIL's style. I wanted to totally copy her design, like trace it from my computer screen!.. but I reasoned a little bit with myself, and thought I could just use some of her same elements, and do my own design.

Mine is not half as gorgeous as hers, but it turned out ok. I'm kinda sad that since mine wasn't out of a door, I couldn't add the awesome black handles to it. Oh well, some day.
Anyways, here's the before and after pics, enjoy!

I don't think my SIL reads this blog, but just in case.. Happy early Birthday, Jami!
If anyone wants to know, I just used white spray paint for the tray and then black acrylic craft paint, and a paint brush for the design!

To explain how I got my design on the tray:
I drew my design first on paper, and then I colored the back of the paper with chalk so that when I traced it over my tray, it would show my design in chalk on the tray.. but it also smudged blue chalk everywhere I didn't want chalk either! So I tried wiping it all off with a damp paper towel, but couldn't get it all off. It still prominently had made my design on the tray, along with lots of blue smudge.. so I traced the chalk design with a black sharpie. Then, I went at it again with my white spray paint to make sure I got all the light blue smudginess that was left, covered up. It covered up all the blue, leaving a faint gray line where I had used the black sharpie on my original design. Then, I just used my paint and brush over that line. That was way more steps than I was planning on, but it worked. Does anyone else have any good ways of transferring a sketch, if you don't have transfer paper?? I'd love your advice, thanks.

You may have to enlarge that pic to see my lines, but that's basically how it looked before I used my black paint to trace over the whitepaint-covered-sharpie-covered-chalk design.. whew.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Awesome Fabric Bookshelf

This post is linked to the DIY party @ Shanty2Chic, go check it out!Also linked up to Andy's Poppies at Play Creative Cats!

Posts by Julie:

I saw a colorful fabric bookshelf at Big Lots that I thought would be great to have around for the grandkids, but for $30 it wasn't high on my priority list. I browsed at the DI a few times and eventually found a broken shoe rack (or maybe it was a vhs tape rack) but that gave me the dowels I needed for only $2.

I had a piece of particle board left from our kitchen sink that I cut for the sides of the shelf.

I drilled holes for the dowels, and also for two more dowels to help brace/support the lower edge of the shelf.

I painted the side pieces and dowels and then screwed in the lower dowels. (above)

I used a piece of heavy woven navy fabric I had, folded and sewed the long edges and made a casing to fit the lowest dowel. (I had lots of extra length, but later figured out how to use it ) I had to experiment draping it over each dowel to get the right length to hold the books how I wanted.

With the extra fabric hanging down the back of the shelf (after I sewed the last casing) I finished the short edge, folded it up and sewed 2 large pockets that I can store extra books in. That way I can rotate out books if I want but not have to store them elsewhere.

Next, I ran the dowels through the casings, screwed in the dowels, and painted over the screw heads.

Lastly, I hot glued some navy braid on the edges of the sides so it would look more finished, added the books, and I'm done!

I know my granddaughter will be excited to see her favorite books so easy to reach!

How cute! Way to be creative and save some money mom! My kids will love it ;) !!