Wednesday, March 28, 2012

After 21 months...

... I can FINALLY use the coffee maker that Russ and I got for a wedding present!  If you don't recall, we only took to Virginia what we could fit in our car which wasn't much. As a result, the poor coffee maker got left behind for nearly TWO years (three months from yesterday is our second anniversary!). Poor coffee maker. Poor me for having to drink coffee out of my $9.88 Target special because I couldn't rationalize buying another good one when I had one at home just waiting to be shipped.

Sad little thing, huh?
I'm SO saving that shipping plastic for future moves... military wife, right here. I've actually got an entire box devoted to packing paper.  Yes, I'm prepared!
Ian didn't waste time investigating the box as soon as I threw it to the floor.  Gotta mark his territory, you know?  (With his claws... not... anything else...:P)

I would say today is a good day because of the coffee maker but... tomorrow will be the good day when I get to use it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Springtime Cherry Blossoms.

Today I tackled my large expanse of red canvas.  I have to admit, it was a little daunting.  I just looked up a silhouette of a cherry blossom branch and ran with it freehand-painted it.

All you really need to remember is branches go fat to thin.  To make it look natural and believable, all branches start out fatter than they end.  The more crooked and knobbier the cherry blossom branch looks, the better it looks.  They aren't sleek branches so don't fret about crooked lines.

I had to do quite a few coats of whit paint to get it as white as I wanted the branches to be.  I really wanted them to stand out brightly.  I also had to prop the canvas up a few times, step back, and observe where I needed to fill in more branches to get it to look as full as I wanted.

Silhouette flowers are simple- make them look like pom poms. Just a bunch of random brush strokes in different directions with some bigger, some smaller. 

Stepping back to see how it's coming along... still need a few more areas to fill in. 

I borrowed Russ' game room pillows from his futon (shh!) just to see what it'll start to look like with a little more red in the room paired with the gray.  Love it. 

I've been dying to make a faux- upholstered headboard (which I probably won't get to do for a looong time) but this large art above the bed should hold me over. 

I'm in love with this bold color!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What's Going Down.

I got back from my trip in the early hours of Thursday and it's taken me this long to get back into my routine around the house.  

Today I started working on a canvas.  Not a new canvas but one that I already painted.  Remember that tree picture I worked on for a friend?  Yeah, I had to paint two because after getting started I noticed the large canvas wouldn't fit in my suitcase!  That was smart.  So, luckily I had an extra smaller canvas that worked.  But, I was left with this of course...

I used some white acrylic paint as a primer until I figure out exactly what I'm doing with it.  So far, I'm thinking something in a bold, beautiful red.  I'm really feeling red lately... I've got so many blues and greens that I want to bust out and do something RED. 

This is my progress so far and I might have something done for a post tomorrow. 

I'm also painting a 12 x 12 canvas album cover for my brother and here's what I've got so far. The easiest parts are done, the center will be a challenge...

From Wikipedia: hopefully it'll turn out close to this...
Flying Fitzgerald (that's his name... okay?) has found a snuggly home on my bookcase near the door.

And I finally got to smuggle one of these babies home in my suitcase from our wedding centerpieces... It adds a beautiful hint of color to the bedroom and is probably what got me started on the red kick.

Ahh.... gorgeous. 

I also managed to bring this little rose picture I painted sometime in high school and I can't wait to figure out what to do with it.

It's good to be back! :D

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shopping Find: Oh Em Gee!

Unexpectedly at Michael's I spotted this for $14.99!!  I wasn't going to buy it even though it's completely adorable until I saw a sign proclaiming all Ashland Home Decor products 50% off!  Okay, sold!

And $7.49 later, this piggy came flying home. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

I haven't forgotten the blog!

I'll be back Monday with regular posts.  I've been busy with things at home and traveling but on Monday my routine should be back to normal!

I'll leave you with a few awesomely lovely things I've pinned lately!

I hope to one day be able to make cakes this beautiful...

A truer statement was never spoken...

I want this pig!

From Z Gallerie 

Been thinking about changing the bedroom from gray and purple/bluish to gray and red.  I think it looks spectacular! :)

See you Monday! :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Make Like A Tree...

Before I left to visit Arizona, I had a bunch of posts up on a schedule so I wouldn't have to worry about posting for a few days.  Unfortunately, I only had time to make up posts until the 12th so that explains my slight leave of absence.  

So, here's a project I had to hurry up and finish before I left (and try and cram in my suitcase) for a friend's birthday.  She's loved my tree painting and I promised to make her one for her birthday.  

Here's a little tutorial that shows just how easy it was to do... you don't have to have any artistic talent, you've basically just have to know how to draw a stick tree. 

All you need is a canvas, acrylic paints of whatever color you wish, and some paintbrushes (whatever size you feel comfortable with). 

Start off with your canvas and measure out a large, bold border.  I made mine about 3.5 inches, I think. (It also depends on what size your canvas is: bigger canvas = bigger border.) 

First, paint the inside-the-border square a light color.  Then after about an hour or so drying time, use painters tape or masking tape to tape off the border so you will get a crisp line after painting.  Remove the tape while the outside border is still wet to get the straightest lines.  If you don't, the dried paint on the tape will stick to the dried paint on the border and could remove some of the paint. 

Use pencil to freehand your tree.  Start off with thick trunk and make sure you extend the tree wide to reach the border. 

Fill in your tree.  The trick to a realistic-looking tree that doesn't look like it was painted by a child, is to make sure the tree starts off thick and tapers to smaller branches like natural trees do. 

The tree will probably need a coat or two to make sure the paint is bold and there aren't many brush strokes. 

Allow it to dry and then use a darker brown to make a shadow on one side of your tree. 

Let that dry and then apply a mocha glaze to give it a weathered look.  Now, the more glaze you put on, the more it will wet the canvas and remove your acrylic paint.  I like having a few spots that lose some paint because I enjoy the more rustic-weathered look.  But if you don't, go easy on the glaze. 

And... that's it!  I can't believe how much this painting turned out to be a near carbon-copy of the first one!  Amazingly, the painting made it to Arizona in one piece without a scratch and my friend loved it. :) 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cathy's Quiche

This recipe originally called for diced ham but, our Wal-mart is lousy and doesn't stock any (stupid, right???).  So, Russ came up with the great idea to use Jimmy Dean sausage.  Brilliant!  And I actually like it better


2 cups diced ham (or Jimmy Dean sausage, any flavor you want)
2 cups shredded cheese
2 (4 oz) cans of diced green chiles
3 or 4 diced tomatoes
2 cups Bisquick
2 cups milk
6 eggs

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam.  Layer ham, green chiles, tomatoes and cheese.

Mix together egg, Bisquick and milk.  Pour over layered ingredients.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  Serve with salsa.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Turn Doilies Into Art!

Got some doilies lying around?  Frame them!  Put them against a bold and interesting piece of scrapbook paper and you have some cheap art while preserving your precious doilies. 

I used some glue dots to hold them in place (and they'll just peel off the doilies if you ever wanted to remove them from the frames). 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

DIY Union Jack Pillow

Last April, I got up at around 4 am to watch the Royal Wedding.  And no, I'm not one of those gushy girly girls who had to see it but I wasn't working at the time and had nothing else to do so I thought, why not? 

So when I did this project, I was feeling very Britishy and just looking for some goofy little project with a scrap of fabric I had.  Actually, the scrap of fabric was really one of those really thin hand towels from Target.  You know the ones that are absolutely NOT helpful at all at drying a dish and they smear the water more than absorb it?  It was one of those ones...

But yeah, this project is extremely simple and you can do it with whatever design you want and it doesn't have to be inspired by the Royal Wedding...

I basically sewed right sides together around the three sides of the towel and halfway up the fourth side.  Then I turned it right side out and applied my tape outlines.

I gave it about two heavy coats in order to make sure it was solidly covered. 

Right after finishing the last coat, immediately peel the tape away and let the paint dry for an hour or two (maybe more depending on the paint).

Then you'll have this deflated looking thing...

Stuff the pillow with batting and sew up the remaining side.  Then, place your pillow on whatever surface you want and enjoy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

When I Go To The Thrift Store...

Now, I read a ton of design and home decor blogs and they always seem to find the quaintest, most awesome stuff "just down at the thrift store for $20."  I've tried doing that quite a few times and for all my effort I've only gotten a mirror, chair and a glass bowl for keys out of it. I haven't found any cool, mid-century dresser that needs some TLC or an awesome lamp I can just spray paint and it looks like I got it from somewhere expensive....

Ever since Russ and I first walked into a thrift store and we got a whiff of an obviously pee-stained area rug, Russ has not been a fan of shopping there.  In fact, he absolutely hates going to the thrift store but I make him go anyway because it's more fun to laugh at things when you've got someone with you and he makes a pretty good shopping buddy. 

But, this is what I find at my local thrift store.  No awesomely unique coffee tables, no interesting sculptures that could be spray painted and look like a Z Gallerie find.  Just... THIS:

"And welcome to your nightmare... starring....

The Creepy Clown Brothers!"

And nothing says "buy me!" like a creepy baby doll in a glass box.  Well, at least she can't escape and follow me home...

If these dolls weren't nightmare-inducing enough... the third one is missing a face!

The David statue has made it centuries without being censored.  "But not in this thrift store!  It's a family place, for crying out loud!"

David wears the newest in statue fashion, the Bandaid. (And for the first time in his life, feels very inadequate.)
Our next model is modeling a hot look straight off the runway... Post Its! 

A glorious bird for only $5, you can't beat it... with a little bit of paint on that frame, you've really got a look!

And last, but certainly not least... my FAVORITE item of the day goes to...

The gnome riding the snail!

It took me so many attempts to get the next shot because I was shaking so hard with laughter over something Russ said about the look on this snail's face. 

It is one of absolute sheer panic...

I should've bought this.