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The cutest thing I’ve seen all week

9 Sep

Instagrahams!

Bakerella made homemade graham crackers and, with a little fondant, turned them into these adorable cookies. I wish I was as awesomely creative as she is!

Do you Instagram? Follow me and I’ll follow back! @amyc83

Weekend Wrap-Up

27 Jun

I’m sorry I posting this so late today. I’m not feeling so hot and couldn’t bring myself to do anything but sleep, eat, or watch TV until now. Pathetic, aren’t I?

Not only was it the first weekend of summer, but it was the first weekend of my summer break! Friday, I packed the last of my things at school and said goodbye. After work, I went out to happy hour with a few teachers, something I never do, to celebrate.

sorry for the blurry pic
I had so much fun and am so glad I got over my usual shyness and went out. Isn’t that how it usually works?
Saturday I was as lazy as I could possibly be. I pretty much did nothing while my dear husband worked on skimming the walls in our entryway. We are trying to get them flat like our living room walls are now (thanks to HGTV) and wanted to start the DIY process in the smallest of the three areas that are covered in horrible texturing.

It still needs one more coat and a lot more sanding, but it is looking pretty good! We are thinking we’ll need more than just one person to do out hallway and guest room, so if you’re into hard labor, let me know. We can pay in pizza and beer!

Sunday morning I met a few of the girls for brunch. I gave my friend Laura a late birthday present with this card:

Since there are four of us in this group of friends, I labeled each of these little girls as one of us. From left to right: Roxanne, Michelle, Laura, and Amy (me). Michelle brought her son Carter who was super cute even though I made him cry. Oops!

Last year, we got to go to the Twilight Eclipse premiere that was part of the LA Film Fest. Read about it here. This year, we decided to attend the premiere of Katie Holmes’ new movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.

The movie was downtown at the Nokia theater across from the Staples center. We started off the evening with happy hour at Fleming’s which is one of my favorite date night activities. We always make an early dinner out of it. Our favorite is the beef carpaccio and calamari with sweet peppers. Mmmmm getting hungry just thinking about it.

After a couple of drinks and a good meal, we headed over to the movie where we had to endure complaining of one of the donor’s employees who believed we were sitting in their reserved seats. We ended up being moved (to better seats very close to where Guillermo del Torro, the film’s writer, and Troy Nixey, the director, sat) and found out that those employees who were so concerned about their seats left halfway through the movie to have drinks at a nearby restaurant. Whatever.

I liked the movie, though I think that’s because it wasn’t too scary – I don’t really like very scary movies. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-see, but it was a cool event to attend. Oh, and I got to see Katie Holmes in person! She’s extremely skinny.

The after party wasn’t as good as last year’s, no celebrity sightings or amazing decor, but my husband enjoyed the red velvet cupcakes and I enjoyed watching this adorable couple dance:

I love our yearly tradition of attending one event at the LA Film Fest (as a couple, my husband always goes to a few events on his own), but I’ve learned my lesson and will be wearing very comfortable shoes next year. My feet are covered in blisters today. Ouch.

How was your weekend? Busy? Lazy? Somewhere in between?

Silhouettes for Mom

10 May

When my mom saw Emily Henderson make silhouettes for one of the episodes of Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV, she gushed about how cool it was. I remembered that and decided to make some for her for Mother’s Day. Here’s how:

First, I took pictures of my stepdad and brother in profile. I didn’t want my mom to know, so I found a picture I had taken a couple of moths ago where she was in profile and cropped it. I printed them in 8 x 10, but they could have been smaller for the frame I had.

Then, I put the photo over black cardstock – I actually stapled the photo to the cardstock in areas that I knew wouldn’t be part of the final silhouette.

Here are all of the silhouettes ready to be mounted!

I used double sided tape mounting squares to stick the silhouettes on white cardstock.

I had to make sure that the bottoms were all the same distance up or they would look strange all lined up.

Since the paper was 8 1/2 x 11 and the frame was 8 x 10, I put the glass over the cardstock and traced it with pencil so I could trim the excess.

And finished! I actually already had these frames in my collection, so the project was basically free. I know my mom doesn’t mind. It’s the thought that counts and I’m getting laid off while trying to get pregnant. HA… cracks me up.

So cute!! Ok, so if I could do it all over again, I would make the silhouettes smaller and use white frames with white matting like Emily did. I might redo this project if I find some extra cash to buy new frames. I just couldn’t justify it as I have 462 frames sitting in our guest bedroom. Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but I do have a TON of them.

I think she liked it and it was so fun to see how much the silhouettes looked like them!

When was the last time you made something for your mom for Mother’s Day?

#reverb10: Make

6 Dec

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

Yay! This prompt is so perfect for today! I love making things. For our wedding, I made the invitations, escort cards, table numbers, centerpieces, bouquets, favors, and a million other things. My husband got me a sewing machine for Christmas last year and after taking one basic class, I made 2 pillow covers, 4 cushion covers, and an album cover. It has been so fun making things with my own two hands and not spending a ton of money. But the last thing I made? Welll…

Yesterday I made a wreath for our front door! After I was halfway done, I realized I should have taken pictures throughout the process, but oh well. Maybe next year. I’ll explain instead. Two years ago, I bought a fresh wreath from Trader Joe’s. It was probably $20 and looked great, but when we put all the Christmas decorations away that year, my husband took out all the branches and saved the metal cage thingy that holds it all together. The following year (last year) I grabbed some extra branches from Home Depot when we picked up our Christmas tree – they always cut off a few from the bottom of each tree they sell and anyone is allowed to take the extra branches. It takes some time (and practice – last year’s did not look nearly as good as this year’s) to clip the branches and fit them in the cage so they form the shape of the wreath, but it is so fun to be able to say, “I made that!” I even saved the ribbon from last year (the gold bow was from the original store bought wreath) and added some little ornaments.

There are so many things I’ve been wanting to make, but haven’t made time (I say “made” time because I think people always say they have no time for things, but then they – myself included – sit around and watch TV or surf the internet). Here’s a list of things I’ve been thinking about making:

~ A quilt for our guest bedroom.
~ An apron for my friend.
~ A book page wreath.
~ A cover for my sewing machine.
~ Flower pens for my students.

I just realized the last thing I *really* made was clam chowder from scratch for dinner last night. It was delish!!

What have you made recently?

DIY Fun: Earring Display

26 Sep

When I was searching for images for my design fantasy series, I came upon this project on Young House Love. The post featured a story about turning an old window screen into a cute earring and necklace holder.

Isn’t it cute? Once I saw this, I emailed the post to my husband and asked if we had an old screen in the garage I could use. He said we did, but it had a metal frame. He suggested framing it with some wood from home depot and I was excited to try it out. When we checked out the screen, though, I realized it was way too large to hold a few pairs of earrings. I thought about cutting out part of the screen and re-framing it, but knew that it would be to much work. I was just kind of glancing around the garage when I saw this:

It is an old fireplace screen (it had four panels before we took one off) that my husband’s boss had given him when she was remodeling her place. I remember when he brought it home I was annoyed because we already have a perfectly good fireplace screen and didn’t need something else to clutter up our garage. But now I’m so happy we have it! Look what we made:

It didn’t take much effort at all. My husband just pulled the panel off, rinsed it with water, dried it, and voila! A beautiful, antique-looking earring holder! Now I need more earrings…

We have three panels left, so if anyone wants their own earring holder, let me know and you can have one!

Custom Color Chalkboard Paint

13 May
In this post, I said that Home Depot will make any color paint into chalkboard paint… well, I was wrong. There is one brand, Rustoleum, that is tintable in 12 colors, but they are really bright and not that calming feel I was looking for with our “someday” nursery. After discovering my error, I did a quick Google search for “chalkboard paint” and that led me to YOU KNOW WHO!

Now I know where I got this idea that chalkboard paint can be any color… why Martha, how I do love you so…


Here is Martha’s instructions for custom color chalkboard paint:

“Custom Colors How-To
Start with flat-finish latex paint in any shade. For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time.
1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps.
2. Apply paint with a roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust.
4. To condition: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.”

Look at all her genius ideas for integrating this into your existing home decor:

This is very similar to the idea I had for putting up wainscoting, but this is way more accessible for a little kid…
 

Love this for a home office or kitchen command center!

While this process is a bit more involved than just buying paint that they mix for you and home depot and slapping it on the walls, I think it is definitely doable and would make such interesting and ever-changing art!

Have you tried any of Martha’s DIY projects?

Adventures in Sewing

31 Jan

For Christmas, my husband got me a sewing machine. I had mentioned to him that I would like to have one so I could make things like drapes, pillows, and quilts. I thought I would get the machine, read the manual and figure out how to make these basic things on my own. Oh boy, was I wrong.

My manual is in English, but it is a whole different language. What the heck is a bobbin? Pressure foot? Feed Dog? huh?? I realized that I definitely needed lessons before even touching this thing. I registered for “Getting to know your sewing machine” at Joann’s Fabrics and Crafts. Last night was my first class and it was really hard, but really fun.

 
Here is my machine with my pink thread and my little piece of denim and I’m sewing on it! There were two 13 year olds in the class along with another twenty something and a retired woman (she already knew how to sew, but she got a new fancy digital machine as a retirement gift and needed to learn how to use it). It was a scary process, especially when it came time to step on the pedal and push fabric through it. I kept getting visions in my head of scenes on Project Runway when the designers run their fingers through the machine and blood gets all over. Luckily, no blood was spilled last night and I actually made a little coin purse!

                                     

Isn’t it cute? I am taking the next class called “Sewing 101” which is all about learning that foreign language that is sewing. The class after that one is a two part-er where the students make a pillow and lined tote bag. I might experiment a bit on my own, but I see how important the classes are because there are so many things to learn and so much fabric to screw up…
What are your favorite hobbies?