Saturday, February 20, 2010

At Long Last...Subway Art

Well, my {laptop} decided that yesterday would be as good a time as any to up and die. And I do mean {DIE}. I'm pretty upset by this latest development for several reasons. The enormous stash of digital scrapbooking supplies I had is now gone, as are the full-sized files of all of the digiscrap pages I've made. I do have some of them printed, but not all of them. And, even though I *just* moved a bunch of pics to my external hard drive earlier this week, I'm fairly certain I'm still missing all of the pics from at *least* Feb, if not Jan, too. There are web-sized versions of some of the more recent pics, as well as web-sized versions of the scraps, thanks to photobucket and facebook ~ other than that it's all {POOF!} gone. Makes me ill, but I do realize that it could've been sooo much worse, so let this be a friendly reminder to you all...BACK UP YOUR FILES ~ BURN YOUR PICS TO DISK ~ PUT THOSE DISKS SOMEPLACE SAFE & FIREPROOF. In the meantime, I'm using the Hubband's laptop, being that he's out of town right now on an ice fishing adventure. He'll be back tomorrow & who knows if I'll lose access to the computer again when that happens. Sadly, I don't have photoshop on this computer and he'd probably consider {killing} me if I installed straight off the camera pics is what you're gonna get. OUCH. NO idea how long it will be before we can afford to get me a new computer. I'm so so so so sad.

Making me slightly happier...the finally finished (though not yet hung) Subway Art! I took pictures throughout the process, but what with the whole no photoshop thing, I can't show them to you b/c I took them in RAW format, and I can't do anything with them until I have PS back. I cannot even {tell} you how much this SUCKS. So, I took one more of the finished product & I'll share it with you now...with more to follow some day.

OK, so a few things to talk about first if you're going to try this project. I originally saw it on Tatertots and Jello, and she offered a great {tutorial} ~ which you can find a quick link to on the right hand side of her blog. I followed it pretty closely, but there are a few suggestions I'd like to add.

1) Black poster paint is NOT the same as black craft paint. Trust me. After 3 coats and a very navy blue appearance I searched the basement (again) for black craft paint and was thrilled to no end that I actually had enough left to finish the project. {Whew!}

2) I took another look at the original {inspiration} for the project (from Pottery Barn) and noticed that the background in the original is not pure black. I think that part of the charm of the original comes from it looking a bit worn and aged, so...after the last coat of black had dried I brought out the white craft paint and I dry brushed (go gentle here, folks) some white on top of the black. I went stronger around the edges, lighter across the canvas, and then went in and left some larger blotches randomly on the canvas. I think it's closer to the original and I like it ~ but if you like the pure black look, by all means, stick with it!

3) I chose to cut out each individual letter rather than whole words. I just prefer to see the {texture} of the canvas showing through. It seemed like a shame to cover the canvas to the point that no one would be able to tell it was a canvas...especially knowing that it's a decent-sized canvas and it wasn't all that cheap.

4) It's about the Mod Podge. This was my first experience with using it and I'm now a fan. As in an "Ooooh, what can I do with this stuff {next} I wonder" kind of fan. One thing I will say, though, is to be careful when you're using it with a black background. I noticed very quickly that the MP was starting to show a bit of a purple tinge. I don't know if it's from the black paint or the black ink (b/c I did cheat a bit by not going into the middle of the letters {like a and o} to cut out the black parts). DEFINITELY pour some MP out into a cup rather than dipping directly into the jar and contaminating it. I was using a cup anyway b/c the sponge brush I was using was too wide to fit into the jar, and I'm glad I was. I used one coat of MP to hold the letters down, and only one coat of MP on top of the letters/whole canvas once the words were placed, and I can see a slight purpley tone to some of the letters. It's not terribly obvious, and probably no one else will notice it, but I can imagine how much darker it would be if I hadn't noticed and used fresh MP every so often while I was applying my coat.

So there you have it! For those who are curious, {Wooster} is a street in Bowling Green...the main street that runs along the campus at BGSU, and the Hubband & I were introduced on the front porch of a house on Wooster while we were at a party way back in 1996. I chose street names that were meaningful in our relationship ~ our first date, the streets our parents lived on when we first went to each other's homes (and where they still live now), where we got engaged and where we got married...the street our first (and current) home sits on, and the street where you'd find the hospital where I gave birth to both of the tiny people. The Hubband hasn't seen it yet ~ I just hope he likes it....and that we can figure out where the heck to put it!

I'm {linking up} at Tatertots and Jello...and I'm telling you ~ if you're looking for some inspiration and some amazing craft & DIY projects, check out the other blogs that are linking up. L.O.V.E.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Excuses, Excuses...

Actually, I have none. Aside from spending more time than would probably be considered healthy watching the {Olympics} I really haven't been up to much. I've gotten a couple of crocheting projects finished ~ scarves for the tiny people ~ but beyond that I haven't gotten much accomplished. The canvas for the {subway art} project has been painted, and the words have been printed ~ I'm in the process of cutting out each of the letters. It's taking a long time ~ partially because I can't exactly do much with it while the tiny people are awake and partially because I'm already {dreading} keeping them straight and level when I put them on the canvas. I'm seriously considering placing them all slightly askew on purpose so that the imperfections are purposeful and, therefore, draw less attention. If you have any thoughts on that I'd love to hear them...seriously.

The tiny people have been on mid-winter break...which I think is just a {lame} excuse for 2 days off in the middle of February. I mean, really...they just had a day off for a teacher work day at the end of the grading period, and it feels like Christmas was two weeks ago. I really shouldn't be complaining ~ we've gotten very little snow in comparison to most of the country, and we've only had {one} cancellation, but still. Days off just throw a wrench in the schedule and, as a mom, I'm not appreciative of that.

So, this week I'll be {trying} to finish the subway art project, notice the key word here is {trying}, people, and perusing magazines, catalogs and some of lovely blogs I've been stumbling across lately to find inspiration for more crafts and projects. I {promise} to be better the last half of this week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Square One

I was gone over the weekend. I took the tiny people to my mom's house for the weekend, where we attended the homecoming ceremony and basketball game at my {high school}. It was a fun weekend. We left in haste on Friday afternoon, after I spent the majority of the day trying to catch up with laundry & get the house reasonably picked up so as to avoid crabby remarks from the Hubband when I called to tell him we'd made it safely to {Ohio}. I came home to find that nothing had been touched. The note I left on the counter...still sat there. The hubband admitted to not cooking the flank steak I had asked him to grill (I didn't want it to go to waste), and told me he had not managed to turn the dial and push the button on the dryer as I had requested. Seriously? How hard is it, Dude? There were only 2 notable changes to the state of the house....1) the appearance of a cup from Jimmy John's and a food bag from the McDonald's drive through on the dining room table (meaning, he took the time to clean out the CAR, but couldn't do anything with the HOUSE) and 2) the laundry hampers that I had left in the living room were mysteriously gone.

{GONE!?!?!} Whattaya mean, gone?

You know where this is going, don't you?

He lovingly moved the {hampers} the bedroom.


Tomorrow has already been declared a {SNOW DAY!} so there's no excuse ~ I have to tackle some projects while I'm stuck at home trying to entertain the tiny people. I'm sure I'll have tons of absolutely {riveting} anecdotes to share.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A 2-fer!

For those who were looking for videos that teach crochet... Meet Beth Essington. She might not look like it, but this woman is a {rock star} ~ at least she is in my mind. She moves at a pace that is not too fast, not too slow, and she clearly explains exactly what she's doing. I've looked at a few tutorials that just left me confused and irritated, so finding Beth was {awesome} for me.

Chain stitch tutorial...

Single crochet tutorial

YouTube list of all of her videos...just in case you feel like getting {fancy}. ;)

I haven't even started on my subway art project. A friend of mine made one in Photoshop and ordered it printed on a canvas ~ which I thought about doing...but I'm {cheap} and I've already bought all the supplies, soooo...I'm stuck. If you're {not} cheap, go ahead and google "Canvas Prints" and a whole slew of sites will pop up where you can order your very own canvas and avoid the hassle of paper and modpodge.

Well, I think 2 blog posts here in one day is {quite} enough, don't you? So I'm pick up the latest crochet project where I left off. See you people later!

Well, hello there...

In case it somehow managed to escape your attention, I {love} blogs. I find it so interesting that so many people, myself included, put their thoughts, ideas, talents and feelings out there for all the world to see. I peruse often, and I have a {growing} list of blogs that I love and check daily. Or hourly. You know....whatever.

One of the blogs I like a lot is {Bakerella}. Not because I fancy myself a fantastic baker, or because I have the ridiculous amounts of {time} and {money} required to make all of the wonderfully adorable little concoctions she describes, but because I think it's fun to look at the things she comes up with. Some of the things she's done with {cakepops} just amaze and astound me - and if you look at her most-recent post you'll freak. Where does one locate an Oscar (as in Academy Award) shaped cookie cutter? REALLY!!! Anyway, last week I noticed that Bakerella was slacking....and she made something so ridiculously easy, even I could pull it off. See? Right?

Now, I don't mind peaches, but when I saw this recipe I thought to myself...hmmm....I have 2 cans of {cherry pie filling} that have been just sitting in my cupboard taking up space. I wonder... So I googled. I googled Cherry Dump Cake. Most of what I found called for mixing one can of cherry pie filling and one can of crushed pineapple. I couldnt' quite get behind that. And none of them called for the use of brown sugar. I couldn't get behind that, either.

So here's what I did. I {dumped} a can of cherry pie filling into the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. I swooshed it around a bit, but wasn't convinced that there was enough to ensure that you'd get a good amount of fruit in every I went right on ahead and {dumped} the second can of pie filling into the pan, too....because that's how I roll. Next, I busted out a box of yellow cake mix and {dumped} that on top of the pie filling. Then I sprinkled just a bit of brown sugar and some chopped pecans on top of the cake mix. Next step - butter - or, as Paula Deen would say {budder}. :) Except for the fact that the Hubband has some cholesterol-related issues, resulting in the use of {Smart Balance} instead of the real deal...which I'm okay with. So, I scooped off spoonfuls of {budder} and placed them on top of the cake/brown sugar/nut mixture at even intervals a' la Bakerella. Then I popped that puppy in the oven at 350° for about 40 min. It took {work} not to eat it straight outta the pan. But I was swayed by the revelation that I could make use of the ramekins I picked up last week, so {YAY!} And here you have it.... Cherry Dump Cake....

Word on the street is that it's a bit on the sweet side. {Oh, darn.} Looks like we'll have to eat it with a healthy side of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And I shall name her....

Hmmmm.... I had chosen a name for my sewing machine ~ but it wasn't a very {nice} name. Meaning it wasn't a name I could utter out loud in front of the tiny people. Meaning it started with {f} and ended with {er}. Probably not entirely appropriate. And I'm starting to think that she heard me refer to her by name and thought, "Oh, yeah, lady? You wanna call me that, I'll live up to the name."

See, last night, while I was watching the finale of The Worst Cooks In America (I was rooting for Jen. :( sad) I brought her out and plugged her in and got ready to sew a pillow for the inside of "Tuga" the turtle. ("Tuga" is short for "Tortuga" ~ which is the Spanish word for turtle. Thank you, Diego.) I cut out the fabric, carefully placed the pins, sat down at the table and started to sew....for about {three} seconds....and then the thread went all wonky and the machine jammed. {EFFER!} I tried again...same thing. I rethreaded {both} threads and tried again...same thing. At that point I chose to turn off the machine and walk away...because it wouldn't be very nice to throw {effer} out the window ~ it would be loud and wake the tiny people...and it would make a big mess....and be expensive to it was really cold outside and a hole in a window would result in a considerable draft. The results were the same when I tried again this evening. Grrrrr...

I did manage to make a bit of a {shopping} trip today, and I grabbed the items I need to make the much-anticipated subway art. Can't wait! I still haven't decided on a method. The tutorial I found came from and while I think hers turned out beautifully, I'm hoping I won't be disappointed by the finished product when I see it in person. I guess we'll find out!

In addition to the subway art supplies, I also picked up more yarn. The tiny people have requested scarves, so I'm working on that. It's nice to have {something} to work on while I'm busy ignoring my sewing machine. {effer}

Monday, February 1, 2010


We survived another weekend...whattayaknow! I'm ready for the week to begin ~ I've got some {fun} stuff planned!

OK, so I said I'd show a pic of the scarf, and I'm a chick of my word, so here you have it...

I was gonna post a pic of myself actually {wearing} it, but...I didn't take a shower today and didn't want to subject you all to my {funk}. You're welcome. The tiny people are thrilled with my creation and have requested scarves for themselves, so it looks like I'll be picking up some pink yarn this week.

Also this week, the project I hinted at yesterday.

Here's a pic of the Pottery Barn subway art that started this whole thing in the first place. See those words in the middle-ish of the canvas? Two words. "Bowling Green". Those of you fortunate enough to be from the midwest....or even better...{OHIO} know that Bowling Green is a city in Ohio and the home to Bowling Green State University ~ which is my alma mater ~ and the Hubband's. That's where we met. When I saw those words I started thinking about the places in BG that hold meaning to me & the Hubband, and writing down the street names of those places. I've made a template in Photoshop, so I know how the words will fit together and what font/s I want to use. So {hopefully} this week I'll be able to grab the rest of the supplies I need so I can knock it out.

Other plans for the week include figuring out what the heck to do with the London Broil that now sits in my fridge. {Thoughts?} I'm still thinking about those doggone Molasses Cookies. {Frick.} I have a ka-ton of laundry to deal with ~ and of course there's the usual cooking, cleaning, erranding, kid-corralling, etc. that happens every day. Should be fun!

And now, it's back to the {glamour} of folding laundry ~ and yes, it's 12:45 am. Gotta get it done sometime, right? Have a great day, everyone! :)


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