Friday, September 20, 2013

Pinterest Pin Test: Chalkboard Art or Where do you keep your Stuff and Junk? Just askin'

So I'm feeling quite full of myself because I actually have a second edition of the Pinterest Pin Test.  Shocking that I could keep my tiny little brain focused on one idea for more than a week.  I have found that 40 something-induced ADD might be a real affliction.

Have you seen all of the Chalkboard or Subway Art out there on Pinterest?  It pops up all over the place and for me it's very appealing simply because......

1.  I'm a doodler
2.  I love words and letters.

I would love to meet a "real" Subway artist (graffiti artist.)  Maybe I know one and I don't even realize it. Maybe one of the PTO moms is an underground graffiti artist..... imagine the possibilities.  Back to Pinterest.  The ideas I have seen are more related to holidays or words of encouragement which are great and I'm pro all of this things.  For example,

So true.... 

Adorbs, right?

Love them.  They are darling.  So perfect and amazing.  Can I replicate this?  Doubtful but I'm ambitious.  I love a good challenge.  So I went looking for something to paint..... I've got enough crap laying around here at the hive.  I must have something to slap some Subway art on to...... for sure.


Okay, look at this thing.  A great metal container with the word "HERBS" printed on it.   This is the biggest "HERBS" container I have ever seen and why do I own it?  What kind of "HERBS" do you keep in a container this size?  How much marjoram, fennel or sage can one kitchen house?    Well, I feel I can get rid of the "HERBS" and doctor this bad boy up a bit.  I love me some doctoring.....

So, there's primer.  One must prime.  Seriously, priming is important and clearly I did it when the sun was behind me.

Okay, primer did it's job.  Congratulations Primer.  We, Here at the Hive, are very proud of you.  Now, how about a little Chalkboard Paint? (flat black, let's face it.)

 Ready for some font?  Can't hand draw it?  Who can?   So I chose to print out some Fonts that aren't readily hand drawn.  Please.   And trace.  Tracing is GOOD!  I chose the saying "STUFF and JUNK" it fits our life.

So Print, add to it with fancy hand drawn scrolls and embellishments.  Then cover the back of it with chalk to make an imprint.  You are going to trace the Printable over your chalkboard with a pencil and pray to the Crafty Gods that it shows up enough that you can only do a little touch up.  Being honest folks, it takes some time and some erasing and some patience.

So Dudes!  It looks pretty good, it's all chalk.  I can change the message whenever.  Chalkboard Art is not easy but I am so glad I tried it.

What do you think we have in the "Stuff and Junk" container?  Guess away.  Where do you keep your Stuff and Junk?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Swanky. Swankiness. Swankiful.

We live in a swanky place.  I cannot, will not, shall not disagree.  Outside Magazine let the whole world know by naming my town as "The Best Town in America."  Thanks a lot A-holes.  Now everybody and their mother is moving here and there are 31students in my kid's 3rd grade class.  Wait... did I say that out loud?    I mean, it's a super great place and everybody should come visit once a year and then go back to their towns and tell their friends to VISIT.

Okay back to it's swankiness.... it's swankiful.  There are a lot of fancy hotels, high-end restaurants, expensive shops and some "rolling stock"  in town.  We also have a Walmart, a McDonald's and a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  So, our town is keeping it real, kind of.  Our neighborhood is modest and I love that. But, our "keeping it real"  is not really real.  Mr. Handsome and I are totally aware of that.  Our bees are living in a fantasy. It's apparent to us that they don't have a clue that the rest of the world looks different then we do.  Most of world doesn't get new stuff even when they need it.  A huge part of the world  doesn't have a full belly every night when they go to bed.  The bees got it good.

It's Homecoming at the High School.  Yep, high schoolers here are getting creative with candles and candy and poems and kittens (yes, kittens) and who knows what else to ask each other to what is sure to be the dance to end all dances.  Aren't all high school dances billed as that?  This year's Homecoming theme is Casino Royale.  Don't you just love it?  Because gambling for teens is so chic, because most 15-18 year olds totally understand Craps, because Sports Betting should be highly encouraged.

We asked Ladycakes what she thought about all of this since she is eligible for an asking. (Btw, just typing that made my stomach cramp up and I'm pretty sure I have hives on the back of my arms now.)  Her attitude is good, she doesn't care.  She's sitting back watching her friends get asked by boys  young men who are dorktastic and friends who are so desperately anxious to be asked that they themselves are becoming dorktastic.  It costs money to go to Homecoming.  It's being held at one of the fancy hotels I mentioned earlier.  Not the school gym, Heavens no.  We are talking 5 stars.  Frommer's, Zagat or whoever takes notice of these kind of things, well they've noticed this venue.

She explained that she could go as an individual for $30 and maybe a group of them could go.  It's $50 for a couple.  I'm thinking they need to get creative with their potential group and save themselves some money by breaking off into couples..... but I'm cheap and five bucks a piece seems like a lot of money.  Think of how much $5 gets you at Walmart or McDonald's or Bed, Bath and Beyond.....

However, this did get me thinking and you know what kind of trouble we can get into when the synapses are firing.  Oh, it can be dangerous.

The old anniversary is just around the corner.  It's a big one.  It NEEDS to be celebrated.  Luxury travel is not in the cards (we are not planners.)  However,  we could find ourselves at a LUXE hotel with gambling (which is generally illegal here in this state of ours, don't tell Outside magazine, they might change their vote.)  And all for FIFTY BUCKS!  Seems like a full on bargain to me.  I could get a new dress and Mr. Handsome could rent a tux.

Now if I could only get him to ask me to our anniversary dance with candles and candy and kittens and poems and a big old bottle of rum.  ahhh, rum.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pinterest Pin Test: Getting inspiration from my Pinterest Boards

I waste spend quite a bit of time on Pinterest.  It's such an interesting phenomenon.  I love watching what other people are "pinning."  I find great inspiration there.

Angry Kitty Memes..... tattoo ideas..... wedding favors that would make you go bankrupt..... 365 days worth of Paleo recipes.  You name it, I'm inspired.

So to feed my inspiration, I have a "Making Rather Than Just Pinning" board.  I figured if I am going to hoard these ideas, I might as well try using them to fuel my creativity.  Twice a month, I have decided to tackle a Pinterest project.  Some may work, others may fail.  The only criteria is that I am not allowed to go out and spend a bunch of money.  I have endless supplies in my creative studio/ craft lab and if I can't find what I need in there, I probably should move on to a different project!   And, I need to tweak or change each project so that I make it my own.  I don't want to be a copycat.  What fun is that? Reach toward originality without reinventing the wheel, you know?

This week I decided to play into the graphic trend of using the outline of a State you love.  I see it a lot of Pinterest.  On pillows, on mugs, in jewelry and fashion.  No doubt it's a trend, so if I can make something without spending any money, I won't feel bad when the trend moves on.

Here is my inspiration......

To the Craft Lab Batman!   Remember.... only supplies on hand.  Yep, I have these on hand.

Choose your State(s.)  Find an image to outline from your computer or trusty atlas.  What?  You don't have an atlas?  Well, I won't judge.  I went with 4 of my favorite States, just to be different.  Or because I am different and I want to make it my own (MIMO.)  Then, trace the shape on to a piece of card stock.

Cut out your traced shape.  Lookin' good States!  Are you ready for some sparkle?  You bet they are ready for some sparkle.

This is where you paint each shape with a thin layer of Mod Podge using your foam brush.  Sprinkle glitter over the Mod Podge evenly and then allow to dry.  I found my States curled a bit but don't panic. You will be gluing them to another piece of card stock with hot glue so they will lay flat eventually.  No pictures here.  Want to know why?

Because my hands were covered in Mod Podge and Glitter.  That's why.

Now, here's where I really MIMO.  (make it my own)

I have this fabulous vintage gold stamping machine.  It uses heat to press the lead type into gold foil onto paper.  I haven't used it in a while and this was perfect project to get reacquainted.  In the inspiration pin, they used a heart to pinpoint the city they love.  Since I was using 4 States, I felt that would be way too many hearts and make it look "cutesy."  No thanks.   But, I wanted to acknowledge the cities that make these States extra special to our family.  Gold stamping away, I spelled out each city.  Plus, I have to be honest.  I love letters.  Letters and words make me happy.

I picked an apple yellow background card stock and glued my dried glitter States to it.  Then I placed each city on their respective State.  I went with one tiny little felt heart to show the States my love.  It's small but makes a big statement.  Once the glue was dry, I slapped this bad boy in a frame and VOILA!

It turned out GREAT!  Easy, fast, fun and on trend.  It will be hung in our kitchen and I will bask in it's glory.  My first Pinterest Pin Test was a success.  Now I shall head back to Pinterest to waste more time do some research for my next Pin Test.

Okay go gather up some supplies, make a something.  Then give me a link in the comments.  I'll visit you and shower you with kudos!

For even better instructions go straight to the website for my inspiration.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Etching Glass with Martha Stewart Etching Cream. Oh and deciding I should give this spot a little attention.

Well, Howdy.  Thanks for stopping by.  I've been negligent. Actually, I've been parenting and living.  But I've forgotten to take care of this little spot.  My spot.  So, welcome back, to both of us.

I've decided to open with a revisit.  I left you (and myself) hanging on a project that I was so excited about a year ago!  So without further ado, I'd like to show you how my doorway to Hell turned out.

What?  What did this crazy woman just say?   Well, last I left you, I had a door that looked like this.....

And then after additional sketches and a whole lot of cutting with an Exacto knife, it looked like this.....

Then, I enlisted Martha and her Etching Cream.   Now, Martha usually uses her cream on small little pieces.  A monogrammed wine glass?  yep.  A vase with a jazzy design?  you betcha.  But a big old door with big old letters?  It was a leap of faith people.  A LEAP OF FAITH!

It turned out great!  It totally worked!  Don't be afraid to try Martha's etching cream on a big project.  This was a big project and we are thrilled with the results.  Our see through pantry (careful how you read that) now has a fun graphic message and gives a bare wall A LOT of interest.   The cream is not cheap but if you save your Michael's coupons it's completely do-able.

Alright..... get your creative on.  Wednesdays are now my "Pinterest Test" days.  So keep your eye out. I will be trying out a "pin" that I think is interesting and see if it really works.  

Hugs all around.  I've missed this.  This Stella is thinking about getting her groove back....... seriously.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Operation Ass-Kicking Overdrive (which is just a tough way of saying "Responsible Parenting" but what fun is that?)

It's been awhile.  It was nice to take a little break from this here bloggy boo.  When it feels like a chore, it's time to step away for a bit.   But wait.... I shouldn't say that because then this whole post is a huge waste of time!!

I'm feeling inspired today.  I've been editing some things in our lives Here at the Hive.  While editing, I found some things that reminded me of the energy and creativity that has been dorment for awhile.   My summer goal is to wake up that sleepy energy and foggy creativity and revisit my old self.

Today, I finalized the Summer Chore Lists for the children in this household.  For those that asked, I am posting them here.  This is generally a very successful program for us.  So, here goes.  Sorry it's long.

The 8 year old's Chore List

1. Feed the dog everyday.
2. Scoop dog poop. (Mon,Wed,Fri)
3. Pick 2 slips from the Chore Jar everyday.
4. Make sure your room is picked up daily, including the closet.
5. Sort, Fold and Put Away your laundry.
6. Decide on one Family Activity for the week.
8. Sweep the kitchen floor everyday.

The 12 year old's Chore List

1. Mow the lawn weekly.
2. Plan and Prepare one dinner a week with your sister.
4.  Clean your bathroom once a week.
5. Decide on one Family Activity for the week.
6. Dust, Vacuum and Straighten your bedroom weekly.
7. Sort, Fold and Put Away your laundry.
8.  Write a letter to one person of your choice once a week. Mail and wait for a response.
9. Choose 3 rooms to vacuum other than your room once a week.
10.  Work with Mom and Dad on home improvement projects. 
11. Vacuum and Detail Mom's car once a week.
12. Pump gas into Mom's car at each fill-up

The 15 year old's Chore List

1.  Keep your room clean and organized.  Re-organize your closet.
2. Plan and Prepare one dinner a week with your brother.
4. Clean your bathroom weekly.
5. Pick one Family Activity for the week.
6.  Participate in Driver's Education and get Driver's Permit.
7.  Learn basic car care, operation and gas pumping.
8.  Babysit, Pet-sit or any job outside of our house.  Invest in your savings account.
9.  Memorize your Social Security Number.
10.  Sort, Wash, Fold and Put Away your laundry.  
11.  File paperwork for Mom and Dad.
12.  Take an art class.
13.  Assist Mom and Dad with home improvement projects.
14. Pick one room other than your bedroom to dust weekly.

The Family Activities can be anything from going on a hike to roasting marshmallows.  It is my hope that the ideas they come up with will be creative and not cost much or any money.  I put this one in because as parents we feel like we play "Cruise Director" a lot.  We want the kids to take on some of this responsibility.  Oddly enough, Ladycakes announced that the Family Activity chore is the hardest one on her list.

The Chore Jar is something that I learned from my mom.  Years ago, she made a chore jar for herself.  It was her way of doing those odd chores that you don't always think of or aren't part of the regularly scheduled chores.  When my kids were little, I made a chore jar to introduce the idea of chores and to help us with activities for the summer months.  It felt more like a game if you had to reach into a jar!

Chore Jar Examples

Sweep the front porch
Clean out the coupon folder
Wash the dog
Set the table for dinner (make it fancy!)

One thing Mr. Handsome and I are realizing is the shift that is taking place in our parenting.  Of course, as parents our styles and methods change as often and as quickly as our children grow.  However, we have been in a pretty comfortable routine for quite a few years now but we see a need for a change.  Because we are parenting a teen and tween, we are becoming more aware of the life skills they need. The things that come naturally to us as adults (pumping gas) are totally new to them.  You forget this when you are living the daily grind.  So, if some of the things on the list seem strange, stop and think.....Does my kid know how to do that?  You might be surprised.

Happy Summer Peeps.  We won't be "choring it up" all the time. We plan to kick back and have some fun and just enjoy each other's company!

Add "Working 9 to 5" by Dolly Parton to my Life Soundtrack.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Losing your Mojo. Hoping the condition is simply LoJo and not Nojo.

It's challenging when you hit a rut, a rough patch, tough times.  My times are not as tough as many.  I have a roof, I have food, I have a beautiful family.  We are just in a spot.  Some of it self induced, some of it bad timing, some of it just.... well just.

I'm lucky to have support.  SoMeone to hOld me up, soMeone to remind me that it's going to be okay.  Someone to pull me or tug me or just gently coax me from that edge.  I've been edge dwelling, and not in a Lady Gaga glorious kind of way, not at all.  It's not pop-rocky or sexy or weird or award winning.

I hope that I am that someone to someone at sometime or anytime.  I understand.  I love.  I respect.  I listen.  I am here.

Love the ones your with, love the ones you have.  Appreciate what you have. Be kind, be patient, be thoughtful.  It's worth it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dear Blog,
       I apologize for my absence.  I have not forgotten you.  You really are important to me.  I have been so overwhelmed with the real world that my digital world has been negelected.  Please forgive me.

       Yours faithfully,


Okay, thank you letting me take care of that little piece of business.  I have so much guilt and needed to make a formal apology.  Soooooo, what's new???  Everybody good?  Good.

I'm inspired to be here because Ladycakes has her own little bloggyboo and I want to help her stay inspired.  Believe it or not, she has an incredibly progressive, creative Honors English (brag,brag) teacher who has his students produce their own blogs. So Lily's Craft Cloud is alive and kickin'.   And that means, this post is about to take a crafty turn.... HOLD ON TIGHT.

Via Instagram.... I shared this little teaser.

The costume Ladycakes is constructing requires green leggings.  I have found through experience buying "blanks" (white items) and dying them is the most cost effective way to go.  Dharma Trading is my go to supplier for this type of stuff.

Now, for another teaser.  And as it may seem, NO!, we are not still working on the kitchen, but it's still not done.  Don't ask.

This is another costume in progress.  Give it your best shot.  What do you think?

The boys have costumes in the developmental stages.  I will share sneek peeks of those when the time comes..... maybe November 1.

How are you haunting at your Hive?  (alliteration attracts an audience)

Add "Faithfully" by Journey to My Life Soundtrack.

Thanks Carol@ Songberries