Monday, October 27, 2014

What I'm Working On...

Good evening ladies and gentleman, and welcome to yet another riveting installment of... "What I'm Working On!" 

Okay, okay, I am very aware that I am a dork. But I'm having fun and that's partially what this is all about, right? 

So I decided over the very short weekend that I wanted to make this post a reoccurring one. I can't always have a brand new project... Because honestly, nine times out of ten I have three or more projects that I'm working on and none of them are finished. That or I had military weekend and therefore have worked 12 days straight with no day off and I'm too dang tired to write complicated content. Just being honest. I seriously have no idea how people blog daily and hold down a full time jobs. (I swear they are superheroes in hiding) 

So over the weekend I managed to get a lot of stuff done. Well honestly.... I managed to START a lot of things. I believe I started about four separate projects and I think I accomplished finishing only one. (The only reason as to why it got finished... I dragged my husband into basically doing it for me. It's the way of the world.)

Pictured: My poor husband, getting roped into hanging curtains yet again. 

P.S. My husband specifically asked me not to take any pictures of him when he was doing this... but I just couldn't resist. 

Ahem. But yeah, back to the curtains...

Those curtains have been sitting on that hutch since we moved back to this house in early August. They were unceremoniously dumped there when I found another set of curtains that I fell in love with for the master bedroom. More on that extended project a little later. 

But here is what the curtains ended up looking like after my wonderful husband put them up for me. I really thought that I was going to love the whole "puddled look" but honestly... I'm not feeling it. But I don't have the heart to tell my husband that I want to move them. He would probably kill me honestly. He even said when we were putting them up that they should go higher. Plus... My father in law would kill me if I moved them and put another four holes in the wall for the curtains. (P.s. This is my father in laws house. My husband and I live here and pay rent for the house while his dad lives in another house in California.) 

But onto another project... 

So as well as the curtains in the formal dining room, I was also working on decorating the master bedroom. This weekend I finally found some lamps that matched with what I'm going for now. I've been searching for reasonably priced ones that fit what I was trying to accomplish for about two months. TWO MONTHS. I finally found these well-priced beauties at Ross. They were $20 a piece, which is still expensive in my mind... but they were far better than the $50-$80 ones that I kept falling in love with. Considering I could look at the price tag without feeling sick... they were worth it. But the bedroom is most certainly a work in progress, and will likely be the focal point of a post (or five.) 

But as of right now our room looks like this. New lamps included. My husband does not understand decorating... And therefore did not understand why the old black mirror lamps didn't work anymore. They will have to be redistributed to another room because they aren't working with the new color pallet. But more on all that later. 

Over the weekend I started another DIY, but I didn't really take enough pictures of it... So I'm not quite ready to give a full post on it. But here's the end result.

I'm super happy with out it turned out, and I'm currently resisting going to the craft store and spending extensive amounts of money so I can make more. Especially because each one only takes about 20 minutes and a sewing machine to make. 

P.S. Sorry about the crappy pictures y'all... I'm just using my cell phone right now because it is all that I have. Hopefully this will be changing sometime close to this holiday season... and my birthday. *Hint Hint*

Something very important to me is Christmas. It has always been my favorite part of the year. It's the one time where family and friends come together and cherish each other. On top of that I am the type of person who absolutely loves gift giving. So another thing I've been working on over the last few weeks is Christmas. Yes, I just said that I have been working on Christmas for the last few weeks. Yes, I am aware that I am crazy. Also I am aware that it is still October. I started in September if I'm going to be completely honest. But seriously guys I'm almost entirely done shopping. The only stuff that I am still working on is the presents that I am DIYing. So I'm already wrapping, packing and waiting for the last few online purchases to meander their way into the mailbox for me to wrap.

So... among all of these thins I was doing over the weekend... I also went dollar bin diving at Target I love their dollar spot! Seriously those two little aisles are where I obtain about 90% of my stocking stuffers. Every Year. Seriously. I've found that the best way to get the best things is to go back every week and check what they have. I score some pretty awesome stuff there. Although I have to admit this has been one of their best years in a long time.

But other than all of the above, over the weekend I had breakfast with my mother in law and her boyfriend, caught up on a couple of shows I have been watching...(Sherlock, revenge, how to get away with murder etc. ) I broke my phone charging cord and had to Amazon buy myself a new one with my Prime two day shipping, and finally... My husband and I went shopping at Costco. So many samples were eaten that day. Sooo many. 

How did you guys spend last weekend?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DIY Skull Bookend

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift

Hey Guys! 

So I'm going to admit, that not everything I do is a completely original idea. Not all of us are craft masterminds. I found this on Pinterest from a blog called Curbly. That is the original link to the post where I got the idea. The major difference I made between theirs and mine... Is that I also used a backpiece, rather than just a bottom piece; also I sat the face of mine up higher.   

What you need for this project is:

  • Dollar Tree plastic skull
  • Sand (a pretty decent amount) 
  • A drill bit, or similar object that can be used to make a hole in the back of the skull
  • E6000 glue. 
  • Your choice of spray paint colors
  • One piece of thin flat wood cut into two pieces. Mine is 6" wide, and was originally 18" long. I had it cut into  6 " piece and a 5" piece. 
  • Two thin long nails. 
  • Hammer
  • Patience 
  • A husband who you can suck into helping you with your craft projects (because lets be honest. It's more fun failing with friends!)

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift

This was the original Dollar Tree skull. It's a really light plastic with almost no weight to it. Which is precisely why you need the sand. It's not much of a bookend if the books push over the bookend. 

So my first two steps were to paint the wood pieces and drill a hole in the plastic skull. (Honestly I painted it first and then did the sand... and ended up having to re-paint. So I am trying to save ya'll from another of my mini-failures) I'm definitely not perfect guys. Honestly... I make about a minimum of three mistakes with just about everything I make. It's the crafters curse. It haunts me... but I just live with it. Mostly because my attempts at thwarting it usually fail. (i.e. Me using gloves to protect my hands from paint here, and I end up covering 1/2 of my legs in paint instead.)   Whoops! (Sorry again babe... I'll get you some more!) So I used a drill bit to drill through the back of the skull so that I had an area to pour the sand in. My friendly advice: don't drill in one of the flat spots that you plan to use to glue to the wood... if for some reason it doesn't stick, you will not only have a broken bookend... but sand all over the place as well. 

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift

After drilling I tried to use a paper funnel to pour my sand through. Another bad idea ya'll. It ended up all over me. Terrible idea. Just make a lager hole, use a real funnel, and it would also be a good idea to do the sand pouring over a bowl. So that way.. when it inevitably spills... it gets caught in the bowl, rather than stuck to the wet paint on your legs and all over your clothes. Again: Sydney's friendly advise. Here to save you from the crafters curse. Once I had all the sand in my skull I then had to think of a way to seal it in. The bright idea I came up with? I tore a piece from the plastic bag that I had from Lowe's from my recent shopping expedition, flipped the skull on its face, and used the E6000 to glue the piece of plastic to the back of the skull. It worked really well quite honestly. I let it dry for about two hours. 

Then, in my case I had to re-paint my skull... but if you followed my advise you should be painting it for the first time now. I chose Valspar Metallic Gold. I really like the black on gold color combination, it meshes well and also gives the project a bit of a personality.  

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift

Next: I had initially used liquid concrete glue and glued the two pieces of wood together, and then nailed them together as well. The glue was just an extra touch. A backup plan essentially. Which actually ended up being a failure. The liquid concrete interacted with the spray paint and just would not dry at all.  I also used it at the end when I was trying to glue the painted skull to the painted wood as well. Essentially all it managed to do was strip the paint from the skull and rub it all over the wood and vice-versa. I had to re-paint both pieces and hunt down my E6000. It was a failure guys. It was bad. Very bad. Not to mention I almost got it in m father-in-laws very expensive deck. Sorry Bob! (Good thing it was almost an accident and not actually an accident...) 

Last but not least... After finding a better glue for the project, I glued the skull to the wood and let it sit overnight. This is what my end result is. 

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift
Also... Just as a p.s. I had the intention of posting all of this on Sunday, but ended up having a bad allergic reaction to a mystery bug bite. I thought it was a mosquito, my husband thought it was a spider, and my Dr. wasn't sure which it was. So I ended up with a pretty big injection and some other stuff to help it go away. It was pretty bad on Monday morning, and I didn't give into going into the Dr's until Tuesday. I actually had a patient ask me if I had chicken pox, and another ask me if I had Ebola. So basically it was embarrassing, very embarrassing. 

But on that note.... What did you guys think of my Halloween DIY? Honestly... I think it will probably stick around all year. I'm quite fond of it. 

Diy skull bookend #skull #gold #halloween #fun #diy #painting #bookend #craft #present #gift #signature

Thursday, October 16, 2014

What I'm Working On...

Recently, I started a new job. It's fantastic and I love it. But it's been quite a transition for me. It can be very exhausting... Mentally and physically. 

So, at the end of my workday, I'm so completely drained that I don't want to do anything except watch a tv show, eat dinner and decompress. 

Because of the amount of stress that I deal with at work... The best part of my day tends to be the funny pictures my friends send me, and my lunch break... Where I eat excessive amounts of sushi, read a book, and dance around at a table with my headphones in. I look crazy ya'll. But it makes me happy... So the looking like a psycho is so worth it. Especially because at the end of my lunch, I'm able to walk back in to work with a smile on my face and talk to the hundredth patient of the day who thinks they have Ebola, because they have a fever. 

So if I haven't already made it obvious enough... I haven't done anything this entire workweek that's productive as far as decorating, and crafting goes. Clearly, that's what weekends are made for. Crafting, reading and planned naps. 

So while I don't have anything finished to share with you guys today... I have many things in the works. Last weekend when I was making those DIY Office Shelves I actually was working on about 5 other projects at the same time. I had a mass spray painting party in the backyard. It was crazy, even my industrial gloves couldn't save me from a mess. I ended up accidentally painting my feet white, my toes gold, and some teal even managed to get on my shins. (Please don't ask me how I managed that... because truly I do not know.) Also... My husbands sandals managed to get painted too, all because I was too lazy to walk upstairs to get my own. Oops. (One of the hazards of being the husband of a very crafty woman.)

But here is a sneak peek of some of the projects I have in the works. 

Mass spray paint party, where everything gets painted... including your feet. 

See the red spots at the top of my feet... Yeah... That's not red. That's just my normal skin color... The rest looks so weird... because my shins are blue, my feet are stark white, and my big toe on my left foot managed to get gold on it. I have no idea... Seriously trying to keep clean during a craft project is a lost cause. 

There was actually more projects laying around being painted too... They just happen to not be in this picture. But I don't want to spoil all of the fun in just one post! I'll be back at the beginning of the week to elaborate on another of the projects I started last weekend. 

P.S. Someone, somewhere... please tell me that I am not the only one who ends up a multi-colored mess at the end of a craft project.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

DIY Shelves

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney

Good Afternoon everyone!

I am writing today to show you the new shelves I made for my office area. I have been wanting some for a few weeks, but everywhere I looked they were about $30-$50 a pop for the size that I was wanting. Which is way too painful on the wallet for my tastes. So... I decided that a good choice would be to just make them myself; this choice also came with an added bonus of not getting crappy overpriced particle board. (Because bleh, particle board is essentially the bane of my existence. I abhor it ya'll.) 

So for this project I went to Lowe's for my supplies. 

  • 8x10 Pine Plank (cut in half by the staff at the store)
  • 2 sets of brackets. (I chose more expensive pretty ones, because industrial style just isn't my forte) Just an FYI for all of you, they have brackets in three separate areas of the store. Two separate males pointed me to two of the aisles, and after realizing they only were the ugly (to me) industrial ones, I went in search for a female. Let's be honest ya'll... you ask a guy for something pretty and they all just look at you like you're 80 and wearing a mumu. So, after finally finding a girl I was pointed in another area that did have multiple choices of "prettier" style brackets. Estrogen ya'll, it's useful. 
  • 3/4 inch screws. The brackets I chose came in a package that had it's own hardware... but the screws were a bit too long. If I were to use them, the screw would have come through the top of the shelf. No bueno on that one. 
  • Spray paint. I chose a pretty mix between teal and green to match the color in my curtains for the wood, and metallic gold for the brackets. I didn't want to use white because the walls are white and I wanted them to stand out. Another FYI: I actually ran out of spray paint when I was about 90% done with the second board, and had to go buy more. I would advise getting two and just returning it if you don't end up using it. 
  • Sandpaper. Not a whole lot is needed... it's basically just to smooth the edges where it was cut. 

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney
This is the cut wood before sanding the edges and painting. 
Random side note: My husband is a HUGE fan of plain wood. If it was his choice the whole house would be red wood and other stained pieces. Me: I just want to paint everything. I'm not a big fan of plain wood. 

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney

The brackets I chose Plus the hardware included. They were about $9 for the set. Please don't mind the dirty table y'all. It's patio furniture. Let's just ignore it.

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney

Preparing to paint. 
DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney #red #ginger #crafty #blueeyes
Don't mind me in my industrial cleaning gloves while spray painting. I am a master at being terribly clutzy and messy, so they're kind of a requirement for me. Otherwise I end up looking like a multi-colored idiot. Plus the stuff is a pain in the rear to get off. 

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney

Finally I dragged my husband out to help me with the power tools. I got to say that I am absolutely in love with the color of these. (I'm so excited to get the office space all set up. But there will be more blog posts to follow on that matter!) 

DIY Shelves #shelves #diy #office #teal #green #gold #pretty #homemade #spraypaint #paint #powertools #blog #savvysydney #savvy #sydney

So what do you guys think? How do you feel about making your own? 

P.S. I'll be back later this week with another DIY that I have in the process right now! Have a great night! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DIY Zelda Themed Cross Stitch

DIY Zelda Themed Cross Stitch I #pinterest #blogging #blog #diy #Sydney #cross stitch #zelda #boss #key #heart #yougavemethekeytoyourheart  #savvy #rupees #link #craft #diygift #giftideas #christmas #valentines #birthday #presentsformen #fathersday

Hey Guys!

Today I have a DIY that I have done in the past. I made it as a gift for Valentines day for my husband. If you don't already know... I would explain the two of us as a moderate to severe geeky/nerdy couple. WOW, Naruto, Zelda, Marvel Comics, Comic-Con, Big Bang Theory, Pokemon,  Old School Mario; kind of geeky. Basically were awesome; awesome children stuck in adult sized bodies. It happens. 
I feel like this accurately describes my previous sentiment. Children. Children I say.

So this year, when Valentines day rolled around, I was BROKE. Gotta love student loans and the increasing gas prices in California. Not to mention buying gifts for my husband is next to impossible. The man buys everything he wants or needs. So I have to rely on ingenuity and pure luck to be able to get him a gift that he doesn't already have. Guys say girls are difficult, but really it's the guys who are difficult. Make a girl dinner that's not burnt, get her flowers that aren't dead, and some chocolate that you didn't eat half of... and were happy. Simplicity ladies and gentlemen. It's fantastic. 

So as I was saying... I had to find something cheap, easy and not too time consuming. (At the time I was a full time student, had a full time job, and my part time job in the military. I was a very busy lady. ) I was searching through Pinterest for an idea, because I was irrevocably at a loss for what to make or get for my husband. I stumbled across an absolutely fantastic Zelda quilt on Etsy. I WAS IN LOVE. Then I clicked the link and saw the price. I was so very not in love with that. It was almost $300.  So I started thinking of alternative ideas. Now, I am quite decent at sewing, and have made a few quilts. But... I already had plans to make my husband a Marvel Comics Quilt for his birthday. So I quickly nixed that idea, But a simpler idea came to me. I decided that I could make a cross stitch in a Zelda theme. I tossed around a few ideas, but finally settled with the idea of using a Boss Key somewhere in the design. I finally picked "You gave me the key to your Heart" In my design I even used an actual Boss Key from Zelda: A Link To The Past. (For you non-nerds... it's the key that you use in the game to open the doors to the Boss's Lair so that you can clear the dungeon.)

This is what the final design looks like. I also framed it and hung it up in his office area. I do have a few more Zelda themed ideas that I would like to eventually make for him. But for now, he just has the one. 

For this Cross Stitch I used:

  • Black Embroidery Thread
  • Goldrenrod Embroidery Thread
  • Yellow Embroidery Thread
  • Metallic Red Embroidery Thread (It's very hard to work with, If I did it again... I would use regular red.)
  • Needle
  • Aida Fabric to Cross Stitch on
  • Pencil
  • Iron
  • 16x20 Matted Frame
I didn't have a template for the design as it was an original idea, so with a lot of trial and error I finally finished drawing the design directly onto the fabric with a pencil. I then started stitching. It was really simple until I hit the red thread. I had chosen the metallic version of the red embroidery thread... and boy did I regret it. It was horrible. I got so frustrated after about the 6th time the thread frayed and broke that I threw the cross stitch and cried. Yes. I cried. Over thread. Not my finest moment. But it was literally already Valentines day and I only had about another hour before my husband was going to be home. P.S. I am a HUGE procrastinator y'all. Like I said earlier... I needed a project that was not too time consuming. I should have mentioned that I started this two days before Valentines, and that I only had two hours each day to work on it before my husband got home from work. So I finally picked it back up and dealt with my thread problem. I found the easiest way to deal with the evil thread is to use short manageable pieces. It took more time and thread to do it that way, but at least I wasn't crying anymore. 

After I finished the sewing, I ironed my design. Word to the wise... Iron from the back and not on the front. I've ruined one before because water was on the fabric and it left a super terrible yellow mark all over it. I framed my work and hung it with about 45 minutes before he got home. I was cutting it close, but honestly it came out wonderfully. I'm super happy with it, and most of all... My husband really likes it. Even when we moved, once we got to the new place he hung it right over his computer. 

So what do you think of it?