pinned it, did it 11: knit house dishcloth

It's been forevah since I did a pinned it, did it post. Actually it's been forevah since I've done anything inspired by something on Pinterest. I bet you wish it would be forevah until you had to read "forevah" again. I'm done. Really. 

After I saw Casey's post of the cute dishcloth she made, I had to buy the pattern and knit one for Sawyer. It was a really fast knit - only a few hours. The pattern is Nineteen Hundred House Dishcloth. I have to say - it felt good to get out my knitting needles and get to work. It's been a while.



the best spam comment ever.

As a blogger you have to make some tough choices. Sponsors or not? Blogger or Wordpress? How about whether or not you are going to subject your readers to those torturous word scramble things or just let anyone comment willy-nilly without high risk security clearance intelligence testing. 

I've chosen to forgo the word scramble and let anyone comment, knowing I am going to get the occasional spammer. It happens. Once it happened to like 30 of my posts all at once. Awesome. 

Still I forge on, brave in the face of ficticitious commenters trying to sell me business cards, iPhone skins, toys from China, etc. 

I might just have to draw the line though. Now they are targeting my son. Yes, my sweet two year old boy with his young, impressionable mind. 

"He is adorable. It's nice that he agrees to go have a haircut. It won't look great if he has long hair. He might look like he is wearing wigs and weaves." 

I really lol'ed when I got this email. I just picture my kid with a long weave on his tiny little head. Absurd.

And just in case jamie stint is a real person (I wouldn't know because I won't click on the link for fear of having my identity stolen through a link to weaves), this is the weirdest comment ever. 



tutorial: washi tape stickers

(This was originally posted at Lines Across as a guest post I did for her Craft Stash Bash series.)

Doesn't it seem like with every new trend comes a new stash? Such is the case with washi tape. 

I like the texture and look of washi tape and decided to turn it into stickers. I came up with a few ways to turn your growing tape collection into fun embellishments. 

What you'll need:
 -washi tape 
-craft punches
-wax paper
-stuff to decorate 

The first idea involves using a larger punch to make stickers.
Cut a small piece of wax paper and stick your tape to the shiny side. You'll want the pieces of tape to slightly overlap to form a large surface area to punch from. Punch out your shapes, peel, and stick. Like I said, this method works best for larger punches. The wax paper can be a little challenging to peel away from the back, but it is less of a problem with bigger punches. I used my pennant punch-outs to decorate a plain notebook.

Say you really like the idea of using a punch to make stickers, but you don't have a big punch. Well, I figured that out too. 

Cut two small pieces of wax paper and lay them so that they are overlapping by about 1/4". 

Stick your tape down over the overlapped area of wax paper. 

About 1/2" down from the overlapped wax paper line, cut off the excess. You don't have to waste as much tape as I did - I just did that for the sake of pictures. The things we do for blogging!

Now you are ready to put that small punch to work. You are going to punch directly over the overlapped wax paper. 

oooh pretty!

See what we've done here? By punching over the overlapped wax paper a sort of tab is created so that peeling the wax paper off is easy. Think about unpeeling a band-aid. It sort of opens up and you peel away the paper so you can stick it. It's like that. 

I just stuck the teeny little hearts on another notebook. I can't vouch for the permanence of these sweet little stickers. I plan on using this as a scratch pad next to my computer, so it won't be moving in and out of a bag or scraping against other books. Sort of a bummer if you are wanting to carry your washi stickers around.

So, we've used big punches, solved the problem of using small punches, and now there is the issue of our washi stickers possibly being damaged as they get shuffled around. Solution? Put them under something.

Like a clear phone case.

I didn't even use a punch for these. I just traced the circles using a dime, cut them out, and stuck them on my phone. The clear case I have holds them down and keeps them from being damaged in the hustle and bustle. (Please put stickers on your phone at your own risk. I figure if my phone has survived my toddler, it can survive a few stickers. Like I said. At your own risk.)

There you have it.



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washi tape guest post

I had a guest post this week over at Lines Across as part of her Craft Stash Bash series. While I didn't do much stash busting, I did make stickers out of washi tape. Check it out here

I am writing this post really quickly, in between rushing around trying to pick up the house and get ready for a babysitter tonight. Anderson and I are going out on a date tonight, which pretty much never happens. We're going to an outdoor theater production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Oh, I'm so excited and so happy to have a husband that takes me to Broadway shows. He's the best.

Hope you all have a happy weekend!



tutorial: diy book iphone dock

I am happy to share with you the newest addition to our bedroom makeover: 

A book iPhone dock. 

There are SO many iPhone docks out there. Most of them have a modern, very electronic look to them or they just take up a lot of room. I went without one for a month or so, just using my charger cord. It wasn't working out. The cord would always fall behind my bed when I unplugged it and I couldn't see the display in the middle of the night when I wake up and just have to know what time it is so I can calculate how many more hours I get to sleep(anyone else do that?)

After seeing this tutorial at the DIY treatment, I set out to try to make one for myself. I went ahead and made my own tutorial because I did a few things differently and wanted to explain each step thoroughly.

Let's start by going over the tools you'll need to get started:

  • a drill/drill bit
  • sharp scissors (smaller ones work best)
  • pencil
  • exact-o knife
  • ruler
  • metal files
  • binder clip
You'll also need a book of your choice and your iPhone charger. I picked up my book at an antique mall because I really loved the mint cover. I have no idea what the book is even about. 

Begin by choosing a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the width of your charger. You are shooting for a really snug fit around the white part of your charger. Measure and mark the width of your charger so you know where to drill the two holes that will form the long slot where the charger will go. 

Drill your holes deep enough to break through the cover. You'll probably drill through a few pages and that's ok. It will come in handy once you start cutting through the pages. You'll see.

After you have drilled the holes, use your exact-o knife to cut the middle piece of the cover out. 

At this point the slot for the charger should be a little too small, and this is actually the way you want it. If you have made the holes too big, the charger won't fit snugly and won't give your phone the support to stand up. To solve the "too small to fit" problem, I used a metal file to very gradually widen the space. File a little, see if your charger fits, file a little more, check again until finally you can wedge it in there. 

This is a little time consuming, I'm not gonna lie. Just be patient. Put some 30 Rock on Netflix while you work and it'll go by quick. 

At this point the inside cover of your book probably looks something like this. You should be able to see the spots from the holes you drilled through your cover. Using those two dots as a guide, draw a rectangle around the charger area and then a long channel for the cord. 

Using really sharp scissors, cut along the line you just drew. I cut through about 10 pages at a time. After you have cut through your pages, use this cut out channel as the template on your next page by tracing inside of the channel. 

I found it helpful to use a binder clip to hold my already cut pages back while I cut the next pages. 

After cutting and cutting and starting another episode of 30 rock and cutting some more, your book will start to look like this. Once you have cut 40 or 50 pages, you'll need to start testing how much more you need to cut. 

Put your charger in, close the book, and see if you need to keep cutting pages. Th goal is for the white part of the charger to sit flush with the cover of the book. 

If you wanted you could glue the pages together, but I haven't felt the need to. My book dock is holding up nicely so far. And even if it "wears out" in a few months, I can just buy another book from the thrift store and make another. This project took me a little over an hour to make, so it's not a huge time investment. You just have to be patient. 

I am really pleased with how it turned out. When I take my phone off the charger, it is hardly even noticeable. 

I am not familiar with all the other kinds of phones and chargers out there, but this might be an adaptable project. I'm really glad I spent the time getting it done. It's the little things like this that make a space calmer and happier for me, and I'm one step closer to a finished bedroom.

Later on this week, I'll share my curtains and headboard. I just have to clean up our room enough to snap some pictures.

Have a great week everyone!



stitching and curtains

I'm over at 30 Handmade Days today sharing a tutorial for stitching lazy daisies. Click here to check it out. It just might be the only crafty thing you see from me all week. I am really trying to finish up the curtains in our bedroom so I have something from our room redo to share. It seems like I started this room thing forever ago. If only money, energy, and time were unlimited. And if only I didn't hate sewing.

I have one set done and I am honestly not sure how I like them. Since I spent the money, I am going to finish making them and then live with them for a while to see how I feel. What is really making me stubborn about sticking with the fabric is the fact that the rude fabric lady at JoAnn's told me it was not good curtain fabric. Actually here exact words were "You are making curtains out of this?" Uhm, yes, judgy fabric expert. That is the last time I ever answer their never failing "So what are you making?" questions. Next time they ask I think a nice 10 second deadpan stare will do the trick.

I think this post just turned weird. 

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that I also got a headboard off of Craigslist. Only $10! It has some scratches so I need to work on it, but it is the perfect headboard for our nightstands. I'll share that as well when I finish the curtains.

I'm off to read watch Master Chef.



whiny mcwhinerson

This week has been one of the most emotional weeks I have had in a long time, for reasons that are actually justifiable. I have some pretty emotional weeks due to important things like having nothing to wear, worrying about what job I will have in 5 years, my messy house, and a myriad of other stupid things that I work myself up about. Not this week. This week is a rough week, for reasons that warrant legitimate emotion. It's my pity party and I'll cry if I want to.

Let's start with last Thursday. My computer went crazy and everything disappeared. I don't really care about the computer itself, but I had made the colossal mistake of storing ALL of our family pictures only on my computer. It wasn't backed up and I didn't have digital copies of our pictures anywhere else. All of the pictures we have of Sawyer growing up, all of our vacation pics, all of our professional family pics. You guys. I didn't just cry. I wailed. I ugly cried, I dramatic cried, I cried most of the night, I cried on the way to work the next day. It was hideous, but I think the loss of pretty much all of our pictures deserved the ugliest cry I could muster. For three days I lived in desperation as we waited to try to get the computer looked at. Thankfully on Sunday a friend from church took my computer and fixed it all up (that's the technical phrase). He removed the virus that was hiding all of my files and restored everything. When we got the call that my computer and pictures were saved, I ugly cried some more, this time while I was cooking. I hope my family enjoyed the addition of tears in their dinner.

So that was that. Pictures gone - sad ugly cry. Pictures saved - happy ugly cry.

Cue Monday. Oh Monday was a day. First up, we dropped off Sawyer for his first day of preschool.

This wasn't worthy of an ugly cry. I shed a few proud tears, the kind where you lament the swift passing of time. I am actually happy he is starting school (more cute first day of school pics and a post to come). I think his first day of preschool wouldn't have been so hard for me if I didn't have to go do what I had to do after that.

After I dropped my one and only baby off at school, I had to go say goodbye to my sister, my very best friend. She and her husband are moving to Oklahoma. I was pretty much holding it together until I gave her a hug bye and she said "I love you" and then I couldn't keep it together. I had to go to work after that, so I just cried my little heart out all the way to work. I bet I was a sight. You know the phenomenon where people think that other drivers can't see them in their cars? Like when grown adults pick their nose while driving? Yeah, I realized when I got to work that every person that saw me was probably really alarmed at the wailing lady in the car. hm. At least I wasn't picking my nose.

Then on Tuesday, I found out one of my good friends at work got a new job and would also be moving away. I bet you're shocked to find out I cried some more. I can't be too sad about this news though because I am so happy for her. Selfishly sad for me, but really glad for her.

I don't really know why I just spent an hour writing/whining about my hard week. Whenever I write a post, I try to think about how I would perceive a post like this if I read it on someone else's blog. Well, I can say that I would think this post is kind of whiny and sad. I'm telling myself it's ok. Life can be sad and hard sometimes. You can go through rough stuff and then whine about it to your friends and then move on. I'm in the process of moving on. 

I have a couple of guest posts coming up, so you'll see some crafty things coming from me soon. About time, right?



just in case you were wondering

Things might be quieter than they usually are around here. On Thursday night my computer crashed, sending me into a wailing, sobbing fit as I realized that all of our family pictures are on there, as well as all of my blog pictures and our documents. We are fairly confident that we can recover them, it is just a matter of finding someone to do it and/or coughing up the cash to get it done. We have my husband's laptop (which I am writing this on), but I don't want to take it over for the purposes of my blog.

In the meantime I am trying to enjoy the forced downtime. Yesterday I splurged and got a much needed manicure. I have also been reading a lot more than I have in the past two and a half years. I finished One Thousand White Women on Wednesday. It was a pretty good book. I'd give it a 7/10. How's that for a book review? I just started Bloom on Friday and - oh my - is it a tear jerker. By the fourth page I was crying and I don't think I will be able to read any part of it with a dry eye. I've also ordered a few more books from Amazon. It feels so good to just read for fun, not for work or to learn about toddler development or catch up on blogs.

Anderson and I have also been spending more time watching tv together. We are ok with spending our time alone watching movies or tv and you better believe we have a big old marriage killing tv in our bedroom as well. One of our favorite times of the day is finally crashing into bed and cracking up watching Big Bang Theory or Conan. 

 Of course I am spending lots of time with Sawyer as well. He is busy all the time (translate: a fast moving, house wrecking, train wielding, cracker crumb producing wild child) and always on the go. I don't think there is any down time with him. 

I also don't even want to mention the fact that my baby is starting preschool on Monday and my sister is moving to Oklahoma this week. Add that to the fact that all of my precious family pictures are being held hostage on my screwed up computer and you can say that I am an emotional wreck. Maybe it's a good thing I am going to be laying low until my computer is replaced. It could get all emo up in here, complete with sidelong glancing self portraits.