Category Archives: Crafts

The Printable Bug

Perhaps it is well known to many of you out there, but I have only recently discovered the trend of “printables” out there on the wide world web. From cupcake toppers to patriotic 4th of July quotes to cute coloring pages, whatever the style and whatever the purpose, you can download them online and your printer will spit them out. Though I’m not necessarily downloading every single one out there (I’m not so cute as to bake cupcakes, much less top them with anything so adorable, nor am I so patriotic as to display anything about the US of A), I think the general idea is pretty sweet.

So, as inspired partly by this beautiful printable (which is the first one that caught my eye), I have made and am now posting my first self-made printable in honor of my graduation from failed to novice gardener. You can read about my new, very exciting success in my last post, Brown Thumb Vanquished!

Here is the printable as a blank slate. Click on the words Just Keep Growing to download for free and color yourself!

Just Keep Growing Image



Here I am coloring it. Now you all know that I let my fingernails get to this shameless point. *Sigh*photo (60)

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And here it is when I was finished with it:

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 Again, if you have a green thumb to celebrate, or want a reminder to inner self … or just like coloring …  you can click on the words Just Keep Growing to download for free and color yourself! Heads up – It goes on 11×17 inch paper.


Moral of the Day

Dark chocolate (we’re talkin’ 85%+) is a frequent treat in our cupboards.

This morning (yes, morning, don’t judge) Daniel asked me if I would like a square of our Blackout dark chocolate. As it is delicious, I accepted.

It turns out, after one square … I really wanted another. So I proposed we each have another, but Daniel hesitated. I suppose his conscience began whispering, “It’s morning” on his shoulder just about then. But rather than leave myself at the mercy of his unpredictable answer, I swiped the foil-wrapped goodness off the counter, placed one square in his hand and the other one in mine.

However, along with that piece of chocolate, I offered a piece of sage advice:

“Never give a girl a piece of chocolate unless you’re prepared to give her another.” 

This little nugget of wisdom, or “moral of the day” inspired two pieces of art in our household today…

Inspired Artwork #1) This drawing by moi.


Inspired Artwork #2) This message, by Daniel, on our fridge with those wonderful magnetic letters.


… which then got rearranged to form this:


Fun in the apartment this spring break!

Fun with Magnetic Letters

It has been a long time since my last post!

There was a project dry spell for a while. Then when I got started again, like a person given a glass of water after a terrible thirst, I just drank and drank (arted and crafted) without stopping to breathe (post).

Here is one of my recent projects. No genius here. As a teacher I had a ton of colorful magnetic letters, that it turns out I really don’t need anymore … at least not in the numbers I had them.


I had the thought to spray paint them, and was so proud of my unique idea … until I found about a million pins on Pinterest of people doing the same.

However, the big “in” thing is gold. And I dig it. Nothing against gold. But it wasn’t really what I wanted for our kitchen. So I just went black.

So still unbeknownst to the apartment building owner (whew), I took the letters out on a big sheet of cardboard to paint them such.


I cleared the rest of the clutter off our icy friend to leave it just simple black and white. Two of each letter stay on the fridge for easy access, and the rest go back in the green tub to avoid cluttering the fridge too much. Turns out these letters are a lot of fun!

Daniel’s and my routine has become the following:

I write a message. Later I walk in to find Daniel has changed around the letters to spell something entirely different (which may or may not make sense). Here are just a few examples…


Good morning” becomes “Goon dorming.”



What’s for dinner?” becomes “Finned thor wars.”


 IMG_1286   IMG_1287

Hello Handsome” becomes “No sad hell home” or “Mend shoal hole.”

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So spiky” (Don’t ask. We’ve been watching a British show.) becomes “OK Pissy.”

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and “Weekend fun” becomes “We need funk.” Same thing, really.

It turns out “I’m too bootylicious” has too many Os and Is to re-spell anything. Here are some of our attempts:


“I’m too bootylicious” becomes …

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And finally, success!


“Oily tooticious mob.” Indeed.

And then sometimes they just get left to be nice.


Recycled Christmas

Already on my second blog post ever, I am veering from my main purpose. Let’s take a jaunt off our “home improvement” course onto the side street of one of my favorite things … crafts!

I believe I mentioned I am operating on a budget. I also somewhat abhor the wastefulness of Christmas … wrapping paper all over the place … cards … gifts upon gifts … stocking stuffers … stockings themselves. Not to mention the energy of all those Christmas lights! (Though I must admit I am a sucker for those lights). Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays as much as the next person. But this last Christmas 2013, Daniel and I made a special effort to minimize, reuse, reduce, and recycle.

My first project were homemade, personalized Christmas cards! I searched for funky images in magazines (National Geographic, Vogue, Psychology Today…) and cut them out. Once I had my treasure trove of pictures, I pulled out a nice black pen (rather, stole borrowed from Daniel’s very classy pen collection), and my old set of pastels to create a holiday arrangement and message. Here are a few examples…



That’s right. Fashion models get excited.Image

A muddy inundation in National Geographic suddenly becomes hot chocolate with some imagination. 🙂ImageAlfred Hitchcock, you’ve never been so festive.

ImageThe only reason I could make this one is because I am lucky enough to have friends in cold places to remind me how happy I am to live in Texas!


Not afraid to be cheesy.

We also seem to have begun a tradition of handmade (recycled) Christmas trees. Here is our Christmas tree from 2012 when we actually spent the $20 on one of those miniatures from Whole Foods. There was a great piece in a National Geographic on the redwood forest with one of those great big fold outs with all of the creatures, tiny and not-so-tiny, that inhabit those great trees. We cut out some of our favorites, hot-glued short pipe-cleaners to the back, and twisted those around the branches so that we could have some of our redwood friends on our Christmas tree at home with us.


ImageAnd here is our most recent Christmas tree from 2013. This time we used book pages from an old Nancy Drew book to make paper snowflakes (which we also put in the window … shame on me for not taking pictures). This time we didn’t even spend the $20 at Whole Foods. Instead we collected branches from around the neighborhood.

ImageBesides the re-gifted gift bags, the two in front were using paper bags. (See Banana Republic? It had the help of some colored Sharpie art.)


Here’s some more on that recycled gift wrap. From all those times we forgot to take our reusable grocery bags into Wheatsville or Whole Foods with us, we had a collection of paper bags accumulating under the sink, growing to a worrisome height so that it was reaching its cupboard limits! So … get out the coloring supplies and reuse, recycle!

ImagePlease don’t miss the poetry by subtraction. I was in fact inspired by a link a wonderful friend had sent me, here.

Well, new friends. Despite the holidays being over, perhaps this was of some entertainment at the very least. Does anyone else have some creative holiday decor/gift wrap/gifting ideas you can share?