Archives for July 2012
You know you are *Officially Nonathletic* when it takes an Ab Fab 20th Anniversary Olympic Special to get you excited about the games.
…but now that I watched the special last night, I’m all hopped up on adrenaline and athletic fervor. I feel like getting sweaty. Or riding a bike. Or wearing something spandex with a big black swoosh on it.
Tonight, I might just put on some sweat pants and run to the store for daiquiri mix.
Let the games begin!
Update:An hour after I posted this picture it happened in real life. Crazy!!
Update: A couple people asked me when the Ab Fab Olympic special will re-air. Answer: I don’t know. If you know, chime in the comments. I do know it was part of the 20th anniversary series — If you missed out on them, you can watch some episodes online courtesy of LOGO.
Another Update: Yes, you can tell how I photoshoped this by looking at the shadow on her lapel. Caution: Booze and inextinguishable flames don’t mix!
But, but, but, but, BUT…they got a whole lot prettier when I discovered this body scrub recipe last summer.
******* 27 Ways to Use Coconut Oil *******
- Soothe chronic ulcers (Doctor oz does a good job of explaining how this works)
- Diaper rash reliever (a friend of mine with three kids swears it works better than Desitin)
- Breast feeding aid (certified organic coconut oil is an excellent anti-chafing balm for nursing mothers)
- Condition wooden spoons, serving bowls and cutting boards
- Tame dry ends (rub a small amount between fingers and run over the end of your hair before brushing)
- Rub on psoriasis and eczema plaques to help heal irritation (side note testimony: my own eczema improved significantly when I switched to coconut oil soap several years ago — far more helpful than any $100 prescription soap or tube of cream)
- Pet-Friendly digestion aid (add ½ a teaspoon to dog or cat food to aid digestion and relieve constipation)
- Oil pulling (I know several people who swear by this)
- Use as shaving cream on legs or face
- Cream foundation base (in the palm of your hand, mix a dab of coconut oil with powdered mineral foundation to create a matching cream foundation for around the eyes/mouth area)
- Deep conditioning hair mask (mix 2Tbs coconut oil + 2Tbs of real mayonnaise (ie: not miracle whip) then rub all over hair starting from the bottom up, put on shower cap and rest for 30 minutes before rinsing)
- Magic shell (melt chocolate chips and mix with a spoon full of coconut oil. When you pour over ice cream it will harden off just like the magic shell stuff).
- Help heal stretch marks (especially if you rub it in before the stretching starts)
- Homemade Vapo Rub (mix 2 Tbs of solid coconut oil with 3 drops of tee tree oil and 3 drops rosemary oil. (I also like to add a few drops of Olbas oil) and rub on chest and neck to relieve congestion)
- Guitar string cleaner
- Kill head lice (for real)
- Facial scrub (mix with equal parts sugar and baking soda for a brightening facial scrub)
- Whitening tooth paste (mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda)
- Eye make-up remover (added benefit — after you smear away the makeup, the residue will sit on your skin all night as a mega moisturizing eye cream)
- Massage Oil
- Substitute for olive oil in cooking (I have found that most of the coconut flavor disappears with exposure to heat or any sort of spices – some people are more sensitive to the taste than others, though)
- Frozen facial mask (mix with egg and honey for a frozen facial mask)
- Deodorant base (smear a small amount on *clean* underarms and sprinkle with baby powder or cornstarch Or follow this recipe to make a real bar)
- Healing ointment (use to help heal and seal small cuts, bee stings, minor burns or skin irritations)
- Schmutz remover (mix with baking soda as a substitute for Goo-Gone or similar — get gum out of hair and carpet as well)
- Leather sealant and conditioner (dribble a small amount into a rag and rub on shoes or bags vigorously)
- Substitute for WD-40
Just the same, I’m not letting that stop me — I made a small scale model to share with you guys today. I mean, someone out there must have a baby shower or birthday party or some fun occasion to make them, right?
These are so fun and delicate looking. I chose a color scheme somewhere between rainbow and Easter egg, but you could customize as you like or leave them all white and use them for a bridal shower. Or go crazy and tie-dye. Or use markers and write messages and stuff. Wouldn’t that be fun?
- 40 Paper Doilies ($3.00 at the party supply store)
- Watercolor paint (don’t tell me you don’t already own this — no creative person can live without!)
- Tissue paper cut into roughly 4″ strips (any old rumpled paper will do just fine)
- Sewing machine (or staples — see below)
Working in stacks of two or three, use watercolor paint to cover the perimeter of each doily and hang to dry. Working is small stacks will help to stabilize the delicate paper and prevent the laciest parts from tearing, but thick stacks will leave bald batches and that’s no goo good. Unless of course you like bald patches. I myself am not opposed 🙂
I chose to iron my doilies (sandwiched between an old napkin) because they rippled up after drying in direct sun, but you could probably skip that step if your doilies dried slower and are still reasonably flat.
After they are dry, arrange your doilies in stacks of three, fold in half and cut out the solid patch in the middle, creating a ‘window effect.’
Now for the sewing; using a small stitch (the #2 setting on my machine), begin sewing a straight line down the tissue paper, then a few inches in, insert the stack of three doilies and continue. As long as the stitches are small and the needle is sharp, the machine should have no trouble sewing through paper at all. In fact, if you have never tried sewing paper before, this is a good project to start with.
To stitch multiple spinners on each strand (I did two to four on each) continue sewing a few inches past the stack of three doilies, then insert another stack. Repeat as desired. When you are finished adding spinners, pull at least 18″ of unused thread before cutting (that will be how you hang it).
*No sew alternative: Skip the stitching and use a couple of staples instead. You might need to skip the cut-out window in the middle, but they would still be pretty darn nifty. Hang with a single piece of thread looped through the top staple.
While they are still attached to the tissue paper, carry the garlands to the location where you will hang them. On a solid surface, flip them over, tear away tissue paper, and immediately hang. I taped mine to a lighting fixture, but they are very light weight and could go just about anywhere.
Important: these garlands tangle very easily. Avoid snags and tears by leaving them flat and attached to the tissue until the last minute, then hang them in place and individually pull them apart.
You may or may not need to crease the doilies so they stand out on their own. I found that sewing machine I’m tempted to see what happens if I snip the thread from the middle, but to tell you the truth, I sort of like it there. I don’t mind lose threads. They only add to the delicacy and daintiness, you know?
You can see what I mean about those bald patches I mentioned earlier — above on the right — see it’s a mix of white and orange? The paint did not fully saturate. It’s not what I was going for but I sort of like it. I appreciate a happy accident, don’t you?
They flutter and spin with even the slightest breeze. I could stare at them for ages.
Not bad for $3.00.
|Living room: Chocolate Shake Greige with a Tomato colored couch.|
I am painting my doors.
All of them.
Most of them have gaps at the top and need to be rehung and/or sanded down anyway, so as long as they are coming down they are getting a facelift. Not that they need it or anything — I have great doors. I love my doors.
One of the first things I noticed about this place was the doors — they are nice and sturdy Midwestern farm house doors with substantial molding in every room. Even the bathroom. Nothing fancy but they lend a lot of character and I have wanted to paint them each a different color for months. Months I tell you. Probably since moving day last fall. But I resisted because, 1. I wanted to live in the space a while before making a color decision, and 2. To get a rich, saturated color I’m going to need to use oil-based paint, which means I will need to keep the windows open for 24 hours or more (and in my neck of the woods, with my allergies, late summer is the only time of the year I can do that).
So it looks like I’m about to embark on a door painting blitz and I’m starting with the living room.
Initially I was thinking red doors. Red doors are classic, no? But then I bought a ginormous reddish-orange couch (cushion pictured at the bottom) and that’s too matchy-matchy for me. According to Ye Ol’ Color Wheel, the exact opposite of the tomato color couch is teal. I never thought about teal doors before but the idea is growing on me. But is a teal a happy color? Maybe I would be better with yellow. Then again, yellow might not look that nice in gloss lacquer next to brass hardware. It needs to be dark. What about Navy? Is Navy too boring? Maybe Navy would look better in the kitchen with the hot pink.
|Dark Teal | Red | Navy | Blue | Orange|
Generally, I like to consider myself a decisive person, especially when it comes to the look of things. I have never been one of those people who takes three friends to the dressing room to get outside opinions before buying something. I know what I like and get it. Period. But Geez, this door thing has thrown me for a loop! I can’t decide.
What do you guys think?
I’m open to suggestions. Anything. Anything but white.
Last week I mentioned how much a wanted to invite you over for margaritas and armadillo dip on the porch. And I meant it. I really would like to have you over and stuff.
However, I did not mean I would be serving you armadillo.
Please rest assured and know that, in my home, no armadillos will be hurt in the name of dip.
See, I had the impression that everyone knew what armadillo dip was. Like it was the peanut butter and jelly of hot dip or something, but apparently this is not the case. It is just me. It has other names to other people, like Rotell Dip or Cheesy Queso. I don’t know where the recipe originated or what it’s official name is, but I do know this: it’s damn good.
- One pound of ground meat, browned and seasoned. We always had it with ground beef but I have heard of people cutting back with ground turkey or chicken, or going whole hog with spicy Italian sausage. It’s a matter of preference. All I know is you brown it up and stuff.
- One brick of cream cheese. Throw it on the hot meat and watch it melt. (Can I just say how much fun it was to type that sentence?)
- One to two cans of 2 cans original Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles. Use one can if you want it super rich, use two cans if you prefer it spicy. You can substitute with a jar of salsa but it’s not the same. This one occasion when I am 100% brand loyal.
Mix it all together in an extra deep frying pan and serve in a fondue pot or crock pot. That’s it.
Now, you can also use one of those fancy hot dip warmer dishes with the candle underneath, but I am going to make the assumption that if you are fancy enough to own said dish, you are probably too fancy to enjoy a good scoop of armadillo dip. I’m not trying to peg anyone here, I just know a lot about dip and dipping people. This one is a crowd pleaser, but it is not for everyone. It’s a heavy dish but not too heavy to serve in the summer with a basket of homemade chips and a margarita on the porch.
…and while you are on the porch, I highly suggest you indulge in one of life’s greatest pleasures: porch dancing. Here, Abigail and Aunt Meghan will show you how it’s done.
|Vicki, Hailey, and Alexa having a good time at the iLovetoCreatebooth.|
5. If you have been following Craft Wars on TLC you will recognize this awesome play house! It was on display for a raffle (I didn’t win), but I do have Craft Wars to thank for one of the items on my bucket list: Watch a reality TV show in the presence of one of the people on the show. Well, lucky me, I got to watch Craft Wars in the presence of dozens of other crafters, including Craft Wars winner, Andrea Currie and her crafty sister Lisa Fulmer. I was so happy for them both!
I’m big on mermaids these days.
I’m not sure if it’s a trend, or if it’s because my two-year-old niece Abigail has thing for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, or if it’s because I want mermaid hair…but whatever it is, I like it.
Mermaids are turquoise. Mermaids are swirly. Mermaids are sequined.
In other words: what is there not to like?
I decided my house is far to pink and orange. I want some swirling turquoise flair. I want some mermaid….and now I have it. Shazam!
- Tulip Watercolor Tie-Dye Kit
- White Cotton (I used an old pillowcase)
- Permanent marker
- Spray bottle (optional)
If you have ever worked with tie dye before and liked the resulst but found the process messy or difficult to control, this kit is for you. It’s just the same as using a box set of watercolor paint except it’s fabric-safe. Just dip your brush in water, rub it around on the paint pot, and brush it over the fabric.If the color is too bright, just spray with water and watch the color run.
I stared with a basic chevron pattern as a base because I like the contrast between layers of geometric color and swirly, flowery black patterns on top. Alternatively, I could have drawn with the a marker first, then filled in the lines like a coloring book. Oh well, next time. I was in the mood for doodling this time. Then again, when am I not in the mood to doodle?
The end result was a little psychedelic looking. Not that psychedelic is a bad thing, but you know, this is my house. I want it to look like Under the Sea, not a Phish concert. So I tempered it by trimming the pillow with black and white stripe fabric. Cool beans, huh?
|This thing is so big the only place I could photograph it was the sun porch!|
You may or may not have noticed that I skipped the last couple of weeks of Friday Flower projects. Sorry y’all. Please know that it was not for lack of effort — I have been busy beavering away at a series of, wait for it, ….giant flowers.
Cool right — giant flowers? Doesn’t that sound fun? Don’t you want to make a great big batch of them and hand them out to everyone you know?
Well that’s too bad because none of them worked!
This sunflower, nice as it is, is nothing like I thought it would be. I’m about 80% satisfied with the results. I hesitated to even share it with y’all but the concept is solid, and, as this is the start of sunflower season, who am I to hold back? It’s sunny and summery and would be fun to make with munchkins. If/when I make a better sunflower I’ll be sure to share that too.
|Kiki was kind enough to model. If only I had asked her to wear skinny green pants for the occasion.|
Tangent: If you are into interior design books, I highly recommend this one. It’s classic interior design stuff but there is an infectious sense of joy underlying his designs that I don’t usually associate with big glossy decorating books. In short: this is a happy book. If you look through this thing and don’t ache for a trip to New Orleans, something is wrong with you. Plus, he has some really good tips on no-fail paint colors and lighting that I have never seen anywhere else. Plus, Mr. Batt is ridiculously handsome. Plus, you might already know him as Salvatore Romano from Mad Men, or a bunch of other places, but he will always be Sal the Art Director to me. *Sigh*And here is another tangent: Why aren’t there more graphic design professionals portrayed on film and in television? We only had ONE decent character and AMC up and plunked his butt. WTF? Seriously, you know what? How many lawyer/doctor/cop/government agent shows are there on TV? Too effing many. That’s what. Why don’t they make more shows about creative people? Why can’t they show people kerning fonts and preflighting page spreads? I’m tell you, it’s downright exciting. Someone should steal my idea here and make some money. Shhhhhh, I won’t tell.
- Thick brown craft paper
- Multiple colors of latex paint (leftover house paint does just fine)
- Hot Glue Gun
- One platter size lightweight/paper plate
- One dinner size lightweight/paper plate
For the center of the flower, cut three circles with painted edges. Again, no template here. Just cut the edges nice and jagged then fringe the perimeter. Do this on each circle, fold up the edges, then stack them inside of each other. This could be a small flower all by itself.For the center, cut a small circle of a lighter color, fringe the perimeter, and fold all the petals in on each other.
The critical base of this whole project is a lightweight bamboo/wicker/basket platter thing from the thrift store. If you have ever had cause to order catered food, chances are the food came delivered on one of these, but if you do not have one laying around in your garage already, I guarantee you, every thrift store in the country has a lightweight platter basket laying around on a shelf for 99cents or less. Yes, you could substitute with a big circle of cardboard but then you won’t get the lip around the edge that helps the petals curve inward a bit like a real flower.
For the bottom tier, adhere half the petals to the platter with hot glue. Now that I think about it, staples might work as well.
For the second tier, glue the remaining half of the petals to a reasonably sturdy paper plate and then glue the back of the paper plate to the center of the first tier.
|I had my heart set on it being a sunflower, but now I look and maybe it’s a black-eyed Susan. Hmmm…hard to say.|
Happy weekend 🙂