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Category Archives: Tutorials

Party Friday – Glass Markers!

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Glass markers?  Is that a “thing?”  I guess it would be wine charms.  But you know what I mean.  Things to mark your drinking glass when you’re in an environment that is swimming with drinking glasses.  Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda sweat things like that.  The thought of drinking out of someone else’s glass is pretty gross.  I even feel a little icky when I get a clean glass that still has the last person’s lipstick on it.  I mean, I know the glass is technically clean.  It’s just that lipstick these days is practically indestructible and some can only be removed by sandblasting or something.  (Side note – how is that possible?  Is it safe to wear something that you are inevitably ingesting (you know you are), yet will only wash off a glass with elbow grease, exasperation and mild swearing?  It really can’t be healthy.)  SO, if I’m throwing a party (which I obviously haven’t done in a long time as I haven’t posted a “Party Friday” installation in months [insert sadness here]), I try to make sure everyone is able to mark their glass.  Maybe, deep down, it’s only for myself.  Regardless, here are a few ideas to facilitate this without trying to mentally keep track of everyone’s different lipstick shade.

Chalkboard paint.  Brilliant.  There’s actually a tutorial for this here.  Just throw some chalk down near the glasses and done. 

 

Fancy pants!  The only problem I see with these is that after a drink or two (OR A THOUSAND!), I’d be all “Wait.  Was I the silver square sparkle or the round square sparkle?  Or the gold circle??  Crap, I’ll just get a new glass.”  I’d wind up blowing through a couple (OR A THOUSAND!) glasses that way.  But they’re so sparkly!  And they’re DIY, so here’s how you make them.

OR, if you’re like me, you can take miscellaneous objects and put them on stickers.  I did this for a party a while ago.  I put them in a bowl for people to wade through so that they could pick something they liked.  That way, throughout the evening, I would be able to shout-sing “Encarnación!!!!!!” as I  grabbed my Nacho Libre glass off a table and headed for the bar.  I’m immature…

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Braided Extension Cords

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I just saw this on Design Sponge and I had to post about it.  Why?  Because it’s something near and dear to my heart – the hiding of extension cords.  I hate them with a passion.

Again, “why?” you ask.  Because living with someone who has a lot of AV “equipment” means a lot of cords.  Everywhere.  And the most frustrating times are when a cord has to run from here (being one side of the room) to there (being the MIDDLE of the room) which means a cord might have to show.  GASP!  (If you could picture the word “gasp” as a facial expression, it would look something like extremely wide eyes filled with equal parts of irritation, slight desperation and dread.  At least that’s what mine looks like when Ryan has to break cord-related issues to me.).  If you want surround sound and you live in an apartment, you apparently need cords on all walls, ceilings and floors.  Okay, I’m exaggerating.  But you do need cords running along baseboards and/or under carpets.  Sometimes up walls (but that was for my hanging light, you guys, so…).  Sorry, but I’m not wild about those options.  You can still see/feel them.   Yes, feel them.  In fact, you can see AND feel the one that runs under the carpet from our bedroom into the living room (thanks, cable guy) as there’s a huge bump in the carpet.

So, maybe I should just give up and make it a design element:

The cords are inside vacuum cleaner tubes that you wrap with yarn and then braid together.  Cool, right?!  Downsides – tripping (I can see myself somehow become entangled and killing myself) and Ted, aka Sir Chewsalot.  That cat will chew and bite on just about anything.  But, if you’re interested, here’s the tutorial.

Oh, and here’s Ted straight off a Chewscapade.  He’s worth all the chewing.  My little ginger…

Tutorial Tuesday – Identity Art!

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I stumbled upon this the other day and about died. 

What is it?  Oh, just a copy of your DNA!!  That you can hang.  ON THE WALL!!  How cool is that?  PLUS, if you’re ever the subject of foul play, the cops could just come and grab the picture off the wall and you they wouldn’t have to wait those pesky 3 weeks or whatever.  Apparently, it’s not like CSI, you guys.  It takes a while for those kinds of results.

They also have:

Fingerprints.  GAH!  I want them!  Of course…they’re not cheap.  But then, this literally appeared in my inbox.  Literally.

DONE!!  And when I say done, I mean that I’ve already stamped and scanned our fingerprints.  Not technically done, I guess.  Half done.  Quasi done.  Okay, not done.  In progress.  But I think I’m going to Yudu mine onto some fabric and make a pillow instead of creating something to hang on the wall.  My queue of things to hang on the wall has gotten a little over the top. 

OH, and if you decide to get the real deal, they also do lip prints and ancestry portraits.  After reading the blurb of what exactly an ancestry portrait is, I’m left more confused than when I started reading the blurb.  It makes me feel a little nervous that in the near future, we’re all going to have bar codes tattooed on us.  And that it’s going to be a mandate from government.  It’s just a matter of time, people!

Tuesday Tutorial – Curtains!

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OK.  I know that making curtains must be pretty easy.  It basically consists of hemming a rectangle or something.  But I’ve never tried it.  And now…I need one.  You’re going to laugh when I tell you why.  Plants.  “But, Lizzie,” you say, “you kill plants with the greatest of ease!”  I know I do.  BUT, during a recent Target run, Ryan ran across something he wanted.  I’m a little embarrassed to say what it is because it makes us both look a little weird.  Regardless, here I go…cat grass.  No, I don’t mean we’re growing weed in our apartment.  Ryan read that it’s good for cats to eat grass because [whatever reason he said – I can’t remember].  Of course, they’re packaged in hideous little throw-away containers.  Ugh.  But I just kinda thought that he’d either forget about them completely or that they’d join the circle of life that most plants do in our apartment and would quickly die.  Apparently, Ryan isn’t nearly the killer of plants that I am and when he gets an idea in his head, he makes it happen.  You guys, that dumb grass is growing like nuts.  And to make matters worse, he plunked the plastic containers WITH PAPER PLATES UNDERNEATH on the kitchen window sill so that they can get some light in the black hole that is our apartment.  And not even cute Ikea paper plates.  The kind with grapes and grape leaves.  Blecht.  See below:

(Side note – do you eat off paper plates a lot?  I’m not talking to those of you who have small children or are having huge backyard barbeques.  I get eating off of paper plates then.  I don’t get it when it’s dinner and SOMEONE (I won’t say who – Ryan) insists on using a paper plate so that he doesn’t dirty a real plate.  What?  Why do we own real plates?  Has our old and slightly chipped Target dinnerware suddenly become fine china that is only to be hauled out for fancy celebrations?  Every day with me is a celebration!!!! (I can’t even say that with a straight face).  What is the next step in this process – we just start pouring food directly down our gullets so that we don’t dirty our hands and lips?  I am a civilized human being and, after a long day of work, I’d like to sip my expensive champagne (diet soda) out of a flute (regular glass) instead of a red cup.  Red cups are reserved for the times when a group of us are roaming the neighborhood hiding our alcoholic drinks from the police.  Duh.  Plus, we have a dishwasher.  And by dishwasher, I don’t mean my two hands and some dish soap!  GAH!  I digress…)

ANYWAY, to top things off, our apartment came fully loaded with those dreaded vertical blinds (can someone tell me why those things have to be so ugly?) and the view from our kitchen window is the neighbor across the parking garage looking out his kitchen window.  Like 25 feet away.  I’ll admit that I’m very bad spatially, so it could be 50 or 100 feet.  We’ll just leave it at being very close.  You can kinda see it in the picture above – that’s the neighbor’s balcony in the background.  So, since Ryan put the too-large containers (on paper plates – grrrrr) on the too-small window sill, it is virtually impossible to shut the blinds.  And THAT means, I have to see the neighbor when I’m rinsing a pot in the sink.  Naked.  HA!  Kidding.  I don’t do dishes naked.  The world hopes…  Is this all too confusing or are you getting a mental picture?

ANYWAY, this led me to some research and I came up with two DIY ideas – short curtains or a roman shade. 

Roman shades.  These seem like the best idea, but…when the mini blinds came out in the tutorial, my eyes glazed over a bit.  Still a definite possibility.

Lined curtains.  I think I could pull these off.  But in order for the whole privacy/plant light (stupid photosynthesis) thing to work, a curtain might be a bit wonky to make work.  It would basically have to be open which would defeat the purpose.

Hence…

Cheater roman shades.  Done.  Anything that makes me feel like I’m getting away with something is always a plus.  And I would LOVE this fabric which is, irritatingly enough, a sheet.  Whatever. 

I may have to “live with” the vertical blinds for a little while since I’m backed up with projects.  Until then, I’ll be doing a lot of pretending that I don’t see my neighbor while he’s sitting 10 feet (200 feet?) away from me on his balcony.

Tutorial Tuesday – Felt Rug!

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I know I just posted about a rug last week.  And what’s even funnier is the fact that I need a rug like a hole in the head.  Need is such an ugly word, though.  Want is the new need.  In my book anyway.

So, check this out. 

Did your heart explode?   Mine did.  It’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pretty!!  It’s from Anthropologie (duh) and costs…wait for it…between $700 and $1,100.  Apparently it’s made out of children’s tears.  Or angel’s wings.  Or something like that.  I mean, that’s gotta be the reason it’s so expensive.  But run out and buy two while they’re in stock!  I’ll wait here until you come back…

Not. 

But since this blog is not just a way to bestow all my wonderful and expressive thoughts upon you, I’ve searched the world over and found a mother grubbing “cheat.”  Well, I saw the cheat before I saw the Anthropologie rug.  I sound like I’m saying “I liked [insert band name here] WAY before they were popular.”  You know, the hipster mantra.  ANYWAY…

Right?!  It’s felt scraps!  Felt scraps and…glue (gun-style).  That’s it!  The only tricky part is this – the tutorial page is a little wonky right now (I SWEAR I’m not sending you purposely to something that looks like a Viagra advertisement), but hopefully it’ll be back up and ready for reading by the time this posts.  So irritating…  At the end of the day, though, it’s just wrapping and glueing the felt strips.  You really don’t “need” a tutorial.

Oh brother.  I can already feel myself giving in to the idea of making one.  I could just make one of the jersey knit latch hook rugs and one of these.  I’m practicing my pitch to Ryan.  Poor guy…

Tutorial Tuesday – Shag Rug!

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I’m so up in the air about showing you this because I REALLY wanted to surprise you all with a finished product, but I can’t wait.  Ugh.  I’ve gotta work on my patience. 

Isn’t this rug the coolest thing ever?  Guess what it’s made out of.  Guess.  Go ahead, guess!  DYED T-SHIRTS!  Oh, and it’s made using something I loved SO MUCH as a little kid – LATCH HOOK!!!!!  I think I latch hooked about 100 (probably more like 5 MAX) pictures of cats, unicorns and rainbows.  Not long ago, I was wondering why latch hook isn’t featured on DIY blogs.  Is it because it’s out of style?  Like macrame?  Or friendship pins?  I don’t know and I don’t care because this is the be-all and end-all of latch hook projects in my book.

Why do I want this, you ask curiously?  Have you ever seen these.  I’ll admit that they do kinda look like a yak has just died on your floor.  Or maybe a tauntaun.  (I SWEAR to you that I’m not a Star Wars geek).  Anyway, they’re called flokati rugs.  But they’re WAAAAAAAAAAY out of my price range.  Especially for what I want one for – to put outside the litter boxes to catch all the ding dang litter those boys kick up on their mad escape out of there.  I swear, they run out like a mynock is chasing them!  (I really promise I’m not a big fan). 

So the flokati is out of my price range.  Big deal.  I’ll make something similar out of  the MOUNDS of t-shirts Ryan has waiting for transport to Goodwill.  I’m not sure if I’ll dye them all one color or just make a hodge podge of different colors.  OOOOHHH!!!  Maybe I’ll do a throwback and make it in rainbow colors!!!!  Ryan would LOOOOOOOVE that.  Not.  We’ll see.  One thing I know FOR SURE – I’m starting this weekend as I bought a latch hook “canvas” and a hook.  According to the tutorial, I’ll be done in about a year.  Maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic.

Oh, and speaking of the tutorial, I almost forgot to give you the link.  Durrrr.  Actually, maybe it was my subconscious trying to hold on to the information until after I’m finished…

Tutorial Tuesday – Terrariums!

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I think I’ve told you before that I have the opposite of a green thumb.  I apparently suck the life out of plants.  I’m the black hole of the gardening world.  It makes me sad as I really like plants!  I’ve got a little pot of succulents sitting in the sunniest part of my kitchen.  I’ll admit it…this is my second (okay, third) set of the plants, though.  Everyone is all “Succulents are so easy to take care of.  They don’t need much water.  Just lots of sunlight.”  You’d think it would be perfect as I always forget to water “normal” plants.  But get this – I think I over water these.  Or maybe they just bite down on the tiny plant cyanide pill they have  hiding in their little leafy pocket to stop their inevitable and possibly painful death.  Whatever it is, they ALWAYS die.  But not this little group of succulents I currently have.  (I’m trying to stay positive.)

BUT.  My plant-growing failure has brought me to a realization.  I think a terrarium might be a good fit for me.  So much so that a year ago (at least) I bought a super cool little glass thingy to make one.  There it sits on my shelf.  Taunting me.  I think I should read my hesitation as a fear of probable failure, but what’s a few more dead plants.  It might turn out to be the coolest thing in the world, right?  Like People Magazine might come out with an article on “25 Hottest Terrariums” and I’d be on that list.  And I could quit my job to tend to its hotness.  I mean, stranger things have happened. 

I also figure that I can’t really be alone in both my stellar plant-killing abilities and my sad and strange desire for my own plants (living, preferably), so I thought I’d share some tutorials.  Oh, and I’d like to point out that my favorite part of terrariums are the silly little plastic figurines people put in there.  I think I’d like a tiny little unicorn.

Anyway, have at it:

Yeah, it’s a freaking lightbulb terrarium!!!!!!!  How cool is that?  Note the tiny alligator/crocodile.  Now imagine it with a UNICORN!  HA!  HILARIOUS, RIGHT?!

This one has a lot of pictures along the way which is always good for me.  Reading isn’t nearly as helpful as I have a VERY bad habit of reading every other word.  Also, the dog and person sitting on the ground (kinda hard to see in this picture) are awesome.  Awesome!

This one talks about something I think is totally cool – terrarium centerpieces.  Super duper cool.  And let me give you a blown up picture to show you why I love this one so much.

AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!  A roaring hippo!!!!!  I LOVE IT!!!!!

So, this has all re-inspired me.  OH, and in case you’re wondering, there are a couple of Etsy sellers that sell full-on kits.  Here’s one.  Here’s another.

If you attempt and succeed (or don’t – I won’t judge), please e-mail me pictures!  Especially if you track down a roaring hippo!  I’ll post pictures when I finish mine as well.