Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I love free stuff...

I've been browsing around the interwebs for deals and steals recently and have stumbled across some pretty good deals. Yesterday, I realized while reading a journal article about Hilton rewards points for class that my husband and I had unused Delta skymiles. Instead of reading the article, I browsed Delta's website and cashed in a few points for some items that had been lying dormant for years. I was able to get this mixing bowl and this Vera Bradley lunch box for free.


I have also been taking Lighspeed Consumer Panel surveys and finally had enough points to cash them in for a $10 Amazon.com gift card. I have been wanting to get the movie "How to Train Your Dragon". Amazon.com was selling the movie for a price lower than Walmart, so I took advantage of this deal and cashed in my gift card. I got the movie for a little less than $10-new!
Yesterday, I received a pitcher in the mail. That was a surprise. I had forgotten that I had even requested it .
Now, I am waiting on my peacock-eye bowls to arrive (they were $9 originally, but purchased them for only $1.95, including shipping!) and my salad tossers (originaly around $12 but got them for $4.95) and I will be set!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

cheating on a budget

Is it really cheating on a budget if you claim an expense made on 9/28 on the October budget?

In other news, I saved 91% at Kroger yesterday :). I got 3 bottles of Diet Dr. Pepper for only $.64. I told my husband that and he thought I meant $.64 a piece... nope! They were $.21 a piece after various rebates I had received.

If only I could do that every week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CVS deals for this week

Yesterday, I went to CVS to increase my stockpile of toiletries and other various sundries. Here is a breakdown of what I spent on what:

1- Cascade Diswashing Detergent: 6.49
CVS card discount: -2.50
Manufacturer's Coupon: -$1
Final Price: 2.99

2-Dawn Dishwashing Liquid: 1.69 a piece
CVS card discount: -.73 per item
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.50 and -.25
Final Price: $.59 a piece

1-Downy: 5.79
CVS card discount: -1.80
Manufacturer's Coupons: (if I had not forgotten to use it) -1.00
Final Price: 2.99

Colgate Total Toothpaste: 3.99
CVS card discount: -2.02
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.75
Final Price: 1.22

2-Arm and Hammer Laundry Detergent: 6.99
CVS card discount: Buy 1 get 1 free
Manufacturer's Coupons: -.25
Final Price: 3.37 a piece

2-CVS Batteries: 4.29
CVS card discount: Buy 1 get 1 free
Final Price: 2.15

2-Clean and Clear Face Wash: 5.99 a piece
CVS card discount: Buy 1 , get 1 for 50% off
Manufacturer's Coupons: (2) -$1
Final Price: 3.49 a piece

2- Clean and Clear Face Wash (a different kind): 5.49 a piece
CVS card discount: Buy 1, get 1 for 50% off
Manufacturer's Coupons: (2) -$1
Final Price: 3.12 a piece

Tampax Tampons: 5.79
CVS card discount: -2.80
Manufacturer's coupons: -$2
Final Price: .99

Always pads: 3.99
CVS card discount: -$1
Manufacturer's coupons: -$2
Final Price: .99

All in all, I saved a grand total of 42.13. I could have saved 44.93 if I had remembered to use my downy coupon and use my CVS bucks. Before tax, I only spent around $37 dollars on all of this stuff.

To make this an even better deal, if your CVS has the Oral B Vitality toothbrush, you could get it for $13 bucks and get $13 CVS bucks back. This would make the toothbrush free! Unfortunately, the Starkville CVS is out... but that's okay. When I asked if they had any, they wrote me a "raincheck", so I will be able to get the toothbrush at the awesome discount when it is back in stock (before 10/31, because that's when my coupon expires).

I think I finally got my stockpile of laundry detergent complete for the year. After this shopping trip, I think I now have enough toothpaste to last me and my husband for a year.

On a not so funny but sort of amusing note, I had gone to Sams a few months (5) back and bought a 2 quart (?) bottle of dishwashing liquid. I was running low and bough another bottle about a month ago. I had forgotten about this bottle until last night, after I had started stocking up on dishwashing liquid by using coupons at the local drug stores. So now, I have about a 2 year supply of dishwashing liquid!!!!! (oops)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I wanna work outside

The weather is taunting me. I can see the reflection of the sunlight on my computer monitor and it is making me want to go outside. Maybe I can convice everyone else in the office to rotate the cubicles so that they face the window. It would be more productive, right? ;)

The weather is perfectly fall. I've even set out my Halloween decorations and hung a fall wreath on the door. (It's wreath number 2, because someone stole my first wreath... Seriously, who steals a cheap wreath from CVS?) I made a wreath this time, so it was free. I've also set out the Halloween candy. At this rate, I won't have any candy left for Halloween. (Maybe I need to quit buying my favorite candy so I will stop eating it. )

I would like to go bike riding with Chris, but the rear brake fell off of his bike. (I was blaming the wreath thief for breaking the brakes, but a friend had borrowed the bike and forgot to tell us that the brakes fell off.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I still make stuff... I promise

I've been in a creative drought recently (as you probably noticed). Also, I've been busy organizing my coupon collection and trying to set up a method to use them. BUT.... here is my latest creation:

A diaper cake!

My cousin and his wife are expecting and they are having a baby shower this weekend. I've never given a baby gift before, so I was at a complete loss for ideas on what to give them. I wanted to give them something practical, so I was torn between outlet covers and doorknob covers or a diaper cake (because every baby needs diapers).

The cousins on my dad's side of the family were discussing how expensive diapers were and how they were always needing them. I knew that I wanted to give diapers, I just didn't know how to present them in an appropriate manner. Most how-to videos online tell you to roll up the diapers like a cylindar and tie them with a rubber band. That just seems impractical. Either the mom will have to spend hours untieing them or they'll wait and when they need a diaper, they'll have to fight with the rubberband before fighting to put the diaper on the baby.

I thought about buying a diaper cake, but they're so expensive! (and overpriced, too). After an hour of off-and-on searching, I finally found a how-to that doesn't involve rolling up the diapers. Instead, you arrange the diapers in a spiral fashion in a cake pan, secure the big wad of diapers with a rubber band, and flip the pan over. To make a two-tiered one, just use a smaller pan for the second layer and secure them with a paper towel tube through the middle.

It was really easy to make. Also, it's a very cute way to display diapers. (did I mention that I got the diapers at an uber cheap price because of a sale at Walgreens and a $3 off coupon)

... I had to throw coupons in there somewhere ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

another coupon post

If you're wondering why I post so many coupon posts, it's primarily so that I can see what I've saved (and point out to my husband when needed, that couponing actually does save money ;) )

My first big save/spending was at Walgreens. (and as a disclaimer, I'm not going to include the Claritin in my "saving/spending" total because it was not "grocery" related ( and excluding it makes my total look better :)

Total Groceries before coupons: 43.99
Discounts: 22.07
Total spent at Walgreens: 21.92.

I got some register rewards from this transaction and applied them to my next transaction:
Here are the numbers from that:
Total Groceries before coupons: 14.87
Discounts: 8.51
Total Spent on second trip at Walgreens: 6.36

In order to use my register rewards, I had to have some "fillers" to make my total be high enough to use the coupons. My fillers were M&M's. I think the fillers are going to make me fat :) .

The second store that I visited (and will post about since I saved more than I spent) was CVS. They had some really good deals this week, and when combined with coupons from the papers/online, it was a really really big discount.

Here are the numbers:
Total before Coupons: 41.27
Discounts: 25.90 (yay!!!-and I haven't even really started racking up ECB's yet)
Total spent: 15.37

I just can't seem to get the savings to add up at Kroger and Walmart. I save money, but the amount of savings doesn't go over what I had spent. I'll keep working on that and maybe one day, I'll be able to make money from them too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This week's coupon deals

Instead of posting every transaction I make with coupons, I decided to only blog about savings that equal to more than I spent at the register. This happened today at Walgreens.

I went in to take advantage of their sale on Arm and Hammer detergent (buy one get one free). I also had a coupon for $1 off two. Instead of paying 13.98 for two bottles, I only paid 5.99 for two.

The next deal was a coupon that they had in their sale paper-$.99 for Palmolive dish washing liquid. This was $1.00 off the original price.

I also had a coupon for $5 off from the purchase earlier in the week.

Without coupons, my total would have been 22.96. After coupons, I spent a grand total of $8.97 (before tax). This equals to be a savings of 13.99.

I knew that in order to use the coupon, I had to spend at least $5. I panicked and probably bought more than I could have, but in the end, I essentially got a large bottle of Herbal Essences shampoo for only $1.99. This was the only item that I didn't have a coupon for (and it is rumored that there will be a coupon for Herbal Essences in tomorrow's paper).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cups-and-Cakes review

I was excited at the prospect of a bakery opening in Starkville that sold cupcakes. After reading blogs such as Cupcakes take the Cake, I was really hoping for a modern bakeshop that sold amazingly different flavored cupcakes that would make your mouth water at the pure thought of eating one. This place is not that.

Upon walking in, you are greeted by an interior that is welcoming, with chairs and neutral browns on the wall. You then see the coolers that are everywhere, housing the cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Country music fills your ears, and you realize that this isn't the modern bakery you were hoping for.

Behind the counter, where all of the "magic" takes place, there are tons of buckets with colored icing. The floor is stained with icing that has fallen and there were no ovens anywhere to bake the delicious treats in. I kept looking for a row of ovens, but nothing.

The eats are pleasing to look at, but upon closer inspection, you see that they are nothing but simple cakes smothered in icing. Cupcakes have icing towers that are 3 inches tall. There is only one problem with this, however... the icing is not home made. It, instead, is the Sysco brand buckets of Crisco that many grocery stores use to slather on cakes to make them look presentable. I understand that royal icing is needed to have stiff flowers that don't melt on the cake, but you could at least use icing that is not glimmering because of the oil content.

I'm not a fan of storebought cakes, if you can't tell. The icing is nothing but a big vat of grease, slathered on top of a sponge that may or may not be a cake. Considering her background is working at a grocery store bakery, one can see that she did not vary her talents when it came to opening up her own shop.

To me, a person who makes cakes should strive to make cakes that are from scratch and make creative icings that allow for not only the eyes, but also the tastebuds to have a treat.

She also sold cookies. They weren't fresh. Instead, they were either a little soggy or hard, depending on the flavor. They also crumbled... a lot.

Her cakes are pretty to look at, but are covered in icing. (did i mention that the icing will stain your teeth?) Basically, I believe that her bakery is not a bakery, but instead, a place where a young girl can go and "color" a cake with icing for fun.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

always clip the coupon...

Well, coupons are good and all, but not necessarily when you forget to cut them out of the sale paper! Today, I went to Walgreens and took advantage of their deals.

Some of the deals that I took advantage were:

Dial soap: buy 1 get 1 free
Scrubbing Bubbles automatic shower cleaner: 14.99 (which is a deal in itself, considering it's originally 24.99 at Walgreens), plus a $5 coupon that I had, PLUS $5 register rewards. That means that the shower cleaner only cost $4.99!
and lastly, they had flour on sale for 1.79 (with coupon)... but guess what genius forgot to clip the coupon.... Me! So, I paid full price for the flour (2.99) and also learned a lesson to always clip coupons from the sales paper before I go into the store.

Today's savings from Walgreens (hold your breath) : $20.99!!!!

Another deal that is going on is that if you access drugstore.com through ebates.com, you can get 5 items for a penny (yes, $.01) each. I took advantage of this, got a ton of lotion and body wash, and spent only $6.04. ($5.99 shipping). I saved a total of $30.90.

I should be set for a while on bathroom supplies.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another couponing post

So, tonight I went on a couponing shopping spree. First stop, Kroger.

Here were some of the deals:
Deals Without coupons:
Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $6.99 a bag.
Kroger Italian sausage - $2.99

Deals with coupons:
Ronzoni pasta - $1 before coupon, FREE with coupon clipped from magazines ( I had 2 coupons)
Bryan Beefy Jumbos - $8.78 for two, a dollar off with coupon
Diet Dr. Pepper - $1.89 before coupon, .50 off with e-coupon on Kroger card


At Kroger, I saved $3.98 with the Kroger card and $3.50 using coupons. Total savings equal 7.48. Overall, I only paid 31.10.

The next stop, I went to Walmart. That was an adventure in itself. Walmart was having a sale on Diet Dr. Pepper - $1 a piece. That was a much better deal than Kroger. At Walmart, they also had a clearance sale going on with excess college dorm room supplies (such as bedding and clotheshangers). I got a new set of sheets for $9 and clotheshangers for $1.

I had coupons for a some pet products and groceries. I got a bunch of groceries (enough to last a week... hopefully).

My subtotal was $84.04 before coupons, and 64.51 after coupons. That's a savings of $19.53. I'm still trying to get a hang of this whole coupon thing. My goal is to get to where I can buy $100 worth of groceries for $5. ( a little extravagant but the principle is there ;) )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I need to post something "crafty" so that I can keep my blog title :)

It's been a while since I've posted anything crafty, so I thought I would post an invitation I made at work for a retirement party.
Who knew my "how to use powerpoint" class would come in handy.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A penny saved is a penny earned....

So, on the coattails of the last post, I have started couponing (is that a word?) . Yesterday, I made the rounds of the stores that I had coupons for. First stop, Walgreens.

At Walgreens, I was able to get aluminum foil, packing tape, my ink cartridge refilled, and multi-grain cheerios for a grand total of $21.76 (pre-tax). I then used coupons, and paid $15.96. I saved a grand total of $5.80.

Next stop, Wal-mart. There, I was able to get a bunch of stuff using coupons that I had collected from the P&G coupon insert. Before the coupons, the total was 26.63... after coupons, 20.38. A savings of $6.25.



My biggest savings happened today. After doing a little research online (a.k.a. reading blogs), I discovered that you can put coupons on your Kroger card. So, without any prodding at all, I put those suckers on my Kroger card and went shopping.



Some items were already on sale for Kroger customers. From the picture, I'm sure you can guess what was the first Kroger discount I made full use of. Yeah... we like Diet Dr. Pepper. (or DDP as it is affectionately known as around my house). DDP was 4/$5, and after purchasing 4, you get 1 free! So, basically the DDP was $1 a piece. We drink a lot of DDP around here, so let me tell you, $1 a piece is a steal! For comparison, when DDP isn't on sale at Kroger, it is $1.89. Then, we go to Dollar General, which sells DDP for $1.25.

Another discount that I was pretty proud of was the fact that the potato chips were 1.67 after a Kroger discount, and then I got a $.25 discount with an e-coupon. That means the chips were only $1.42.

I'm sure you don't want a play-by-play of each item I bought, so I'll tell you the savings:
Manufacturer Coupons: 5.65
Kroger Plus Savings: 14.40
Total Savings: 20.05!

All of those items, after coupons only cost me 39.65.

I'm not a pro at it, but just these past 3 days have encouraged me to continue to clip coupons. I even have a coupon folder!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coupon clipping

The other day, my husband came in and was amazed that someone that he works with's wife had bought approximately $50 of groceries for only $8. I'm impressed too. He had never realized that coupons could save so much money. (I've been trying to tell him that, though ;) )

Anyway, since he's now on board with using coupons, I've decided to be proactive and start using coupons more effectively.

The only problem is that I really don't know where to start. Last night, I decided to try to look up coupons online. The first place I went was Walgreens and found some pretty good coupons.. especially since they had coupons for things that I had run out of (such as aluminum foil and $10 ink refills). Next, I went to Smart Source and printed out some coupons. The only problem is that my printer then began to run out of ink. I guess I need to rethink my strategy to getting coupons... First thing on the list.... BUY INK!!! ( and now I have a coupon for that)

Another thing that I did was compare prescription prices. I usually go to Walgreens, but decided to give CVS a try.... (long story short, traffic was terrible the first week of school and I decided that I didn't want to drive the extra distance to go to Walgreens). At first, I thought the $12 for my prescription was really good, especially since that's what I've been paying at Walgreens for my prescription. However, I had recently gotten my doctor to lower the dosage of my prescription. Because of this lower dosage, I was able to qualify for the Prescription Savings Club price of $12 for a 90-day supply! That's $4 a month. To get the Prescriptions Savings Club price, you must first be a member of the club, which requires a $20 fee. But still.... that's $1.66 a month (plus the $4 for the prescription) that equals $5.66- a savings of $6.34.

My next goal is to get Christopher to only buy groceries for the week instead of going to the store every 2 days...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

so many Big Lebowski references could be entered into this post...

I would insert tons of Big Lebowski quotes in this post, but I will not for two reasons.... the only references I have for the movie are what I've heard my husband quote over and over (and over) again (I've never seen it) and secondly, it's somewhat of a family-blog so I'll try to limit the swearing.

I'm always on the look out for a new rug. I don't know why, I guess it's just my crafting nature. I recently made a rug from old sheets and shirts to go under my dining room table ("It really tied the room together").

My roomate had a rug in college that was really soft and colorful. It was a nice rug and I always knew that there had to be some way to make it. I recently stumbled my way over to this blog that gave a tutorial on how to make a rug. I opened up the link, and there they were...instant instructions to make the rug. I'm thinking about making it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School's here...

School has officially started at MSU. Traffic's a mess and students are wandering around campus, looking for their next class. I even had one student stop me in the hall, asking where her Biocomputing class was. Um, I don't know? I told her I guess it would be room 103... hope I'm right.

Construction's been going on in my apartment. The ceiling was falling in and they had to install a support beam. They only raised it 1.5 inches. I was shocked that the ceiling had fallen that much. The only part they have left to do is to mud the sheetrock and they will be out of there. The landlord probably won't paint the sheetrock (going off his last "repair" endeavours... and the spots in my bathroom and closet that do not have paint). I wish they would hurry up so that I could go ahead, clean off all of the dust that is going to be everywhere after they sand the sheetrock, and get my doggies back home. We left them in Tupelo so that the carpenter could come and go without fear of being barked to death. The carpenter better hurry up or he will have to work with an angry dog in the apartment. Also, I miss my puppies (my cat's as big as a dog, so he's now being classified as a dog).

After this whole experience, I am ready to move. My main reason is that on the first day, the carpenter looked at the situation and said "I don't feel comfortable fixing your roof because you obviously (looking at the huge cracks in my floor) have foundation problems and those need to be addressed before I would fix the ceiling." After talking to the landlord, the carpenter lost all conviction to not fix the apartment and promised to be there at 8 a.m. the next day to start work.

Well, I took off work for him to be there. Guess who didn't show up. I called him and he told me that he completely forgot and that he would come at 5 p.m. He did show up, they installed the beam, and, when they left, the only project left was to hang the sheetrock and mud the cracks.

Yesterday, he hung the sheetrock and started to mud the seams.

After all of this, and the previous projects that I have fixed because of how the landlord usually acts, I have decided that maybe it's time to move on.

Did I mention the kitchen drain? ... it was leaking so we called the landlord. He said that it's not leaking now and if it starts back, let him know.... well, when he said that, the pipe could be pulled from the drain!!!!!! I fixed it.

The door also likes to not open. Our doorknob will jam sometime, making it impossible to enter or exit the apartment. This has happened more than once, but after taking the doorknob apart, banging it, and spraying it with WD-40, it starts to work again. We told the landlord about the doorknob but he wasn't concerned. This morning, the door jammed while I was trying to leave for work. It started to work again, but now I wonder if I will be able to get back in my apartment.

I think all of my concerns would have been addressed if maybe we were a first-year tenant of this apartment. It hasn't been renovated/fixed in 5 years and now it's starting to show its age. If we stay, things will never be fixed up, but if we move to a different apartment in the complex, our rent will go up and we may have to pay more of a deposit. I already think our rent is a little steep, but I really like living where I can see a tree (and not concrete).

So, maybe it is time for us to pack up and find somewhere else to live. The only bad thing is that our lease runs until July 31, 2011. By then, I'll probably will decide to stay.

I did find a house that had a fenced-in back yard and they allow pets. Maybe it'll be open next August.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy National S'mores Day!

Thanks to The Shabby Nest, I learned that today was National S'mores Day.



I love s'mores.



Food Network Magazine did an article on different s'mores recipies. I couldn't find it, but here is a link to tons of s'more recipies on their website.



Tons of s'mores




(photo from caplanmiller.com)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Updates galore...

A few months ago, I went on a cleaning spree, which resulted in the cleaning out of the closets. I started cleaning up the kitchen shelves and posted that I would display my results. Unfortunately, this shelf is "unorganizable". I did, however, find a solution. So....

Kitchen Shelf before...
















and Kitchen Shelf after!







Lowe's had a sale on painter's drop cloths. I got a 6x9 canvas cloth for under $5. I then bought a curtain rod for around $2.25. The canvas happened to be two 4.5 x 6 dropcloths sewn together. I took them apart and created a pocket for the curtain rod to slide into. I then tied the rod to the rack, using cable ties. I still need to attach some fabric tie-backs to hold the curtain up while I am trying to find dishes/appliances.


It's an instant mess hider :)

Also, I have published posts talking about building a new bed. I wanted to build the Farmhouse bed, but at a pricetag of $126 before paint, screws, nails, etc., it was a little out of my budget. Another issue that I would have had to deal with is the fact that I would have an extra headboard around the apartment. I didn't want to get rid of it, but I had no room to store it. So... to solve the dillemas of money and storage, I opted to build a different bed. This Modern Bed was much better. It would allow me to use the old headboard and save money (about $70). So, without further ado... pictures.


The old bed. I forgot to show the cement block leg.
The Bed Before...


The bed during...
I know what you're thinking... "What, no after?" Well, me, being the brilliant photographer that I am, forgot to take an after picture. I promise I will take one tonight, after I charge my camera battery.

Friday, July 30, 2010

.... nevermind the selling

Selling tin crosses is out. Why?, you may ask? Because it's dangerous. (and could ultimately lead to me being kicked out of the apartment ;) ) I threw the scraps away in the garbage. Christopher didn't notice the shiny metal sticking out of the bag and then proceeded to push the garbage down to make more room and sliced his finger open. He didn't need stitches, but I didn't want to chance another injury because of a craft project... so crosses are out.

For now, though, I am thinking about making a new bed. The current bed is being held up by a concrete block. I have been eyeing this bed from Knock-off Wood's blog. I already have lumber left over from building the dresser and next week would be the perfect time to build it. Chris is going to a Conference and doesn't like to be around when I am building (because it's loud and I tend to loose my temper... imagine that. ). Also, school will not have started yet and the neighboring apartments are unoccupied. So, while he's gone, I may sneak off to Lowe's, buy the lumber, and build the Farmhouse bed. It looks so pretty. Plus, it will be nice to have a bed that's not part MDF, metal, and concrete block.

Friday, July 16, 2010

No turning back....

I've been talking for a while now about selling my stuff online. (that's the main reason I started blogging). So, I finally jumped off of the deep end and opened up my little spot in cyberspace. I now have an etsy account (craftycollections.etsy.com) that takes paypal and money orders. Right now, I only have one item for sale, but will make more items as I can.

I'm also looking into buying a booth at the MSU Holiday Bazaar. It's a local craft show that happens around Christmas each year, on campus. Now I have to start making more items to sell so that I can stock-up. It's a 2-3 day event and would require me to have inventory on-hand since it takes me so long to make my items.

Another thing that I need to start doing is promoting my items. I want to send out a mass-email to family and friends, but then I don't want to be spamming. I've been telling myself that I will also post a status on facebook recognizing my shop but then I don't want to be someone who pushes their product on everyone.

I guess I just have low self-esteem when it comes to selling my products. I always go to shows and think "I could make that" but then never do. I want to sell my stuff, I just don't want to be pushy. To take a term from marketing, I want to be involved in relationship marketing, not just what most people have come to think of marketing-selling. I want to build relationships with my customers and create products that they will want to buy. I don't want to push my products onto people, just so I could turn a profit.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A picture of my latest creation


Here is a sample of my latest project.
I finished this one last night.

Over a month?

Where have I been for over a month? Oh yeah, I know... homework. Anyway, 2 of the 3 classes are over now so that gives me a little more time to do crafts. The first project on the list... learning to cut tin.

The first thing to realize is that (besides seeing that an 8 foot sheet will not fit in my car) tin is sharp. I have battle scars all over my hands from trying to cut it. My brother in law is also showing battle scars since the tin cut him while it was in the trash bag.

I have looked online but could not find door wreaths out of tin. I think I may have found a niche market! Now, I just need to create a design that looks good and start selling.

I have made a cross, but it is in the design phase. I put it on my door last night, and when I had awoken, a decorative piece had fallen off. I guess I need to rethink using hot glue.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the hiatus didn't last long...

Only a week and a half after completing the new dresser, I have had a long-enough break from projects. (please don't bring up the crocheting project that I still haven't completed... and going on year 3 ;) ) I have decided to tackle something that is huge! It needs to be done (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). I have decided to reupholster my couch.




















With fabric like this, who wouldn't want to reupholster a couch from hair-grabbing fabric to a sleek and smooth leather surface?


Plus, with two fluffy creatures running around the house, it would be nice to have a place to sit that doesn't leave you with a ton of fur.
It would be a big project, especially with summer school about to start. I'm taking three classes this summer, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival


This is a quilt I made for my husband when we were dating. He joked around one night, saying that I should make him a "Megaman" quilt.
He may have been joking, but I took it as a challenge. I used an overhead projector to blow up the image, then traced it out onto waxed paper, then cut out the different colors of fabric and sewed them together. I then sewed the details of Megaman (fingers, boots, etc.) into the quilt.
I used twin-sized sheets for the back and front.
I really surprised him with this quilt for his birthday one year. He still wants me to make him a "Protoman" blanket.
We still have the Megaman blanket (so he must still like it after 5 years ;) )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Attitude at my place... maybe

Our apartment uses a lot of water. Mainly because someone who will not be named likes to take at least 2 showers a day. Not only that, but he uses a new towel every time. That, combined with the water-hogging toilet, our water bill could stand to use some help. (I would also blame my cat, who, I swear, drinks at least a gallon of water every two days, but I have no proof since he not only drinks the dog's water, but also the fish's water (mmmm... fish soup))



After reading this post from Young House Love, I decided that it's time to do something about some of the water usage. I bought one of these babies. We'll see how much water we save.



Did you know that Lowe's didn't have this on their website nor does Wal-mart sell it in-store? I think it's a conspiracy ;).



Maybe I should also look into getting a low-flow shower head.



About a year ago, I fixed the front door. I replaced the gaskets (and still had a huge gap between teh frame and the door) and added the foam-tape stuff to fill in the gaps. This helps keep the cold-air inside during the summer and the warm air inside during the winter.



Another improvement we made was turning on the air-conditioner later in the night than last year. Instead of turning it on before 10 p.m., we wait until 11:30. We are already seeing a difference in the electric bill by waiting a little later to cool the house. This past winter, we did run the heater a little more because we both caught something. Normally, we don't even run the heater.



I tried using the energy-efficient light bulbs, but I did not really see a difference in using them, other than more money taken from my pocketbook. To me, it also seems like they don't last as long as regular bulbs.

My husband will be so proud of me....

Day 1 of Cleaning out the apartment has commenced. I can't really explain it in words, but I have before and after pictures! (I even threw away my old graduation hat from high school.)


Chris helped me, but sort of lost his usefullness when he started telling me to keep stuff. I told him "You aren't helping, i'm trying to get rid of stuff". He was so nice that he even offered to throw everything away for me. I didn't want him to get overeager, so I seperated my junk into throw away and give away. The picture of the lumber and trash is just he beginning. Toward the end of the night, you could barely walk to the bedroom. I forgot to take a picture. I was caught up in the moment.




Now, the pictures!








I still have some cleaning to go, but ran out of time and steam. The next project? The kitchen shelf.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My husband must be telling on me

I'm about to partake of a project that is of epic proportions.... cleaning out my apartment. While reading this article, I realized that Chris must be telling on me because I can be caught saying some of this stuff, especially "I might need it one day".



After my husband called me a hoarder ( in a joking way), I decided that I need to clean out my closets. (well, my husband saying that and the fact that i've gone from storing stuff in teh closet to actually throwing it on top of stuff that is crammed in boxes, on top of boxes, in my closet. Plus, the fact that I am unable to freely turn around in my 6'x8' closet.



One thing I want to do is to return extra unused lumber to Lowe's. Can you even do that? Secondly, I have to bring myself to get rid of the board games that I haven't played in years. I had even forgotten about them when I had them stored at my parents' house. I recently got them back because my parents had to move and gave me my "stuff" back.



I also have two old baby toys that were mine when I was a baby (including a stuffed dog-affectionately known as Barf). I also have a ton of stuffed animals. I like stuffed animals. I always have. Some of them were made by my great-grandmother. Some of them were given to me by friends, and some of them I just like. I don't know how I can get rid of them. There is also a huge beanie-baby collection. How can I get rid of them? They may be worth money in years.



Another group of things that I can't get rid of are my musical instruments. I have a keyboard that I bought in high school. I also have a guitar that I purchased then too. I have played the keyboard in the last year or so, but I haven't used the guitar since my Junior year of college. I also have a violin that I inherited from my grandfather (can't get rid of that).



I know I have a graduation hat from high school, plus pointless certificates and plaques from high school. I need to get rid of them, but I can't. I also have autographed pictures from 10 coaches in the SEC. Many of them aren't even coaches anymore and have moved on. They may be worth some money, but who knows.



Remember the world before digital cameras? I still have developed film rolls from trips that I went on. I also still have the photos. Do I really need to keep my advantix film rolls?



I'm not even touching my Christmas decorations. I try to use all of my stuff every year. My house looks like Christmas threw up in it, but Christmas is my favorite holiday. --no compromise ;)



Clothes: Oh boy. This is a big one. I promise myself that I will wear that small skirt, when I lose weight. I haven't worn it since 2007. I also have a few pairs of pants that I am promising myself that I will need them when I loose 2 dress sizes. That's not happening anytime soon. I also have a letterman jacket from high school. It doesn't fit anymore. Am I going to wear it around when I do fit in it? I say I'm going to keep it and let my kid wear it to some "spirit day" in school.

This may be a "nicole only" thing, but I can't bring myself to give up my flower pots. I recently built a huge planter to plant stuff at my apartment and do not see me needing pots anytime soon, but I can't get rid of them. It's not like they are the expensive pots, the most expensive one costed $12.

I won't even get into all of the kitchen stuff. I say that I need to keep it for when I move into a house. That won't be for at least another 3 years. By then, I'm sure there will be more sophisticated kitchen technology.

Now that I have cleaned out my apartment in my head, maybe I can actually do it tonight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's Done!!!!


The dresser is finally done and my living room looks like a living room. Time to take a break. ;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm itching, literally, to finish my dresser

My arm is driving me crazy.... it's itching and stinging (which I assume is a good thing, especially since I had a plug of skin removed from my arm). Plus, I am figuratively itching to finish my dresser. It's sitting in the middle of my living room floor, right in front of the TV. Since it's 36" high, it's also blocking the TV.

There is sawdust on my carpet and on my sofa, lumber in the walkway and on the side-table, and a skilsaw by the front door... and what does Chris do? Invite someone over! My house looks like HGTV threw up in it and he has friends over.

I love friends, but I hate that my house is such a mess. At least I did pick up the plastic bags from the drawer slides last night. I also had electrical tape stuck to the carpet, but removed it.

I think now, I'm more ready to have my house back to normal than to have a new dresser.

I forgot to mention that Chris's office is also a mess since I took apart the video game shelf to construct my dresser. I had used 1x12's and 1x10's on the shelf and had planned to use the old dresser to store videogames, so I decided instead of having to store something else, I would use it in something else. Because of this, I have videogames everywhere! (tons of videogames for 5 different systems, all over the room)

I thought about sawing the lumber around 9 p.m. last night, but figured I would irritate the neighbors. (I should have, because around 11 p.m., my upstairs neighbor decided to play his guitar outside, on his porch, next to my bedroom window).

On the bright side, I picked up a new hobby... painting on glass. I found some paint at Hobby Lobby that looks like stained glass after you paint. I've been wanting to take up making stained glass creations, but it's such an expensive hobby to get into. This was a lot cheaper. All you need is stained glass paint (not sure if that's the real name, but it's what I'm calling it), glass/plexiglass, and an idea.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I hate learning things the hard way... and my shopping list for Lowe's

Yesterday afternoon, I worked on the evil dresser. It has become evil because it has consumed my life. (well, not really, but it is a really good project if you want a project to eat away at your pocketbook).



I had planned to attach the drawer slides to the dresser drawers, install the drawers, and then mount the fronts on the dressers. That's not what happened.



Word of Wisdom: When mounting the dresser slides to the drawers, be sure to mount the wheels toward the back of the drawer, not the front. An hour later and many moments of frustration later, I realized that I had attached the brackets backwards.



Secondly, I did not measure the appropriate distance to attach the first drawer. I ended up with a 1.5 inch gap at the top. (it's supposed to be flush with the top).



Tonight, I will basically restart installing the drawers and maybe get to a point where I can see what the drawers look like in the cabinet and hopefully post some pictures. Right now, it looks like a bunch of ladders stacked on top of each other.


I didn't go to school for art, as you can probably tell. I just didn't want to post another "post" without having a picture explaining what was going on.

This afternoon, I plan to run by Lowe's to get some more supplies for the black-hole of my money. It has eaten all of my screws, all of my nails, and even all of the plywood that I had purchased for it. I didn't want to have to buy drawer handles for it, but it will be next to impossible for me to make my own handles. Here are some ideas of handles for the dresser:

1. I would like this Satin Nickel Drawer Pull, but at $3.97, that would come out to nearly $24.

2. There is no way in Hades that I would buy this drawer handle, but at $.86, it's looking mighty good.

3. This is more in my price range, but I think the scroll work may distract from the art that I am going to try to paint on the front. On the bright side, the handle will match my fine china.

4. This one is closer to what I'm looking for, but it's a little to "mickey mouse-ish" for me.

5. I'm thinking about going with this one because it looks more modern. And, at $1.28, it will not break the bank.

6. I am quickly falling in love with this handle. It's shiny, silver, and only $1.37 per handle.

7. If I had $1,000,000.00, I may purchase these handles. They are my ideal handles-modern, silver, and cool-looking, but, at $15.15 a piece, there's no way.

8. I may go with this one, though, because at $.97 a piece, who can pass up this deal.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Dresser





I've been working every night this week on my new dresser. (the picture to the left is not it) I have the frame built and 3 sides of the drawers assembled. I'm waiting until I have completed the drawers until I put the 4th side on the drawers. I am now trying to figure out how to paint it. I was thinking just regular pecan stain, to match my other furniture, but now, I have a new inspiration... drawing a bird and branch on it. I don't want to paint it white, though, so I'm thinking about doing a design, using two different colors of stain. That may be hard to accomplish, but I think if I tape off my design, paint the darker color, and then paint the lighter color all over, it would work out.

The dresser to the right is sort of what my dresser will look like (minus the bamboo). The basic structure is the same-six drawers, with the fronts connected and one beam in the middle.

This weekend, I will put the bottom on the drawers and then install the drawer slides. If you hear a string of expletives, it's probably coming from me, especially since not only do you have to put them at equidistant measurements, but they also have to be level. I tried to install one, just to see how hard it would be, and boy, it's going to be a fun.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't know if I should post this...




but my sister-in-law won the art competition at the Gum Tree Festival in Tupelo. I'm really excited for her, especially since she is a really talented artist. I would put up some pictures of drawings that she has done, but the turkey took them off of her facebook page. Did I mention that she could also be a model?
Instead of working on my dresser this weekend, I will be going to Tupelo to see all of her winning artwork.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Latest project

Well, even though I have 2 crocheting projects underway (one of which I started at least 3 years ago), I have decided to build a dresser-mainly because the dresser we have now will fall on you if more than 2 drawers are open at a time and it will not hold all of our clothes. Here is the dresser that is my inspiration. It's Pottery Barn's Ashby Collection. I figured it up, to build it, it will only cost around $120. That's a big difference, plus, it will give me something to do this summer.

Also, thanks to returning a textbook, I have a little money to fund the project.

Did I mention the textbook story? Well, I went to Barnes and Noble to return the book. They informed me that they could only give me a little over $7 for it since they had reached their retail limit. I already had it for sale on amazon.com for $12.34, so I decided to keep it. Later in the day, I got to thinking and decided that it wasn't worth the trouble of holding the book at my apartment when I could get paid now, so I decided to take it to Campus Book Mart on my way home from work. Well.... I'm glad I did. They gave me $60 for it. $60!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited.

I went home and finished drawing up my plans while listening to the soap opera. We had the windows open because we had just finished cooking dinner and the apartment was getting hot. A girl was on the phone with her husband and was giving him hell for not graduating (along with other stuff). I'm sure she doesn't want me posting that phone call online for all to read, so I won't. As the conversation went on, I thought for sure that I would see her husband's clothes in the parking lot.

I went to Lowes to price my dresser and to avoid the nerdfest going on in my apartment. My husband and his brother were a) downloading Starcraft (and hogging all of the bandwidth), b) playing Pokemon, and c) creating Magic the Gathering decks to play cards against each other.

The new dresser will be so much larger than the other one. It will be 52" wide, 40" tall, and 22" deep.

I'll have to wait until next weekend to start it, though, because my in-laws are coming up this weekend and my brother-in-law is graduating.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

School's out... for a few weeks

Well, I took my last (and only) final last night for the semester. It was hard. It was only three questions, but the format was as follows:



1. a. 1., b. 1., c. 1., 2., 3., 4., d., e., f.

2. a. 1. 2. b.

3. a., b.



So, in total, approximately 18-20 questions. I think/know I got the first problem wrong, because I got a negative number in a square root... which is mathematically impossible. Unfortunately, the number was used throughout the first problem, so who knows what I'll make. Hopefully, he'll grade like last semester (meaning, I think I failed that final, too but still got an A in the class).






Philip is graduating this weekend, so I've been busy cleaning the apartment so that his mom won't think I'm a total slob, only a part slob. I've dusted (sort of), vaccuumed, cleaned out the fish tank, and washed all of the dishes. Chris helped with the clothes. I need to do the litter box, but I hate doing the litter box and Chris won't touch it. (mainly because part of the agreement for me to get a cat was that he would not have to clean out the litter box).






On the gardening side of things, farewell to the azalea blooms for another year. My azalea was beautiful and I have a lot of pictures, the only thing is that the pictures are still on my phone and camera. My canteloupe seeds are beginning to grow. Hopefully I will have canteloupe this summer. The irises didn't bloom this year because I moved them to a bigger area before they had formed the blooms and were in "shock" because of the new environment. I should have a ton of daylillies this summer, though-which will make up for the lack of irises. I guess I will have to look at previous years' irises to get me through ;).



Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm stocking up...

This weekend, I started making purses for my new etsy store. So far, I have one bag-a tie messenger bag. I don't want to be one of "those" people who only have one thing in their store, so I am going to try to make a little more inventory before I go on-line with my store. I'm focusing mainly on purses, but who knows what I'll put in my store.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here's what I've been doing

I thought I would share what I've been up to....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

To start my own business or not....

Well, to say "start a business" is a bit of an exageration. It's more like, sell things that I do as a hobby. My co-workers have been telling me for a while that I should get a booth at the holiday bazaar on-campus... especially every time I bring a new purse into the office. This has inspired me and is making me think harder about actually selling the products that I create. I have also had several complements on a tie purse that I made a few months back, even from complete strangers.

Since some of the people that are telling me to open up a booth are typical flea-market/craft fair perusers, I take this as a complement.

I do admit that I usually go to the holiday bazaar to "scope out" the competition and see what is in-style. I have also created an etsy account to sell my wares, but the $.10 per item price has detered me... why? I do not know.

The only problem with me opening an online store is the fact that there are not really any good fabric/craft stores around where I live. The closest one is an hour away. Another reason is that it will take some startup money to get me going. Usually, I just buy for one project, not one project x 4 items. One more factor is time. I am working a full-time job and going to school.... okay. the last reason is just an excuse. There is plenty of time for me to make stuff. Supplies are the main reason.

Does anyone out there in blogger land have an idea about start an etsy shop or a booth?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nightstand

I have been living with a TV table as my nightstand for the past 2.5 years. You would think that I would have one, but since I slept on the top bunk in college and had a computer desk right next to my head in my first apartment, I have never really had a need for a nightstand. My eyes were finally opened once I saw this:

I realized that I needed a nightstand, preferably one that matched the one that matched the one that Christopher had. That's one good thing about getting married- you inherit a lot of furniture.


I didn't want to spend the $80 to get a replacement nightstand. I also wanted to clear out some clutter in my apartment as well-by using the MDF from an old entertainment center.


I took the measurements of Christopher's nightstand and began to cut out the appropriate pieces. I then put them together and painted them with some sample paint that I had purchased at Lowes. I thought I had bought the appropriate color, unfortunately, I was a few shades off.




I could really realize it after I put it together and put it by my bed. I didn't like the yellow color.


While at work, I found out that they make a brush that can paint woodstain onto furniture. I had to try it out. I was really impressed with how it turned out. It would have looked more like woodstain if I hadn't used a mixture of polyurethane and stain. If you use just stain, it will look better.

I was really impressed with how it turned out. When I get some extra spending money, I may invest in drawer slides for the drawer. Right now, the drawer is sitting on two boards. The drawer works, but is always at risk of falling out if you open it too far.
I think it looks pretty close to Chris's nightstand.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The new planter

Well, I built something, but it wasn't what was proposed earlier in the blog.

I went to Lowe's to buy the lumber and... well.... 12 foot boards won't really fit in the car. Because they do not sell car-stretchers at Lowes, I decided to rethink my planter box and make something simpler. (smaller). Lowe's sells 6 foot boards that fit nicely into the car.

I changed the plan to be something simpler that would only require 8 1x6x6's. I had one 2x4x10 on-hand to build the supports for the planter.

I also was needing boards with straight-cut lines.... I have a tendency to cut not-so-straight lines. I finally talked myself into buying a skil-saw. It worked wonderfully.

The next chapter in the planter saga was the fact that I needed dirt. Do you know how hard it is to find dirt if you want to just dig it up? I had to scratch my head and try to find a place that wouldn't arrest me for digging.

I tried to get dirt from a remote spot near my apartment, but wet clay is heavier than it looks. It took me FOREVER to drag back a bucket of dirt to the apartment... and I didn't even do all of the dragging. I wimped out half-way to the apartment and had to get my husband to drag it back. He ended up pulling a muscle in his arm and gave up after getting the dirt back to the house.

I then decided to look for a better spot for dirt. I settled on getting dirt from the ditches around my apartment. This way, I would be doing a favor by cleaning out the ditches and getting dirt for my box.

After filling my box with old potting soil and clay, I decided that it was time to go to walmart and buy some potting soil to fill up the rest of the box. Did you know Walmart sells dirt for less than $1.50 a bag? That doesn't seem like a bad price, considering all of the sore muscles that I still have after hauling tons of dirt all Sunday evening.

I planted all of my flowers on one side (my daylilies, irises, azalea bush, and cedar tree). The other half of my planter will be leaf lettuce (bought from walmart) and bell pepper seeds (that I had saved from a bell pepper-I just hope they sprout). If the bell peppers don't work, I may either plant the canteloupe seeds that I had saved from a canteloupe last summer or maybe plant a cucumber plant.




I will have to post pictures later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Updated plans

I have posted plans to build the planter box. I will warn you that the image is not to scale and I have not built it yet (but I plan to buy the stuff tonight... Yay! roadtrip to Lowe's).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is here

Spring has arrived on campus. The daffodils are in bloom and the tulip trees are in full-force. I also noticed that my daylilies are starting to sprout new leaves in preperation of the new summer blooming season.



Chris described my front porch as cluttered, which I thought was a very nice compliment, considering that I thought it looked terrible. He and I both agree that it would be nice to have a new way to plant the plants. Thus, I have designed a planter, based on a design that I found on the internet.

It is approximately 7 feet wide and 20 inches tall. The two bins on the ends will be for storage.

Friday, February 26, 2010

How do I light a fire....

Just by looking at the title of my blog, one could guess that I like to make things. I love it so much that I created a blog centered around it. Unfortunately, my husband is the complete opposite of me. He would be more content sitting in front of a computer, playing a video game, than making something. This creates a problem... a huge problem.


The picture to the left is of the office/guest bedroom/Kelda and Pharaoh's room. It is a mish-mash of items that have no sense of place. (I guess I should note that the futon that the dog is sleeping on is now a bed frame, so, make a mental note to remove it and put the round chair in its spot).

The main source of mess in this room, however, is not pictured. Chris's desk is a huge mess. (I think I blogged about making a new desk earlier). I really want to clean it up and fortunately, I have found a pattern for a desk system that implements the type of desk that he has. I only need to build a filing cabinet (and maybe a few built-in shelves) and the ensemble will be complete. To tie all of the pieces together, though, I will need to paint a cabinet, desk, and the filing cabinet. Here is where the problem lies. My husband likes things the way they are. The dark brown cabinet, light-colored, wood-veneered desk, and whatever color I paint the filing cabinet do not bother him. The woods aren't even in the same family! (The book case and plastic shelf drive me crazy in the above picture).


The main reason that he doesn't care is that it would inconvenience him from one night of using his computer if I painted the items all one color. He can afford one night of inconvenience for my happiness, right? I know marriage is about compromise, but I draw the line. I'm tired of mismatched furniture. I want my apartment to be mistaken for a Pottery Barn catalog (now you know i'm kidding, right?) ... but I do want matching furniture.


I guess my question is: How do I "inspire" my husband to want to make the room look better? I guess if I could answer this question, then my next goal would be to answer the question of world peace.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Santa:

Dear Santa:

I would love a circular saw for Christmas. I know I've been asking for one for years, but this year, I'm serious. I really need it to build new furniture from Knock-off Wood. Also, the saw that Lowe's uses is out of commission and I don't want to go to Columbus to cut wood.

Another reason that I want a saw is that I REALLY want to make this desk. If you saw Christopher's desk now, you would understand. He needs storage.... I mean NEEDS storage (and a sense of organization, but that's another blog post.... (j/k Chris) ).

I am on a mission to organize my apartment before I move out in three to four years.

Your help would be appreciated and tell Rudolph that I will give him extra carrots.

Love,

Me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a day for gardening

Days like today make me want to stay outside and dig in the dirt. Even when I was in college and was not able to "garden", I still tried to grow stuff in a window box outside of my dorm room. I'm sure my roomate loved me climbing all over her bed to tend to the plants outside :). I still don't have a garden (even though I've contemplated the thought of turning the "porch" of my apartment into a grassy lawn) but try to grow stuff in pots each year. So far, I have a cedar tree, day lillies, irises, and an azalea bush. I also have some ivy, but I don't think it's going to make it through the winter. I did try to plant some buttercups this year in the flowerbed outside of my bedroom window, but the landlord got the bright idea to dig up all of the bushes at the apartment complex and plant new bushes, and, in the process, dig up my buttercup bulbs. I didn't lose any money on that project though, I had dug up the bulbs from the wilderness around my apartment, it just mainly hurt my feelings because buttercups are my favorite flower.

I thought about not going to class nor going back to work, especially when I saw someone sitting in the sun at the Chapel. It's so nice outside that it should be illegal to have to work on days like today.
Also, today is the opening of baseball season on-campus. I love to go to Dudy-Noble and watch baseball games, especially since baseball is the only sport that my husband will actually go with me to watch.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blankets

Have you ever been inspired to do something, and it seems like a good idea at the time to start the project, but you just can't bring yourself to finish it? I am going through a phase like that right now with an afghan. I started it when I was in college but put it away. It's still incomplete, over five years later. Here is a small picture of the pattern I found on the internet. My afghan is a different color scheme... it's mainly purples, greens, tans, and creams.

Maybe this afghan never had a good start to begin with. It started to be another type of afghan, but was taken apart after I didn't like it. It was supposed to be a wedding gift for someone. They have now been married for over seven years!

I found this square online. It looks so neat. Also, I found a dog costume that would be awesome to make. Did I mention that awesome seems to be my word for the day?

This baby blanket looks like a good way to use scraps. I have some bright colors that would look great in this pattern.

The problem is that I have lost the drive to crochet. I start to do it and then I get tired with crocheting.
I have, however, finished one project. Remember the china cabinet I talked about for like a month? Here it is before:





And .....




(pause for dramatic effect:)




After!
I have also been talking about a chair. After pricing upholstery fabric, and since I was looking at needing at least two yards of fabric, I decided to buy a drop cloth used for painting. I got all of the material I needed for the price of one yard of upholstery fabric on sale!

Before: After:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Critter count... and why I hate Lowe's

The china cabinet is a pain in my side... well, not the cabinet, just the "supply" store that i am having to buy stuff from. I will tell of my experience at Lowes so that they will get bad publicity and maybe clean up their act.

I should have known that last night's excursion was going to be a failure as soon as I started out. I saw two cop cars with their lights own at a bad intersection. I thought, oh, there must be a wreck, so I turned around and went the other way. As soon as I turned around, I looked in my rear-view mirror and the cops were gone.

When I got to Lowes (after going to the Dollar Tree to find a frame that had glass that would have fit, I decided to check out the panneling. I found a sheet that I wanted to get cut, and even had the measurements written out so that they could cut it up, I could finish my shopping, and I would be on my merry way. I found an associate, climbing in the 2x4 lumber and asked him to cut it for me. He told me that the saw was broken... Really???? A saw... at a hardware store.... broken.... They sell saws a few rows over. They just didn't want to cut it.

Next, I decided to get a piece of glass cut for the cabinet. The dimensions were 9x11, 1/2 inch short of just getting a picture frame from Dollar Tree. The lady couldn't find a 10x12 piece to cut down, and she got one out of the scrap bin. It took her a while to find a piece to cut, and then she started measuring it to be 12 inches, even though I told her 11 inches. Then, she couldn't figure out how to cut the glass. She had to call a guy to come help her. When he arrived, he cut the glass. By this point, I just wanted to go home. I was tempted to just say "hand me the glass and I'll take it home and cut it" since I got a glass cutter from my dad. I decided it would be better to get "professionals" to do it since the edge would be nicer. He cut the glass on one side, and discovered that the blade was dull. I could have cut a better line than he did and he asked me if I wanted to see if they could change out the blade.... at this point, i just wanted to go home. I didn't care. They finally got the glass cut and the product number on the packaging. I noticed that he had written down the wrong number, but I was angry and just wanted to leave.

I had had enough by the time I got to the register. She rang up my problems, and I saw that they charged me for a 12x16 piece of glass, even though the measurements were 9x11. The smallest size they had was 10x12. They used a scrap piece of glass, so the measurements weren't even 12x16 to begin with. I asked her about this since I didn't think it was right for Lowe's to not only waste my time, but also my money. She got the glass guy to come over and I told him that the smallest piece was 10x12, adn that I didn't think I should be charged for a larger piece than what was needed. He got the product number. I stood at the register hoping the lady coudl do a refund, but she didnt. She told me to go to the returns counter and get a refund. There was no one there, so I just stood at the register, because I heard her mutter something about doing a refund. Plus, she still had my receipt. She finally gave me my receipt and I had to go outside and back in to get to the returns desk.

When I got to the desk, the lady gave me a refund, but refunded me for the entire product. I started to think that she was goign to take my glass. I told her I wanted to keep this piece of glass. SHe was like "I know, I gotta ring it up again". Then, she stood there, all confused, about how to give me my money. She rang up the new amount, and I had to give her the cash back from the full amount. In the end, I only got a dollar back. Wouldn't it have been easier to just subtract the amount from the lesser amount and give me a dollar and change back? I was furious. I haven't been that mad in a really long time. The whole experience has made me hate Lowes (in my town). I've decided that when I want to get the paneling again, I am going to go to the next town over to buy it, just to avoid the stupidity at this Lowes.

After growing weary of cleaning the china cabinet and still removing tar, I decided to start tearing the chair apart. (here's where the title comes from) Upon removing the upholstery and old foam, I found three dirt-dobber (wasp) nests and two spiders. I freaked out. I hate spiders. Needless to say, they met their maker before they could bite me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Chair


I guess I better post a picture of the chair before I throw out all of these fabrics to choose from.


Reupholstering fever

Apparently, I'm not the only one who has reupholstering fever. Apartment Therapy has a post about it too.

Here are a list of Fabrics I like

Hancock Fabrics
Fabric 2
Fabric 3
Fabric 4

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fabric choices


Well, the china cabinet isn't black after all. It's more of a mahogany color and will take hours and hours of cleaning to get it back to it's rightful shade of wood-grain. So, there isn't much to post about it. I took plenty of pictures last night and will post them later so that I can have a dramatic "before and after" post. For now, I'm looking for fabrics for my new chair.

The current fabric is burnt orange... straight from the 70's. It has to go . So with that in mind, here is what I found in cyber space.

This fabric is not only on sale, it's also flame-retardant. I think it's flame retardant b/c not even fire would want to touch this VERY dated fabric.

I could support the Navy with this one. (or learn to play the bagpipe while sitting in my new chair)

I tried to convince Chris to let me get this fabric, but at a whopping retail price of $396 a yard, (on sale for $79.20) it would cost me almost $500 for two chairs... I think not.

I thought about being creative and tyedying painter's cloth, but Chris wouldn't go for it. I told him that it was either that or he would be subject to this fabric.

I sent this link to Chris, hoping for some sort of "hell no", but he actually approved of it.

I'm still looking...



I found these on Flexsteel's website. They are located in Starkville, MS.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The China Cabinet

So... if all goes as planned, I should get a china cabinet today! My parents wouldn't hear of me renting a U-haul and used the excuse that "they move stuff like that all the time". Since they are where I get my "stubborn" side from, I didn't fight. It is supposed to be rain-free today, so I'm hoping that they can move it today.

With all of my excitement, I'm sure you are wondering where the "story" is at in this china cabinet. Well, it was my grandmother's china cabinet. She had it in her house for as long as I can remember. She kept all of her "trinkets" in it in the living room. The cabinet is probably over 50 years old.

When my grandmother and grandfather were married, they never had an official wedding ceremony. They went to the justice of the peace in Vaiden and got a marriage license. They were young (as in my grandfather was only 15 and my grandmother was 14) and just starting out and he didn't have money for a wedding ring.

Later, he decided to get my grandmother a wedding present. She was hoping for a wedding ring. My grandfather, being the creative and spontaneous type, decided to not follow tradition. He got her something that was in a black box, alright, but it wasn't a ring. It was a china cabinet.

The story of the "wedding ring china cabinet" was passed down and all of their children knew the story. Even to their dying days, my grandmother never got a wedding ring. I believe that it was because they love to fight over the smallest of things. If he had gotten her a ring, she would have nothing to nit-pick about when they were fighting. My grandmother said that she despised the china cabinet, but she never got rid of the cabinet... and she could certainly get rid of it if she wanted to. This is the same woman who chased my grandfather through a screen door with a butcher knife.

Monday, February 8, 2010

pondering life and other things...

For the past week, I had been making plans to watch the Super Bowl and crochet. It sounded like an easy enough plan, except for the fact that I didn't know what time the Super Bowl started.

After googling the time, I informed Christopher that we would need to leave by 4:35 at the latest so that I could watch the game from kickoff to final whistle. Easy enough, right? Wrong.

Firstly, Chris and his brother decided that they wanted to go out to eat dinner. Dinner usually occurs after 5 pm. DURING THE SUPER BOWL. So, my plan was already shot. Chris then decided that he didn't want to go out to eat because he was scared they would spit in his food because him wanting food would make them work and miss a play in the superbowl. I told him he was stupid and that is a dumb reason. We went out to eat.

At Ruby Tuesday, I took bites of my chicken tenders in between plays and peeked around the banisters to see the score every few minutes. On the bright side, our neighbor was a waitress there. I had never really seen her before (mainly because I take my glasses off at home and when I'm outside, I don't have them on and everyone is fuzzy)

Secondly, my cat decided to run away for the day in Tupelo. We started looking for him around 12:30. At 4:30, he still hadn't been seen. Since we had to get home, we left his butt in Tupelo. Around10 p.m., he still hadn't been seen. Chris and I seriously started to think that he had been eaten/ run-over/ somehow killed. (thus, the pondering life title) Chris and I were sad and didn't know if we were going to get another cat since we had already paid a $200 non-refundable pet deposit. At 10:45 p.m., Chris's mom called to let us know that he was alive and had been hiding/sleeping. So, yeah, that was my drama for the night. My cat's still in Tupelo, though.

Why do I want to watch the Super Bowl? 1) It's the Saints. The only NFL team that I have some connection with... and not a big connection. I've been to the Superdome before and New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. (even though Christopher despises New Orleans... but that's another post). 2) the ads (and the fact that I'm taking a marketing class and I know the teacher's going to talk about the ads in class) 3) I like football.

So, yeah. that was my exciting weekend story.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

China Cabinet and my new favorite website

Apparently, Chris was unaware of my inherited china cabinet. Since I have been talking about painting and redoing, he just assumed that I was going to build a china cabinet from scratch. I told him that that was not the intention since I do not want my shelves falling and breaking the plates ;) . It also didn't help that I had previously been drooling over the projects on my new favorite blog. Can you believe it? Patterns for high-end furniture!!!

The china cabinet, like I previously posted, the china cabinet was in a smoker's house for many, many years. I haven't decided how I will remove the tar. I'm thinking a simple mix of bleach and water and a good scrub. Now, my only problem is moving the cabinet from my parents' house to my apartment.

My parents would be more than willing to help me move it, but there are three scenarios on how it would be moved:

1. My parents would load it, then drive to my apartment with it, then have to drive back. The fault with this plan is that it would involve my parents a) having to load the monstrocity by themselves and b) having to make a 2 hour trip just to deliver something.

2. Christopher and I driving their house, helping them load it, and then all of us driving in two different vehicles to my apartment and then my parents driving back home.

3. Christopher and I renting a U-haul (since we don't have a truck) and driving to my parents' house, loading the cabinet, and then driving back to Starkville. The only problem with that is that I don't know if Chris and I can lift it. The good thing is that we could recruit help to move it.

I'm not sure how to move it. I really would like to do the 3rd option, since it will put less strain on my parents and also, give the people in their community something to gossip about. (or as I like to call gossip, conspiracy theories)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My New China!!!!

I'm so excited. I found my china at an almost 80% discount! It was originally $732 dollars but I found it for the low price of $199. Mikasa was having a sale on it PLUS offering a 20% discount on any one item. On top of that, they were having FREE SHIPPING for items over $150. Usually, one place setting costs $50 at least. I found an 8 piece setting for $160!!! This has to be the steal of the century (other than inheriting your family's china).

I wasn't sure if I should get it and Christopher told me that I should sleep on the idea.

My mom asked me if I wanted my Grandmother's China cabinet after my grandmother had died. I said yes (of course) and now I have china to put in it.

I guess after all of this talking, you would probably like to see a picture of this amazing china. Lauren and Anna, two of my bridesmaids, helped me pick out the pattern almost 3 years ago. (has it really been almost 3 years?) Lauren used to work at a gift shop that sold china so she knew what to look for and steered me in the right location to get quality stuff.

The china cabinet has a broken pane of glass and was in a house in which the occupants smoked cigarettes for over 30 years, so the cabinet has a huge buildup of tar. I will have to sand the cabinet down and fix the broken window. I think I will paint it black and add silver knobs.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Going green...

Well, the title can be a little misleading. I'm not really going green, just going frugal. This all started last night when I went to Lowe's. I found garden lights for 78% off (only $4.50 a piece!) needless to say, I snatched them up, only to realize they were 12 volt lights. After wiring the lights to plug in to the outlet, I realized that 12 volt lights do not like to work well with 120 volt light sockets and I blew out both bulbs. I then went back to Lowes to buy some new bulbs, thinking that I had seen $0.75 bulbs for these lamps... I didn't. The bulbs for this type of light were more than $3 a piece! Because I really wanted to get these lights to work , I bought the bulbs.


Once I got home, I realized that I had several cords around the house that converted 120v to 12 v. I rewired the lights and then plugged in the light. Success!!!


Unfortunately, the plug overheated and died. This, however, did not dishearten me. I decided to rewire the whole dang lamp. I had some 4th of July lights that I had gotten on clearance in 2003 and had never used. I took off the excess lights and put one light in the globe of the garden lights. Now, I have a 120 v plug that will work with my garden light and it only costed $4.50 a piece (because I am not using the bulbs that I had bought... they will be returing to Lowe's shortly).

For the other lamp, I used the left-over wire from the rewiring and concocted another light, using a spare replacement plug and light socket I had lying around the house. Now, I have two garden lights!

Now, to the green part. Did you know you could make your own dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent? I just recently found this out. Here are the directions for the dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent. I might try this because I cringe every time I have to spend $9 for laundry detergent. (and the fact that I'm breaking out in a mysterious rash from the new detergent I'm using... but that's TMI ;) )