My my, haven’t updated since August hmm? Tsk. Well, in my defense, I started a new blog! And I’ve been pretty good about posting most days of the week (business days, that is)

So, here’s the scoop. I started a fashion blog. Yeah, I’m a fashion blogger now. Not in a sense that anyone is actually following the blog, or I’m getting followers or any helpful feedback, but I started it just to help myself so no worries on that front. Although I also reasoned that people (someone, right?) will read it and it makes me have more motivation to put more effort into my clothes. I found a few fashion bloggers through pinterest (of course…pinterest, the root of all my distractions)  and started following a few this summer. It inspired me to get out of my jeans and old t-shirt funk. Even these bloggers make a t shirt cute with layers and accessories and cute shoes and the whole nine yards. Me, I look like I’m going to the gym, zero effort.

Sometimes zero effort is ok, but in my quest to be more adult like and polished ( I am in my upper 20’s now, gasp!) I want to put more effort into my look. I want to be and look styled. I still have my pull my hair back in a ponytail sweatshirt kind of days, but I want to know that I’m capable of looking pulled together, and do it on a consistent basis. I also want my wardrobe as a whole to look more…I dunno, stylish, so that even when it is a plain old throw something on kind of days, I  still look fashionable because the basics themselves are more…upscale is the wrong word…but hopefully you know what I mean.

The unknown side effect is that I’m learning, through posting photos almost everyday, the clothing items that I really could do without, what cuts look good (and bad on me) etc, which is helping my current and future clothing shopping. (AND helping me prune down my closet of old items I was holding onto but shouldnt)

So there’s the long winded version of where I’ve been. Here’s a link:





Now this will seem like a big long rambly post, but I wanted to write about how much I got done today, because I’m so excited about being productive. Plus, having a long weekend didn’t hurt either. Woot!

I went shopping after work Friday and the afternoon Saturday and ended up with yellow flats, a yellow cardigan, BROWN BOOTS, and a new purse. Now, minus the flats, these are all things I’ve been looking for. Let me tell you friends, I’ve scoured Peoria stores on two occassions hunting for boots. I went everywhere. I mean it. Both malls, Kohls, Target, Gordmans, Platos Closet, Thrift stores…you name it I shopped there.  BUT I decided to just pop in again for kicks and see if maybe anything was on sale at Bergners, because I had previously spotted a few that looked maybe O.K. but I picked up a couple pairs and they were way out of my price range. But it turns out Bergners was having this huge sale that I just stumbled my way into. The shoe department was almost a mob scene. And then I saw the sign that said 29.99 and tables and tables of boots set up in the walkway aisles.  I spotted a pair that looked awesome but they didn’t have my size. Next table also awesome, had my size. And they fit. I slid my foot in that boot and it was a mix between awesome and shock. And then I forgot they were 30.00, and remembered and it was awesome all over again. HAH.

Anywho, earlier on Saturday a friend came over for Brunch, and I baked sopapilla cheesecake/coffee cake and we caught up on life. Good times. But having her  over forced me to go on a tidy up rampage before she came, and I was a little cleaning machine for a good two hours in the morning.

Sunday I did loads and loads of laundry, including my new winter flannel sheets and a new duvet cover (which I also had to iron, because I’m OCD like that. Thanks mom) So I switched all those blankets out and put away another three loads or so. I also ran lots of errands to the craft store to get a frame for a project I made at the Art Teacher conference. I ended up at Walmart for some other things, and then after testing some things out for the project realized I was going to need a different kind of frame (and since Michaels was having a crazy sale with crazy extra coupons on top of the sale) so I went BACK to the store. I also went to the dollar store as part of this whole quest. Jeez. But yes. Then I cleaned my apt some more including the kitchen and bathroom, and did some organizing in my bedroom.

Today I did more deep cleaning including wiping out and reorganizing the fridge, some dusting, and vacuuming I also managed to sell a piece of furniture on craigslist and have that picked up/hauled off,  hang up a painting that I’ve meant to put up for a few months (oops),  and I uploaded and started sorting through some photowalk pics from a few weeks ago.  I also spend several hours working on another crafty project separate from the framing stuff, and it took me quite a while because I’m quite rusty at what I was doing and of course it had to be just.so. Eyeroll. But I think it’s done, I just need to take a break so I can look over it one last time with fresh eyes to see if I need to make any tweaks. Oh, and I did a load of towels tonight. More laundry. Kinda ridiculous. But, it’s my own fault for pretty much waiting until I’ve used up every single towel I own, worn all my clothes and have no clean underwear before I’ll do the laundry. My bad. Haha!

PHEW. I feel AWESOME that I accomplished so much and my place looks great. Being productive is the best ever!

I told you so

I told them about this leak last spring in the back stairwell. They told me they’d check the roof for the leak. I guess they kind of forgot? Cuz today I came home to this(with water steadily dribbling out)

Landlord fail. Good thing my apartment is on the other side of the building.

Well, I’ve been staring at these snowflakes a little too long. Like, since last November. It only took me until July to crack and actually do something about it. Doot de dooo.
I’ve seen on other blogs how you can use scrapbook paper for some easy art in frames like these, but I couldn’t find anything good. I wanted to go the more artsy route instead of photos for two reasons: they are a weird square size, and I couldn’t think of what photos to put in there.  So I started scouring my pinterest boards for ideas, and viola. Paint chip slices in colors to coordinate with the scheme already in my living room.

I used a large paper cutter (the kind with an arm) to cut the strips, printer paper as the background cut slightly larger than the square hole (1/2 in each side) and used glue stick to glue them on. I pre laid them out to make sure it was all balanced with the different shades before gluing. =)


What? Snowflakes and July don’t mix?

Christmas in July? Kinda sad it got to that point of excuses.

Yay! A more permanent/non seasonal solution. This was a fun mini project. I only felt slightly shady taking all the paint sample cards from the hardware store… (but I’ve asked before about getting a bunch for a lesson I wanted to teach at summer school, and they told me to take literally as many as a I needed, didn’t matter how many) So for all those people who think it’s stealing, it’s not. I asked permission first. =p


Alright friends. It’s time to let you in on a dirty little secret. Please don’t judge me, ok?

Dishes are my number one enemy. I am bad at keeping the kitchen clean. Like, reaaaaaallly bad. It really grosses me out, yet I’m better and being non cluttered and such than I am at deep cleaning the kitchen. I’m looking back at these old before photos in HORROR. HORROR I SAY.

If it weren’t for Pinterest, I don’t know where I’d be! I saw both of these methods for cleaning Hard water stains and stuck on burn grease from the oven/stove on there.
Lets start with the water stains, and a little story. There once was a young woman, who moved to Peoria, IL. She went to get a drink from her new kitchen sink, but saw white stuff floating in the glass and didn’t know what to think!

For real, there is serious mineral deposits in the water here. I got a faucet filter and everything, it’s still there. If you put ice in your glass it makes it worse. I try not to drink the very last sip, as the mysterious floaties tend to sink to the bottom. Gross. I asked around about this when I first moved here. No, it’s not just me. Yes, most people get bottled water, but plenty of others don’t. I drink the weird water. I’m not dead yet. Hooray?
Before Oh I tried the cleaners, scrubbing, vinegar, etc. It was hopeless. Just looking at this makes me want to gag. At least I wasn’t alone, because then I found this little recipe and figure what they heck. Maybe the lemon juice will give it some oomph! Basically fill half a spray bottle with vinegar, add 1/4 cup of lemon juice, fill with some soap of your choice. I made a mini bottle and just guesstimated the lemon juice and soap proportions.

You spray, let it sit for 30 minutes. I believe I did it twice. Some of the gunk still didn’t totally come off, but also the chrome/steel has weird like, acid stains on it. I think they are from someone else using some kind of terrible cleaner on the sink that went horribly wrong, because it’s like this in my bathroom too.

AFTERAhh, I’m just blinded by the shiney. Fantastic! Now, the oven and burner pans. I’m sure we all know cleaning an oven isn’t fun, but burner pans are a bitch. This is one of the many reasons why I HATE electric ovens/stoves. Just terrible. Spill something down there, too bad, it’s gonna be burnt and caked on forever because the coil stays hot for an eternity and you have no hope of wiping a spill after it happens if it drips down there.

Pinterest called for an ammonia overnight soak. Now this stuff smells REALLY strongly. So open your windows if possible. I kept my kitchen fan running the entire time this process took place. I thought tossing the burner pans in the oven with the bowl of ammonia would be easier than doing the ziplock method for the drip pans, but it really didnt work. Put the pans in bags. Also, it said to preheat your oven to 150, and put a boiling pot of water on the bottom rack and your glass dish of ammonia on the top rack (1/2C to 1C will do ya), but I skipped the heating and the water. Maybe I shouldn’t have, because I still had to use a fair amount of elbow grease.


AFTER!And the best for last, the burner pans!

I scrubbed these like no tomorrow still, used a little baking soda to boot, but they came out preeeetty freakin clean if you ask me! One pan itself actually seemed burned, and that wouldn’t come off, but I’m amazed!

I tested just one in the baggie first, and I flipped the bag over a couple times, which I think “agitates” the fumes. I think this made it work better, as I didn’t do this with the others and they were harder to clean. The one I flipped was the dirtiest of the small ones, and it got the cleanest with the least effort with the flipping of the bag periodically.


SHAZAM, that’s one clean kitchen!



P.S. Did you know that some oven tops lift up like the hood of a car so you can clean underneath? I didn’t! Do I live under a rock or is that actually new information?

String Art

My string art project was inspired by the How To over on Honey and Fitz

I wanted to hang this up in a gallery wall o frames in my office/studio, so I made the word create using the same font she used. I had to download the font, and then screw around with it ALOT to get it to be the right size. I think I made it as large as I could, which was not very big, and then saved that as an image and then blew up the image some more in illustrator. If you’re not super program/font savvy it could give you a hard time.

So I printed that out and layed it over my cork. I used two layers of square cork boards, and then a layer of illustrator/matt board that I had leftover from making a backing from my bookcase DIY. You can get mattboard at any craft store. I thought this was easier and would look nicer than painting the cork, because I’m crazy picky like that.

The frame I used came from target a long time ago, I think it’s a 10×30 and it actually one of those floating frames with two panes of glass. I just took one out. I’m sure you could use a different framing method but this worked for me. (The float frames are a little bit thicker, without being a shadow box. I could have probably done just one layer of cork, my mattboard, then little rectangular spacer that came in the float frame, and still put the glass on top, but alas. Live and learn.

So mine has no glass over it and I wish it did. I’d say maybe next time but I won’t be redoing it. I’m not THAT crazy. Also, I was kinda turned off by the gold color of the linoleum nails, but looking back I should have used those instead of the tiny silver ones I actually used. Would have been alot easier I think with looping the thread. Still turned out nice though and I love it!

Painted “TOMS”

Another project! Gotta keep busy, ya know?

I’ve been wanting to recreate some Starry Night Painted shoes ever since I first saw them somewhere on the online world almost a year ago. I pinned them to my Pinterest Boards. I looked at them all the time. I was kinda obsessed. ( After all, Starry Night is my fav,  and I already have a Starry Night purse!)  I was hesitant to pay for the plain canvas TOMS just to paint them and potentially screw up a 60 dollar pair of shoes. Then, I heard that Wet Seal had knockoffs. These were the best fake ones I had seen yet, they are literally the exact same without the logo. (My sister tried them on and said they are not as comfy as the real ones, but for 15 bucks I’m not surprised.)

Anywho, at the current moment they are on clearance online and only 9 bucks, only sizes 8 and 9. I suspect they might still have more in actual stores. I think I’m going to try going back and get another cheap pair.

I’ve read to paint canvas shoes you should use acrylic paint. This makes sense as acrylic dries somewhat plastic-y and would be water resistant and it pretty much never washes off. However A) I HATE painting in acrylic. B) I didn’t have any and had oils already. So I used those. People online say oh it will crack blah blah, won’t last etc. But let me tell you, my painting pants from college, the paint on them several years later is still bright, hasn’t cracked, and definitely hasn’t even remotely come close to coming off.  It just needs a much longer drying time and not be globbed on too thick.

On the  shoes I took  a few creative liberties and they are not super precise as far as being an exact copy of the original painting. One, that’s a hard painting and style to recreate, and two, painting shoes is alot harder than it looks. Here’s my process and the final result:

I wore them swing dancing once already and they seem pretty darn comfy to me!

This is definitely a time consuming project, but the end result is so worth it!


Parchment paper
Wax paper (2 or 3 rolls)
Hanging basket or old lamp wire frame
Sewing Machine
Sewing Thread
Hot glue

I bought my hanging basket at Ace Hardware on closeout for a few dollars. It was already white, so I didn’t need to spray paint it. I feel any other color like green will show through and look ugly, now that I’ve made it. So be warned. If it’s not white you might want to spray it.

I needed more wax paper than what I had on hand and bought some from Family Dollar, generic brand. It was only waxy on one side and didn’t fuse right. I had to go buy the regular stuff from the grocery store. It was only like a dollar more. Just buy the name brand and save yourself the trouble.

Step 1: Iron together three sheets of wax paper, sandwiched between two sheets of plain parchment. I’ve read you can do multiple layers, up to 5, each set of 3 wax separated by 1 parchment, but I did it one at a time, no big deal.

Step 2: Cut your circles. Try not to go crazy. I stuck to 1 1/2 in diameter. I ended up using about 75 strands of 22 circles long. Thats 1,650 circles. Damn.

I tried using fiskars easy grip circle punch, and the generic brand Michaels circle punch, both broke/got jammed like the pieces of junk that they are.  Seriously. I tried it all. Multiple layers of wax paper, one layer, quick punching, holding at different angles. Nothing worked well. Half the circles came out mangled, and needless to say I was getting super annoyed. To fiskars credit, they did have an easy online warranty form, and I attached the following picture and they mailed me a brand new one. And I punched a few circles on cardstock to see if it was just the wax paper and it seemed ok for the paper. Maybe these punches just hate wax paper?

As a side note, at the school I teach art at we are doing this other all school project with circles, and a lady came in to punch them with all her scrapbooking circle punches. She bought “good ones” you can only buy through people/online. You know, like scentsy, or tupperware parties? They were called, the paper…something (source maybe).  They worked LIKE BUTTAH. She said they were $16 dollars each but beat out every punch available at the craft stores…

Broken! Junky Fiskars Punch.

The only thing that worked was this circle CUTTER. It’s 20 bucks regular price. It has a little exacto blade on the bottom. Takes longer.  But it worked way better. I needed to change the blade twice to keep things working super smoothly. remember, I cut ALOT of freakin circles.

For my circle cutter, I ended up cutting my ironed wax paper into 2 inch strips with my super awesome paper cutter (the type with the big arm on the side) It was easier for me to line up the cutter this way and go down the row. Unfortunately, you cant do more than one layer at a time with the cutter, the wax layers slide/wont get held down properly.

Step 3: Count your circles and group them. I just spread out my stacks all over the table, a muffin tin would be good for holding your counted stacks together. I used all strands 22 circles long.

Step 4: Sew/chain piece together. I made the stitch as long as it would go which on my machine is a “5”. I sew on medium speed, I probably could go a tiny bit faster but didn’t want to feel super rushed feeding the circles through. Medium speed was good pace for me (this was also the first time using my new machine!)

After each strand of 22 I stopped, pulled the thread a couple inches, and started a new strand. I only ever did about 10-15 in a row before cutting them apart to avoid a tangley mess.

Step 5: Assemble. I had one bottom row of rungs, and used one for each rung (18 total) Then on the top, after hanging them equally divided, I didnt like it, so I played with it and split it so the front was only 9, and the back was 13 long. This made a tiered effect of three sections, which you can see in the final photos. I’ve also seen an extra layer added by string wire around your frame, but I didn’t have any and didn’t want to bother.

While I was assembling I still had the basket hanger attached and I looped it through one of my ceiling vents, bc I had nowhere to hang the thing that would let it hang freely. Once all your strands are on there, you will hot glue dabs/a thin line of glue along the edge to make sure the string stays attached to the rim and doesn’t slide around all over.

Step 6: Hang. I used small white ceiling hook doodads. (That’s the official name, in case you were wondering…) I didn’t have a drill on hand for a pilot hole so I just tapped a small nail in a tiny bit, pulled that out, and it worked just as well.

Now admire all you hard work!


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