Category Archives: DIY

Houses I Can’t Have




Here’s the first house we put an offer on, a few weeks ago.  Pretty cute.  Lots of sun for gardening.  Small detached studio.  It has been flipped, so things were in pretty good shape.  MckenzieNo response until we got a crazy counter offer.  This is a house I can’t have.

This is the second house we put an offer on.  Short sale.  Smelled like three packs of cigarettes a day for twenty years.  18 x 18 studio fabulousness in the backyard.  No actual front lawn, this photo is a lie (which I don’t mind, since I’d rip it out for my victory garden, anyways).


No response, ever.  Saw the status change to “pending”, which means they’re taking someone else’s offer.

Saw a really god awful wrecked house today.  So in love.  I could work on that house for years.  But, the listing agent should have listed it as “cash only”.  It’s doubtful that a bank is going to want to loan someone money for a house in that condition.  Mold in the converted garage, broken window, no drywall in the master/downstairs public bathroom.  Nothing I couldn’t deal with.  But rules are rules.  It’s been on the market a long time.

Our amazing, gorgeous, persistent realtor Brook is going to talk to the listing agent and see if they are accepting non-cash offers.  I know it’s not likely (snowball in hell not likely) that we’ll get considered for this house, but I haven’t managed to give up hope and move on.  I’m a little bit in love with this house.

The front yard is a weird little skinny nothing, since it’s in a cul de sac (which wikipedia tells me literally translates to “arse of the bag” meaning a dead end… I suddenly like cul de sacs a lot more).  The further back you go, however, the wider and wider the lot gets.  It’s HUGE in the back yard.  My mind’s eye sees patios, raised garden beds, a dog, a fountain, laundry hanging out, kids, a little bistro table by the kitchen for al fresco mornings with my tea.  There is a little courtyard snug behind a fence in the front, flanked by the garage that has been converted into a room.   There’s a great french door from the courtyard into the garage. (I love french doors).  The front door has a little window in it.  A big fountain in that courtyard and we’re perfect.  The window over the kitchen sink would have a perfect view of it.

So here’s to the hope that won’t die for a house that needs a lot of work.





Something New & Just for Me

Most of my creative endeavors lately are something I might sell.  Even if I don’t plan on selling that particular one, it’s a tester for something I’m considering selling.  I did make a new necklace for myself, but that’s in a way to help me sell.  It’s embarrassing to go to a networking event, say I make jewelry, and not be wearing a fabulous statement piece that I made.

This new project, however, is just for me (and my cats, really)!   I had a funky thrift store rug the cats loved to sleep on.  It was thick and comfy in the afternoon sun.  But the last time I washed it, it really shed a lot, had more obvious gaps, and still smelled weird.  Time to toss it.

Old Rug


I don’t know what I saw, but I suddenly thought I should make a hooked rag rug.  Not a braided one, but one with lots of little tufts.  I’ve raided my fabric stash and come across fabulous, bright colors.  Cutting them into strips 1/2″ by 3″ is the hardest part,  I started with my pinking shears so there would be less shedding, but it was taking even longer and hurting my middle finger knuckle.  Regular scissors it is!

Rag1As my husband says, this is going to take forever, but I’m not worried.  I’m two rows into  a bazillion of them.  I have a little latch hook that helps me tie the strips into lovely little knots. Right now working on my rug is the closest I can come to relaxing.  (I really do suck at relaxing).

The little bit that I have done already feels nice when I step on it.  The cats are already laying on the rug, even though it’s bare canvas webbing.  Milo really liked being underneath it and popping again.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture, I was too busy laughing at him.

Sure, I needed a new project like I needed a hole in my head.  But it’s a present for me and I deserve it.  And my cats deserve it, too, I guess.


Attaching Bits to Things

I was discussing with my friend Melissa (check out her blog, Forgotten Skills) my love of gluing bits to things.  Her husband didn’t have a clue as to what I meant.

It isn’t just gluing, per say, but attaching in any way.  Be it with glue (E- 600, two part Epoxy, or Hot Glue), my trusty Staple Gun, or some sort of string (yarn, monofilament, thread, whatever).

These methods of attachment cover a multitude of craft projects.

Recent examples are:

Reupholstering a previously VERY ugly little chair thing.  (with Staples)


Gluing Dominoes to a shallow box. (Two part epoxy)


I will be painting the inside of some now red drawers gold, but the application of paint isn’t really attaching.  It falls into the whole other category of “If it holds still long enough, I will paint it”.

Recent examples of this are:

The same said ugly chair thing getting it’s nasty brass self sprayed glossy black.

The previously mentioned drawers being sprayed red.  When they were blonde wood they looked too country charming with the heart cut outs.  Now they are going to be boudoir fabulous in red with gold and who knows what else I add to them.


Now, Melissa and I also like to discuss the merits of “Zombie Apocalypse Crafting”.  Scrap booking is NOT a Zombie Apocalypse Craft.  Making jam and canning is.  I like to think reupholstering is, because you can get more use out of a good piece of furniture.  I admit, spray painting a little cubbie of drawers isn’t a ZAC, but it does make me happy and make use of something that I otherwise didn’t want.

Do you like to attach bits to things?  Do you have a useful Z.A.C. (or a non-useful craft confession?)

Screen Printing!

I had a great time the other day learning to screen print with Chelsea of Chelsea McKenna Design.  Of course, I am out of the habit of blogging and didn’t think to take more pictures.  Here’s a super cute one of Chelsea, however.

Chelsea MLM Logo

We in the shop loved how darling she happened to look with her chevron dress, red apron, and the red logo on the crate.

I now need about 20 more crates for the Made Local Marketplace to put logos on.  Not just for my enjoyment, but for the cool displays they make.  It’s style and branding people!


Hmm… I betcha MY logo would be an awesome silk screen.  What could I print it on?  Tank top?  My car (It would have to be a really flat spot)?  A banner for future booth events?  Those would all be different size needs.

I’d wear my sexy logo on a tank top.  Red tank with black logo or a black tank with a red logo.


Have you played around with screen printing?  Any tips for a newbie?

Not Neglected

I may have been neglecting my blog here, but for good reason.  I’ve been working on my etsy shop and my WEBPAGE!  That’s right, I now have a webpage.  I’ve got my own domain name and am using Weebly to built it.  It even has a link to this blog.  Crazy, I know.  You could click that link back there, go to the webpage, then click the link THERE to come HERE!  Eventually (when I figure out how) I’ll be moving my blog there.  I’ll probably always keep my etsy shop, but I plan on also having a shop section on my webpage.  Customers would be able to purchase directly from me, not me via etsy.  Though like I said I’ve been working on my etsy shop, foto fuzing all over the place, adding new jewelry, rearranging the shop, even taking better photos for some necklaces that have been there for awhile.  It’s looking great, you should check it out.

I’ll be back in the blog habit soon enough.  I miss all of you out there in internet land!



Like a BOSS!

I was biked 29 miles since last Friday… like a BOSS!

It’s been to the Made Local Marketplace and back a few times (5 miles round trip) and then to the Fairgrounds for two days of working at the Heirloom Expo for Chelsea Green Publishing (7 miles).

The second and third days in a row were hard!  Usually I’ve got a few days in between biking.  But strangely the fourth day was easier.

Here’s my fabulous bike.  It’s older than I am.  My mom bought it when she was pregnant with me.  I’ve added the orange and red paint, the purple velvet seats, and the baskets.

It’s All in the Details

I love little details.  I smile whenever I pass by a fabulous change in my house.  Someone else might not even notice it, but I do.  Last night I made a lovely little change.  These boring knobs on my laundry closet are gone.

And replaced with these gorgeous knobs I got for cheap at ReStore.

It took awhile from purchasing the knobs to getting them properly on.  I needed a longer brass screw than they had.

I really like that they are two different colors.  Reminds me of a cat with two different eyes.  I looks great in the ocher hallway.