DIY Ombre Wind Chimes

Have I said lately how much I love making stuff?  I love taking a random pile of stuff and turning it into something that didn’t exist until I made it.  Pretty cool.  Today I made wind chimes out of tiny clay pots.  And of course, they are my new favorite thing ever.

Wind Chimes

 

Cute, right?  You can make wind chimes, too!

Materials

Materials for Wind Chimes

5 Mini Clay Pots – about .50 a piece at Michaels

Blue (or other saturated color) Acrylic Paint – about $4

White Acrylic Paint – about $4

Small paint brush

Twine

Washers

Large bead or crystal

Step 1 – Paint your pots.  Don’t feel bad if you thought you would have to buy five different blue paints in order to make ombre paints.  I totally did too.  Then I remembered, kindergarten art!  You can mix colors together!  And all you need to make a bunch of different blues is one blue and some white. I would recommend creating each shade of blue separately.  The first pot in your wind chime will be the fully saturated color you chose, no white added.  For the second pot.  Squirt out some blue and add a few drops of white and mix together until you have a less saturated blue than the previous.  And so on.  I chose to start with a fresh spot of blue each time because I wanted to be able to dip back in to the paint if I needed to do touch ups.  The other option is to use one large amount of blue paint and just keep adding white to it as you go.  If you do that, you can’t really go back from the last and lightest pot and touch up the third pot that is a bit darker.  The acrylic paint does give nice coverage in one coat.  PS – A pizza box makes a great mixing surface.  Just don’t use the greasy side.

Painting Ombre

 

2.  Once your pots are painted, let them dry OVERNIGHT!

3.  When the pots are dry, you are ready to start stringing them up.  I used twine to string my pots together.  Basically, I stuck the twine into the hole of the darkest pot first and tied a knot at the top that would serve as the hanger.  Then, I made a chunky knot that would secure the pot to it’s spot on the twine.  The knot needs to be big enough to not fit through the hole in the pot.  Or your pot will slip down the twine and you will be sad.  Just below the knot, you’re going to tie on a washer.  You want to place the washer close enough to the knot so that you can’t see it when it is hanging, but not so close that it doesn’t have room to bang around when the wind blows.  This part takes some trial and error, but the twine is pretty forgiving and you can sort of force it up and down a little even after you’ve made the knots.  Or you can always untie the knots.  I found myself doing both of those things as I made my way down the twine with each pot.  It takes a little patience to get things evenly spaced.  I made sure to eyeball the placement as I went by holding up the wind chimes by the hanger and seeing if my placement was off.  You could probably get all mathy and use some type of ruler or protractor, but you know I’m more of an eyeball-er.

Knots for Windchimes

4.  Repeat the knotting and attaching the washers for each pot and then tie your large bead or crystal to the end.  This last piece, either bead or crystal, should be a little heavy so that the wind will catch it and give the chimes a shake!

And that is it!  Four steps, cheap pretty wind chimes!

DIY Ombre Wind Chimes txt

 

If I Had a Million Dollars – World Market Picks

If I had a million dollars, I’d buy all of this stuff from World Market instead of just pinning…

Hyacinth Stool with Batik | World Market

 

Hyacinth Stool with Batik

Stitch Fix Review

***This is NOT a sponsored post, however, I am linking to my referral page and I could be compensated if you make a purchase!  The good news is you can be eligible for referral compensation too!!***

Ok.  I’m freaking out.  For two reasons.  I got my first Stitch Fix in the mail last week and I love it.  Second, I’m showing my mug on here for the first time ever.  I don’t know why that is so freaky to me, but it is.  Here goes.

My First Stitch Fix - Pros Cons and Pieces

So, what is Stitch Fix? Stitch Fix is the Fairy Godmother to your Cinderella.  Except you don’t get a ball gown, you get five adorable fashion pieces (tops, pants, accessories, dresses, skirts) that are chosen just for you based on a pretty in depth style and size profile that you complete.  Your Stitch Fix stylist will even look at outfits you’ve pinned or posted to other social media to get a solid idea of what you like.

So here’s what I got:Navy Blue Shirt - Stitch Fix

 

So, Hi! That’s me. Nice to finally meet you.  The navy blue shirt is the first piece from my Stitch Fix box.  I love it because it is a classic with a little bit of an edge.  The mesh v neck and sleeves are interesting and a little sassy while still being work appropriate.  I should note that on the part of the style profile that asked about what body parts you like to show off, I listed none.  So my fix should be pretty conservative.  Yours doesn’t have to be!

These black pants might not look like much in this picture.  I mean, who needs a stylist to pick out black pants for them?  I do, apparently.  And you might too.  I would not in one million years have ever picked these out.  Out of the box, they look slim fitting and they are slim fitting and that is not a silhouette this curvy girl would go for.  Ever.  But these pants are magic.  They are slimming and comfortable.  I got lots of compliments on them.  I would wear them every day if there wasn’t a stigma attached to wearing the same clothes every day in this country.  As it is, I wore them Monday and I’m wearing them again on Thursday.  If that is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Black Pants - Stitch Fix (1)

My favorite piece in the box is this asymmetrical zip sweatshirt/cardigan.  I’ve worn this like 5 out of the 7 days I’ve owned it.  No lie.

Grey Cardigan - Stitch Fix

I love it open with the drapey effect.

Gray Zip Cardigan - Stitch Fix

And I really love it zipped.  And the material is the most comfortable thing you’ve ever worn.  For real.

Chevron Shirt - Stitch Fix

When I took this chevron shirt out of the box I was underwhelmed.  I didn’t like the colors and it just didn’t wow me.  Then I put it on and I realized the colors are great on me AND this magical shirt made my stomach disappear!  Holy What?  I adore this shirt.  Again the material is cozy.  It’s flattering, but I feel well covered in it. Like, I’m not worried if I move the wrong my I’m going to reveal some cleavage or tummy, know what I mean??

Earrings - Stitch Fix

 

These earrings were the accessory piece in my fix and I like them.  I wouldn’t normally pick them out and I definitely WOULD NOT spend more than maybe $8 on them in a store.  They were a lot more expensive than that from Stitch Fix, but I’ll explain why I kept them in the Pros and Cons section to follow.  I want to mention first how bizarre it is to see my face that close up.  Ask me some day about why my smile is crooked.  It’s kind of a good story.  Yes, go back and look at all of the pictures again and check out how crooked it is.  Weird, right?

So, pros and cons of Stitch Fix:

Pros:

Love the Clothes

Fit was great on every piece

The quality of the clothes/material seems good.

The stylist really nailed what I would like, even better than I can do!

Access to labels I don’t see very often.

Prepaid postage and packaging for returns

You can earn a $25 credit if you refer a friend and they make a purchase!

Cons:

The expense.  My entire fix ended up at $200.  For five pieces, this is way more than I normally spend.  There is a $20 style fee that is deducted from your total if you purchase at least one piece and you receive a 25% discount if you buy all five pieces.  This is why I kept the earrings.  I would have ended paying more if I didn’t keep them.  I’m still working out whether or not it’s worth the expense.  I think I’ll need to see how the clothes hold up over time (I’m guessing they will hold up well, based on the material).

That’s it.  That’s the only con.

I’m totally hooked and I can’t wait to order another Fix.  I’d love it if you use my referral link to check out Stitch Fix:  https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3356961

Pros and Cons of Stitch Fix

 

More Fun With Marbled Clay

There are three reasons I am posting for a second time about marbled clay:

1.  Mother’s Day

2.  Teacher Appreciation Week

3.  Sparkly Sculpey Clay

Dear Sculpey Clay makers, thank you for making the sparkly sculpey clay.  My life is complete.

Marbled Clay Dishes

There might be some mothers and teachers in my life who will be gifted with sparkly marble clay trinket dishes.  Lucky ladies.

Marbled Dish with Candies

If you missed the first post, don’t fret, it’s right HERE with full instructions on how to make marbled clay dishes.

This time, in addition to the dishes, I made some pendants, too.

Marbled Clay Dishes and Marbled Pendants

The pendants came from left over clay from the dishes.  I mostly just formed them with my fingers and then poked a hole with a wooden skewer at the top for the necklace.  I used embroidery floss because it’s what I had, but you could get fancy with some real jewelry stuff.  If you’re into that.

 

What to Buy Your Blogger for Her 40th Birthday

It’s almost here guys.  The big 4-0.  It’s less than a month away.  I’ve never been one to really freak out about birthdays, but I do have a sense of gravity with this one.  Not in a bad way, though.  I feel like now that my kids are getting older (11 and almost 8), I can spend some time figuring out what I want to do with the next 40 years.  And that’s pretty exciting.

But, the most important part of birthdays, of course, is PRESENTS!  Just kidding.  Sort of.  No, I’m not.  I’m dead serious.  I’m all about the presents.  And I’m calling this the Go Big or Go Home Year.  Here’s what I want.

14k White Gold 1/2ct TDW Diamond Stud Earrings (H-I, SI2) - Overstock™ Shopping - Top Rated Diamond Earrings

 

No explanation needed right?  Actually, true confession.  I had a pair of these.  And I lost one.  It was an awful, awful feeling.

Hey, I found this really awesome Etsy listing at https://www.etsy.com/listing/189663010/luxurious-gemstone-necklace-gold-framed

 

Not the first one, but any one of the last four, would be truly appreciated.

Brother CS6000i Feature-Rich Sewing Machine With 60 Built-In Stitches, 7 styles of 1-Step Auto-Size Buttonholes, Quilting Table, and Hard Cover Brother http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JQM1DE/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_S-hlvb115SPYE

 

I’ve been wanting to learn to sew forever.  Not easy to do if you don’t have a sewing machine, right?

<div>An inspiration for crafters everywhere, this clay is the perfect medium for anyone who like...

I drool over this 30 pack of clay every time I go to Michaels.  I just can’t get myself to shell out $30 for it.

ProMaster XC525 Blue Tripod With Head - Newegg.com

 

I read an explanation of why a tripod is important to low light photography and it was very enlightening.  This is a must.

I just looked back at this list.  It’s a little ridiculous.  But, you know what, I’m going a little selfish after 40.

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I’m back on the healthy bandwagon.  For the last like, week. I’ve been exercising and eating better.  I still have time to fulfill my Fit by Forty proclamation.  No, I haven’t updated it for about a month.  I had some leftover brown bananas, so I decided to try this recipe from My Whole Food LifeHealthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

 

They were super easy to make.  Just a few ingredients, nothing fancy, bananas, maple syrup, cocoa powder and peanut butter.  I actually mixed mine with my hand mixer instead of the food processor because I lost the blade to my food processor.  How do you lose the blade to your food processor, seriously?  I have no clue what happened to it.

Healthy Chocolate Muffins

These guys are gluten free. In fact, there’s no grain in them at all.  They have almost a brownie consistency and they are very chocolatey.  I was planning on them for breakfast, but I think they would be better as a sweet treat after dinner.  Or maybe after lunch.

 

Spring Centerpiece with Tissue Paper Blossoms

Tissue Paper Blossoms

Early spring in New England is not the gorgeous, green, lush, blooming landscape that I imagine other warm climes enjoy.  It’s muddy and brown and rainy and there is even dirty snow still left on the ground.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t adorn your table with pretty, delicate blooms.

Spring Centerpiece Closeup

You literally need three things to make these.  Tissue paper, scissors and either a twist tie or a pipe cleaner.

Materials for DIY Tissue Paper Flowers

Step 1:  Fold your piece of tissue paper in half, horizontally.  Cut along the fold.

Step 2:  Set one piece of the tissue paper that you just cut in half aside.  Fold the remaining piece in half again and cut along the fold.

Step 3:  Can you guess step 3?  If you said fold the two halves of tissue paper in half and then cut at the folds, give yourself a prize!

Step 4:  You know have 4 approximately equal size pieces of tissue paper.  Stack those on top of each other.

Step 5:  Accordion fold the stack of four pieces of tissue paper.

accordion fold

Step 6:  Wrap your twist tie or pipe cleaner around the center of the accordion folded tissue paper.

Twist Tie

Step 7:  Use your scissors to round the edges of the folder paper.

Half Done Blossom

Step 8:  This is the hard part.  Well, it’s not really hard, it just takes patience and gentleness, which at times can be hard.  Am I right?  You are going to gently and slowly pull apart the four pieces of tissue paper.  They aren’t going to want to cooperate with you, they like being folded together.  So you have to gently coax them apart.  DON’T RIP THEM!  Just kidding, it’s not that big of a deal if you get a little rip.  Real flowers have lots of flaws.  This is sort of where art meets craft.  You’ve created the flower, now you have to primp it until you’re happy with how it looks.  There really aren’t any instructions for this.  I sort of smoothed things out and a bit and pushed some petals together and pulled others apart.  Just take your time and be gentle.

Tissue Paper Blossom DIY

Tissue Paper Spring Blossoms

 

 

Easter Bunny Popcorn Balls

EASTER BUNNY POPCORN BALLS.jpg

Every now and then the stars align and I come up with an idea that I didn’t even see on Pinterest first, it turns out good, I take a good picture of it AND it tastes good.  This is one of those times, friends.  I’m obsessed with these Easter Bunny Popcorn Balls I made tonight.  I’m not sure what the actual Easter Bunny is going to put in the kids Easter baskets to top this.

Easter Bunny Popcorn Balls Recipe

Popcorn Ball Recipe

(I can’t take total credit for this.  My son randomly brought this recipe home with his school papers today).

9 cups of Plain popcorn, popped

4 T of butter

1 package mini marshmallows

1.  Put your popped popcorn in a large bowl.  Really large.  Maybe you might want to use two bowls.  I did.

2.  Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.

3.  Stir in the marshmallows until melted.

4.  Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn. If you used two bowls, distribute the mixture evenly in both bowls.

5.  Mix the popcorn into the marshmallow mixture.  This doesn’t have to be super exact.  Do your best.  You have a chance to distribute more evenly in the next step.

6.  IMPORTANT!  Don’t touch the popcorn until you have buttered your hands.  AND keep the butter nearby so that you can rebutter.  Yes, this is one of those times when I am trying to save you from the mistake I made.  Cause I didn’t butter my hands at first.  It wasn’t pretty.  With your buttered hands, mold the popcorn into balls.

7.  Wrap the popcorn balls in clear cellophane.

Now that you have your popcorn balls all done, it’s time to make some ears.  This is easy.  Grab some white construction paper and some pink construction.  Cut out white ear shapes and then slightly smaller pink ear shapes.  Glue the pink ear shape inside the white ear shape…  Here, look:

Bunny Ears

Easy, right?  Next, I grabbed the old hot glue gun and some toothpicks.  I stuck two toothpicks into each popcorn ball, dabbed a smidge of hot glue on the toothpick and then stuck the ears to the toothpicks.  And, so, the masterpiece Easter Bunny popcorn balls were born.

Easter Bunny Popcorn Ball Single

EASTER BUNNY POPCORN BALLS Closeup.jpg

Kielbasa & Cabbage – Gluten Free Dinner

This is a hard time of year for making dinner.  I don’t want winter food, and it’s too cold for salads and grilling (yes, it snowed all day Saturday here).  This Kielbasa and Cabbage skillet dinner hit the spot.

Keilbasa and Cabbage Gluten Free Dinner

The hardest part of making this meal is cutting up the cabbage.  Who knew?  I should google the proper way to cut it properly.

Kielbasa & Cabbage Skillet

2lbs Kielbasa

1 head of cabbage, chopped

1 Onion, cut in large pieces

3 cloves garlic

1 T Dijon Mustard

1 T Vinegar

1 T Chili P0wder

1 T Olive Oil

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet to medium high.

2.  Cut kielbasa into bite size pieces and add to pan.  Allow to brown for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add cabbage and remaining ingredients to skillet and stir to mix.  Continue cooking until cabbage begins to wilt, or longer if you prefer the cabbage softer.

Easy, right?  And it’s gluten free.  Total win.

10 Things to Buy At Urban Outfitters

 

 

 

Mini Geo Terrarium - Urban Outfitters

Mini Geo Terrarium – $18

Cat Magnet

Cat Magnet – $14

Plum & Bow Swan Ring Holder - Urban Outfitters

 

Plum & Bow Swan Ring Holder – $12

African Market Baskets Hand-Woven Bolga Basket

 

African Market Baskets – Sold out :-(

Arrows & Feathers Sticky Note Set

Arrows and Feathers Sticky Note Set – $10.99

Magical Thinking Geo Diamond Mirror - Urban Outfitters

Magical Thinking Geo Diamond Mirror – $98

Rachel Miller Woven Banner Wall Art

Rachel Miller Woven Banner Wall Art – $74

Crescent Moon Catch-All Dish - Urban Outfitters

Crescent Moon Catch All Dish – $14

Iveta Abolina For DENY Feathered Arrows Tapestry - Urban Outfitters

Iveta Abolina For DENY Feathered Arrows Tapestry – $69

Eyeball Sconce - Urban Outfitters

Eyeball Wall Sconce – $34

Ten Things to Buy at Urban Outfitters by bethjustin518 on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor, interior decorating, DENY Designs and Plum & Bow