Well Behaved Women – The Real Intention of that Quote

I don’t have a ton of energy to talk about anything important.  If you’re curious about how I feel about this inauguration today, see this post.

I did hear something interesting on my favorite NPR show, Fresh Air, this week.  You know that quote, “Well behaved women seldom make history”?  I’m sure you’ve seen it somewhere before and you may have even seen it attributed to many different women.

It was actually written in 1976 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a historian and Harvard professor and Pulitzer Prize winner.  She didn’t mean it the way we all have come to understand it.  The quote has become a rally to break the rules to get noticed.  And I’m fine with that if that’s what you’re into, by the way.  If you’ve already crocheted your hat and are on your way to march in your city tomorrow, you go girl.  It’s a worthy cause.  We’re a worthy cause and if marching is what you want to do, go on and do it.

But, if you are a well behaved woman and you don’t want to break the rules, fear not.  Because Laurel Thatcher Ulrich was just stating a fact, not issuing a rally cry.  The quote is from an article, “Vertuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735” about the well behaved women who came before us and how important their lives were in history.  The point wasn’t that the well-behaved women were not doing enough to change the world.  The point was that women like Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wanted to tell their story.

So, if you’re not marching tomorrow or if you’re not interested in making history, then your job is to continue to be the strong, if quiet, woman that you are and shine a light on and lend support to other strong and quiet women around you.  Because we might not make the history books, but we will change the world if we all uplift the women around us.

How to Paint with Sharpies and Alcohol

Before you get too excited, I’m not talking about painting with wine, I’m talking about rubbing alcohol.  Although feel free to add the wine if you like.  Just drink it, don’t paint with it.  Or maybe wine is a fantastic additive for paint.  What do I know?  I’m just a humble crafter. The point is people, you can make totally awesome art with wine and alcohol!  No, I mean sharpies and alcohol!  I swear I didn’t drink any alcohol in the making of this craft.  It must be the Sharpie fumes.  (Just kidding, Sharpie’s have barely any fumes.  I’m just kooky in general today).  Who wants to learn how to paint with Sharpies and Alcohol? (and wine). Well, let’s do it!

Do you guys mind if I just give you half of the tutorial today?  I mean, I’m totally going to teach how to paint with Sharpies and alcohol, but I’m not going to tell you how to protect your beautiful painting once you’re done.  Technically these painted tiles are a trial run for a fun project that I will be working on for my daughter’s school (which I will certainly share when it’s done!) and my first attempt at protecting the painted tile with Mod Podge was a fail, so I need to continue to work that out.  So, I’m going to teach you 100% how to paint with alcohol and sharpies today, but 0% of how to protect your tiles once they are done.  I promise to update you when I have a good solution!

How To Paint with Sharpies and Tile

Materials

Sharpies, various colors

91% Rubbing Alcohol, not the 70%**

4.25 x 4.25 inch ceramic tiles (or whatever size you want!)

Small paint brush (you could also use a dropper or a small straw)

  1.  Clean off your tiles.  I bought my tiles from Home Depot for less than a dollar each.  They had what I can only assume is a protective strip of netting on them that needed to be removed.  Dry the tiles well.
  2. Color your tile with coordinating Sharpie colors.  Don’t be scared, they look really bad until you put the alcohol on them.  You can color small areas with different colors as in the tile below, or you can cover a greater amount of area with each color.  Totally up to you!
  3. With your paint brush, small straw or dropper, drop small amounts (about dime size) of the alcohol onto the colored tile.  You’ll almost immediately see the alcohol start to blur the colors.  I sort of concentrated on the areas where the colors met so that those lines would be well blurred.  After dropping some alcohol on random spots on the tile, stop and look at the tile.  Do you see spots that need a droplet?  Add one.  BUT!  Don’t add too much alcohol to the tile.  I’ll show you why in a minute. 
  4. When you are happy with the amount of blurring that is happening, you can stop and let the tile dry.  OR, you can be a nosy artist like me and dab at the colors with a paint brush.  Or, you can be like my daughter and actually pull the paint brush through the colors, which I thought was going to totally ruin the whole thing!  But, it didn’t. Her tile came out different than the others, but very cool!  See below:If you’re wondering, she used red, yellow and purple sharpies for this tile.  I can’t lie.  I watched her making it and I was like, “Oh my God, that is going to be so bad and I’m going to have to pretend to like it when she’s done”.  But guess what?  It’s probably my favorite!  It’s a completely different look than how mine turned out.  Her colors are a little more muted whereas mine are more in your face.  That sentence has so many meanings.
  5. You must let your tiles dry when you are done adding your alcohol and dabbing at them with your paint brush, if you chose to dab at them with a paint brush.  Give them a good 30 minutes and then go look at how they came out.
  6. Did they come out weird with a weird sort of washed out spot where you can see the lines from your Sharpie?  Don’t worry, I did that, too. I’m pretty sure it means you added too much alcohol (too much alcohol is bad for everything).  But it’s an easy fix!  Grab your Sharpies and add some more color then add a little more alcohol to get the blurring going again. (This is not what you should do if you have added to much alcohol to your body.  Generally, adding more alcohol to a problem that was caused by too much alcohol is never a good thing.  Except when we’re talking about painting tiles).
  7. One last thing and it is important and I probably should have put it at the top.  But I’m not going to.  When I went to get my supplies, I saw that there is 91% alcohol and there is 70% rubbing alcohol. I got the 70% alcohol.  I did that purposely because I am going to be using this method with a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds and I was worried about the smell of alcohol.  Well, the 70% was a total bust.  I started over with the 91% and all was right with the crafting world.  And there was no difference to me in the smell.

All in all, this craft is super easy, especially since I’ve now shown you what mistakes to avoid!  You’re welcome!  And they are definitely high impact.

So, now you’ve made four super cool tiles, what are going to do with them?  Nothing, right now.  You are going to put them in a very safe place where they won’t get scratched until I figure out the best way to protect them.  Because guess what, the paint is SUPER delicate and mine are already scratched just from taking pictures.  And don’t try protecting them with Mod Podge because I tried that and I don’t like how it came out.  Once we have sufficiently protected our tiles, however, there are a lot of things that we can do with them!  Like make them into coasters or tile a bench with them or a tile a mirror with them or frame them and hang them as art.  Coasters I think are the best implementation.  Just pop a piece of felt on the bottom with some hot glue and call it a day!

Ok, I’m off to investigate alcohol sharpie tile protection.  That’s gotta be a thing, right?

 

Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites

News flash!  Just because you want to (or have to) eat gluten free, doesn’t mean you can’t eat totally indulgent, super tasty food every once in a while.  I made these Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites this weekend to munch on while we watched football and they tasted like a really good fast food burger.  This got the “This might be the best thing you’ve ever made” seal of approval from my husband.  I don’t think he even realized that they were gluten free.

I will say, these were a little bit of a process to make, but they were totally worth it.  For real.  Even though there are like 27 steps and two separate, but very similar sauces to make.  I mean, I’m not going to make them for supper on a weeknight, but a fun night of football watching deserves a little something special, no?  And if you have a special person in your life who has to stick to a gluten free diet, these would be such a treat!

Gluten Free Burger and Fry Bites

***I used a mini muffin pan for these.  If you want bigger bites, you can use a normal size muffin pan, but you’ll need more tater tots – about 3 per muffin hole.

24 Tater Tots – Make sure they are gluten free. I’ve not seen any that are not gluten free, but check your labels, just in case.

1 lb. Ground Beef

1/2 a red onion

2 T each – Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Mayo – again, check your labels, gluten can sneak into things like Mustard

3-5 slices American Cheese to top your mini burger bites

Salt & Pepper to taste

Sliced Green Onion – Blogger confession:  You don’t really need these on top of your bites.  They taste good, but they are mostly for the picture.  There, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Special Sauce:

1/2 c Mayo

1/4 Ketchup

2 T each Relish and Mustard

1 t chili powder

1 t onion powder

1 t garlic powder

  1.  Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Dice the 1/2 onion.

  3. Brown the ground beef with salt and pepper.

  4. Drain off the excess fat from the pan and add in the onions.  Cook until onions are softened.

  5. Grease your mini muffin pan.  Add 2 tater tots to each muffin hole and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. While the tater tots are cooking, mix together the 2 T each of Ketchup, Mustard, Relish and Mayo and add to the cooked ground beef and onions.

  7. After 10 minutes, take the tater tots out of the oven and use a rounded something to smoosh them into a cup.  (I’m on a crusade to make “Smoosh” a genuine cooking term.  I add it to every recipe that it applies to).  I used the back of my cookie scoop to smoosh the tots.  Say smoosh the tots out loud.  You know you want to.  Who cares if you’re at work right now?  Just do it.

  8. Fill the newly smooshed tater tot cups with the ground beef mixture.

  9. Take your American cheese slice and fold it in half.  And in half again.  And one more time.  Maybe one more time.  You basically want to get a mini piece of cheese to top your burger with.  It’s super cute.

  10. Pop those back in the oven for 15 minutes.

  11. While those are cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. I know this seems like an extra, unnecessary step, but do not skip this.  This is where the magic happens.

  12. Take the burger bites out of the oven and LET THEM COOL!  DO NOT even think about taking them out of the muffin tin for a good ten minutes.  Once you have waited patiently with drool going down your chin, gently, coax the burger bites out of the muffin tin.  Use a fork or a knife or pixie dust to ease the bites from their happy home in the muffin tin.  If you go in there all willy nilly and just pry them out of the muffin tin, you will destroy the precious tater tot cup.  It will still taste delicious, but you will have to eat it with a fork instead of your fingers and that’s not fun for anyone, amiright?

  13. Drip some of the magical sauce over the bites and serve them to your guests who should be honored to be in the presence of such a fine hostess.

A lot of steps, right?  13.  That might be the most steps in anything I’ve ever posted.  Anyone want to go back through everything I’ve made and check?  No?  Fine.  I know it’s kind of labor intensive, but these are so yummy.  And there’s smooshing involved and that’s always fun, right?  Make these for that crazy football game that’s coming up in a few weeks.  You won’t be sorry!

Buy It, Spy It or DIY It – Anthropologie Winter 2017

Oh, how I love me some Anthropologie.  Mostly because of the inspiration it brings. Inspiration for things I can make or duplicate OR inspiration to make some dollah bills cause Anthro is expensivo.  Here is what I would Buy, Spy (find a cheaper version somewhere…ahem… Marshalls…ahem…Home Goods) or DIY (make it myself because that always turns out just as good as the original.  *sarcasm*).

 :

Buy It – Cities Toile Wallpaper – $148 – I’m jumping right in with a Buy It.  I want to redo my half bath on the first floor and this wallpaper shall be the inspiration for the room.  It’s expensive, yes.  BUT!  A half bath is tiny and the bottom half of the bathroom walls have beadboard on them, so BOOM, I’d barely need any of this.

Spy It – Banker’s Clock – $168 – Ohhh, I love this little clock.  But, my, that is an enormous price tag for something so little.  Sometimes I would put this on my splurge list, but I think I would prefer to scour vintage stores for something similar.

 :

DIY It – Chambray Pouch – $26 – I need a little pouch like this and at $26, that’s not a horrible price.  However, you may remember from previous posts that I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have been looking at patterns for pouches just like this!  I’d love to try to copy this.

Coppice Shell Pendant:

Spy It – Coppice Shell Pendant – $498 – $998 – I  can pick one of these up for $70-$150.  I know a guy. Just kidding, you can get something similar, though not quite as spectacular, from World Market.

Copper Hanging Art:

DIY It – Copper Hanging Art – $228 – $398 – My art budget is pretty much limited to the prices you would find at your local Habitat ReStore.  So, I can’t afford this.  But I do think it is pretty darn cool and I think it would be fun to try to DIY it.

Wild Wanderer Planter:

Buy It – Wild Wanderer Planter – $20 – Oh, I’m smitten with these little guys.  I’ve never really been super motivated to buy little succulents (because I’m murderer of plants), but maybe I would buy one to put in one of these planters.  Or three to put in all three planters.  I might need to put these on my birthday list.  I can’t spend $60 on tiny planters and one all by itself would look weird and sad.Mind's Eye Wall Art:

DIY It – Mind’s Eye Wall Art – $2058 – No, I didn’t miss a period in that price tag.  I love how colorful this is and I like that it’s sort of graphic.  I could paint some triangles and diamonds, right?  This would be really fun to try.  I’m sure I would fail as I’m not really an artist, but sometimes a fail is fun.  I’ll never be able to buy it and if I did have a spare 2k lying around, I don’t love this enough to spend that kind of money on it, but it’s a nice inspiration piece.

Passing Countryside Mural:

Buy It – Passing Countryside Mural – $229.95 (on sale and there is a 40% off code for sale items!  This is a steal right now!) – I’m a sucker for a good wall mural.  I can’t convince myself that you should have more than one wall mural in your house, however and I do already have one.  But YOU should totally Buy This (while it is on sale and while you can get an additional 40% off, preferably!).

Ok, I’m feeling properly inspired and a little retail therap-ied (although I didn’t buy anything, I still get a feeling of calming just browsing).  I hope you do, too!

How to Get Excited About Going to the Gym

Happy New Year, if I haven’t said that already.  I should have said it when I wrote my New Year’s post about my word of the year, Commit.  (See here).  This year I’m working on committing.  To my commitments.  So that I actually do the things I want to do. For instance, I’m going to actually *go* to the gym, so that I can follow through on my commitment to get healthy.  See how that works?  The only problem is how do I get myself to the gym on those nights when I really, really don’t want to go.  Why, with bribery, of course!  Well, sort of.  I have to convince my brain that going to the gym has something more to offer me than just boring old getting healthy. And it totally does offer more than that, you know.  Thanks to the miraculous technology that we all hold in our hands called a cell phone, that 45 minutes I spend at the gym can be thought of as 45 minutes of watching whatever *I* want on tv, or reading a book for 45 minutes or listening to a podcast for 45 minutes without having to take out my earbuds every 90 seconds so someone can ask me a question.  Now, that’s 45 minutes that I am seriously looking forward to!

That dude is seriously pumped.  That’s how I want to feel about going to the gym.  To get there, I’m setting myself up with some self indulgent entertainment that I can hold in the palm of my hand, courtesy of Netflix, Amazon and some free podcasts.

What to Watch on Netflix

Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life – I can’t believe I haven’t already breezed through this Gilmore Girls reboot.  I loved the original show and listening to witty quips passed between Rory and Lorelai would pass the time on the elliptical in a blink!

The Americans – I watched the first episode of the first season of The Americans and I’m definitely intrigued.  I love a good spy story and I’m obsessed with Keri Russell’s hair.  How does hair go from that curly to that straight?

River – This is a British detective/murder mystery and it also involves talking to dead people.  Pretty much right up my alley.  I’ve already finished season one and am eagerly awaiting season 2.

Sherlock – I’ve already watched all of the available seasons for Sherlock, but with a new season about to start on BBC, I’m thinking about binge watching the last season so that it is fresh in my memory.  Sherlock is hands down my favorite television show that sadly airs almost never.  If you haven’t seen it, definitely add it to your list on Netflix!

What to Read

First, a note about how I find new books to read.  I am a Bookbub girl all the way and I highly suggest joining this free service.  Basically, you pick out what kind of books you like and they send you an email everday with deals on those types of books.  It’s like a book concierge who only brings you super affordable books.  I know I’m missing out on great brand new books that are still super expensive, and I will seek those out and splurge on them occassionally, but my 2 a week book habit requires access to cheap books or I will go broke.  Bookbub provides me that!

Missing – Monty Marsden – I’m addicted to crime novels.  They are my guilty pleasure.  Missing by Monty Marsden is a good one.  It hooks you in from the beginning with a good story and interesting characters.  This book is set in Italy and for me, one of the best parts of reading is getting transported to a place.  This book does that.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – This should be required reading for every woman right now. It’s set in a dystopian future where women are even less valued than they are now. Hard to believe?  Read it.  You will be more afraid of this book than any of the creepy mysteries I read.  I’m not saying this book is where we are headed, but I am saying that I find it more believable than I did on Monday November 6th.

The Drowning Game – L.S. Hawke – So, you’re going to want something a little less dense after you finish The Handmaid’s Tale.  The Drowning Game is a fun, fast paced thriller with young people in it.  This will do the trick while you’re burning those calories on the treadmill.

Cold Granite – Stuart McBride – This is the first in a detective series that I absolutely adore.  They are set in Scotland and you are absolutely there in Aberdeen as you read each book in the series.  The characters are people you want to know (or not know, as applicable).  I’ve read the whole series and I’m excited for the new one that will be out in June!

What to Listen To

Ted Talks – I’m a fan of TED Talks.  I listen while I’m cleaning to motivational stories, or funny stories or just plain interesting stuff, like, what is CRISPR and why should I care about it?  Download the app to your phone and start exploring.  Start with “The most popular talks of all time” and you won’t be disappointed, then start browsing through categories that interest you.  Totally addictive.

The Moth Podcast – The Moth is story telling.  Little slices of life that are deeply personal and poignant. The podcast is a re-airing of the The Moth Radio Hour from NPR. I love these.

Fresh Air – Terry Gross – I found Fresh Air by accident.  Somewhere after turning 35, I found I couldn’t stand listening to music in the car anymore, so I tried NPR. I’m totally hooked on NPR on the whole, but I didn’t discover the national treasure that is Terry Gross until fairly recently. Terry is on in the middle of the day (2PM) on my NPR station and that just happens to be right about the time I am driving home. Terry interviews interesting people.  Movie directors, tv personalities, authors. I listen to her just about every week day and every time I listen, the interviewee says something like, “Wow, I’ve never been asked that before” or, “Well, I didn’t think I was going to talk about that, but ok”.  She somehow pulls the humanity out of everyone she interviews. She also tackles big stories like Fake News and the Opiod epidemic. You can find a weekend wrap up on NPR’s website to listen to.

Alright, that’s a whole lot of A/V content to motivate me to get to the gym!  I’m going right now!  Just kidding.  It’s closed. This post took forever.  I’m going TOMORROW!

 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Three Ways

We got nearly a foot of snow here on Saturday!  That means a happy, fun day in the house for us!  I love baking on days like that.  It feels so cozy, but not lazy because you don’t have any choice but to sit in the house all day.  It’s like Mother Nature forcing you to chill for a day.  Thanks, Mother Nature.  Not everyone gets to sit in all day, however.  My brother plows for our town and, so, he was working all day.  He has celiac disease and because I knew he would stop at my house to plow after a very long day/night of plowing the town, I made him Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies Three Ways.  That’s right.  Three different cookies from one batter.

What we have there is a Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie, a Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie and a plain old Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie.  There is also a fourth version of these cookies where you plop a Hershey Kiss on top right after you take them out of the oven, but I was out of kisses.   I made those for Thanksgiving so that my brother would have some dessert that wouldn’t make him sick and he absolutely LOVED them.  My family also devoured what I didn’t give to my brother.  My husband likes the plain ones, my daughter likes the jelly ones and my son likes the chocolate chip ones.  So that worked out.

Peanut Butter Cookies 3 Ways

2 C Peanut Butter

2 Large Eggs

1 C Sugar

2 tsp baking soda (gluten free brand)

1 tsp vanilla (gluten free brand)

Optional:  Jelly, Chocolate Chips

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together peanut butter, eggs, sugar, baking soda and vanilla with a hand mixer. Not the Chocolate chips!  Save those for the very last batch!
  3. For the plain cookies:  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet.
  4. For the Jelly cookies:  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet, form a divot in the middle and add about a teaspoon of jelly.
  5. For the chocolate chip cookies:  Fold the chocolate chips into the remainder of the dough.  Drop tablespoon size mound of dough onto cookie sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes.  Cookies should be just slightly soft to the touch and will continue to cook just a bit as they cool.

And yes, these are so delicious with a glass of milk.  Enjoy!

Want : Need : Wear : Make : Eat

Remember that time I did some posts about what I want, need, wear, make and eat?  That was awesome. Let’s do it again!

want need wear make eat by bethjustin518 on Polyvore featuring interior, interiors, interior design, home, home decor and interior decorating:

WANT:

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W:

Instant Pot:  I discovered the wonderful Instant Pot this week and am dying to get one.  Why so expensive, Instant Pot?  I need a sale and a 30% off coupon from Kohl’s.  Stat.

NEED:

One of my favorite discoveries at WorldMarket.com: Midnight Blue Velvet Kendall Sofa:

World Market Sofa:  Sofa’s aren’t technically a need but I, like, *need* one.  Both of my current sofas have major issues.  I’m not saying I need to replace them both immediately, but it would be nice to have one nice-ish sofa.  And this one is on sale.  And it’s pretty.

WEAR:

Love this Green Cowl Neck Tunic on #zulily! #zulilyfinds:

Tunic:  I only want to wear tunics for the rest of forever.  Or at least all of tomorrow when it is going to snow here all day and I want to just sit on the couch and be cozy.

MAKE:

Sew Can Do:

Cuddle Throw Tutorial from sewcando:  Speaking of cozy, how awesome is that throw from Sew Can Do?  I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I think I can probably make one of these, using the tutorial provided, of course!  Click the pic or the title to get the instructions!

EAT:

Soft and Chewy Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – Great with lemon or almond extracts! {grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free}:

Thumprint Cookies from Texanerin Baking – I love a good gluten free cookie recipe and these look delicious.  I am brainstorming a twist on these, but you can click the pic or the title for the full recipe!

 

I Painted My Upholstered Chair

This is a fun story.  I’m going to share with you a project that I absolutely hated doing.  It was truly one of the most annoying projects I’ve ever done.  Actually, I think it probably gets top billing.  I did cover an entire HUGE mirror frame in teeny tiny green rocks with a hot glue gun once (see here), but this was worse than that.  I painted my favorite chair.  An upholstered chair, not a wood chair.  And my favorite.  I’m crazy, I know.  But I didn’t hate it because I’m not happy with the outcome, I hated it because I found the process annoying and tedious.  More annoying and tedious than hot gluing a million teeny tiny green rocks.

But, don’t let me discourage you from trying this!  I really do love the outcome, although it is not what I imagined when I started.  And I think I mostly found the process annoying and tedious because I did have an idea of what the chair would look like in the end and it seemed like I would never achieve that idea and I felt like banging my head against the wall.   In my mind, the chair was going to come out one solid color, no pattern showing through.  I used really dark paint (Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore).  I was imagining the chair being a blue/black color in the end.  About two and half coats in I was no where remotely near that and ready to fling my paint brush at the wall.  But I didn’t, mostly because I already had a huge mess going on because in addition to not having the outcome I had intended, this project is also SUPER messy.  But seriously, still, don’t let that stop you from trying this.  I would advise that you do this in say, your basement if it’s ventilated or your garage.  Not in your living room like I did.  Where someone was very likely to sit on the soaking wet chair, or worse, where a cat was likely to take a nap.  Don’t worry, magically, neither of those things happened, but I did have a lot of watery paint spills that had to be cleaned up. Not fun.

Ahh, yes a reminder of why this whole annoying project was worth it. It is SOOOO much better than it used to be.  And I think I probably like the outcome better than what I had pictured, that blue black solid color chair.  In person the color is actually darker than pictured and it feels very vintage lodge or library to me.

Before I get to the tutorial, if you’re having a strange case of deja vu, it’s because this is not the first time I have redone this chair.  Remember this:

I reupholstered this chair a while back.  My son is BRUTAL on furniture (I need to sign him up for parkour classes) and the upholstery job didn’t stand a chance.  It took quite a beating.  I would do this again on a chair that would be sat on more often than jumped on, however.  If you’re curious about those instructions, or if you’d like to read about why I love this chair, check out that post here.

How  I Painted My Upholstered Chair

Materials:

A Chair (duh)

Paint – I used Benjamin Moore in Hale Navy and I used about a quart, maybe

3-4 8 oz. bottles of Fabric Medium (you can get it at the craft store, but I got mine from Amazon)

Spray Bottle filled with water

Paint brush

Disposable cups for mixing your paint and fabric medium

A tarp or other large piece of something to put under your chair for spills. There will be spills and drips.

  1.  Mix together your painting mixture.  I tried to use equal amounts of paint and fabric medium.  I basically filled about half way one disposable cup with paint, then filled another half way with fabric medium, poured the fabric medium into the paint and mixed them together.
  2. Add some water to your paint.  I added about half the amount of water as paint/fabric medium.  So if I filled the cup half way with paint or fabric medium, I filled it a quarter of the way with water and then added the water to the paint/fabric medium mixture.  Make sense?  Good, mix all that together.  You want it to be somewhat runny.  I’ve read a lot of tutorials that call for more water, so if you’re into super runny paint, add equal amounts of paint/fabric medium/water.
  3. Spray your upholstery with water.  I did this most of the time as I worked on this project.  I do think it helped the paint seap into the upholstery, but to be perfectly honest, I also forgot to wet parts of the chair ahead of time and it didn’t seem to do any harm.
  4. Use a paint brush to paint your chair.  This is the messy part.  The paint mixture is fairly drippy, so be prepared.  Grubby clothes, lots of paper towels, etc.
  5. Allow the chair to dry.  It will look something like this after the first coat and you will want to cry your face off and quit blogging for life:

5.  Once both the chair and your tears have dried, give it a good rub down with some sandpaper.  You will probably start to cry again as you realize you are taking off a crap ton of paint.  Don’t despair. If you don’t do the sandpapering, your chair will feel like sandpaper itself and that is not fun for sitting.

6.  Add a second coat of paint.  Cry a little less as you think to yourself, “Maybe it’s kind of cool how the pattern is still coming through a little?  Who am I kidding, it’s horrible!  It’s the worst painted chair in the history of painted chairs, I QUIT!”

7.  Allow the chair to dry and sandpaper through your tears again.

8. Add a third coat of paint.  Have an epiphany.  “Wait a minute, this actually *does* look good with the pattern coming through!”

9.  Call to your husband/wife/son/daughter/imaginary friend:  “Hey!  Come look at this!  Does this look good or am I officially crazy?”

10.  Perform a quick jig when husband/wife/son/daughter/imaginary friend says, “Wow, that does look good.  That might be my favorite thing you’ve made”.  That comment actually came out of the mouth of my husband who could literally not care less about anything to do with painting, chairs, or upholstery, as long as he has a place to sit.  So I was kind of thrilled to hear that.  Mostly because I didn’t think he really noticed I had done any other projects. I guess he is paying a little attention.

10.  Allow the paint to dry and lightly sand it one more time.

I tackled this project about three days before Thanksgiving and the chair is one that is sat in every day and it’s holding up very well.  No fading and no paint rubbing off on clothing.  Pro tip, three days before hosting Thanksgiving at your house is not a good time to tackle painting an upholstered chair.  In case you’re wondering.

Linking up to: Friendship Friday Blog Hop, The Creative Circle

 

My Word of the Year in Lieu of a Resolution

Happy New Year!   I can’t be the only one that equally loves putting up Christmas decorations as she does taking down Christmas decorations?  I love the season, starting with Thanksgiving and straight on through to Christmas and New Year’s, but I also enjoy the symbolic fresh start that comes with a new calendar.

That’s not to say that all of my Christmas decor is down and put away.  Neither, does it really mean that I actually *enjoy* putting it away, I just like it to *be* put away.  Clean slate.  Done and done with 2016 and welcome 2017.

My social media has been flooded with people posting their word of the year for 2017 and I thought it would be fun to play along.  I really like the idea of focusing the year on a word rather than one resolution.  I thought of a lot of words that would work.  “Less” is a good one.  “Thrive” is a great verb.  “Calm” is a great goal.  But, for me, the best word for this year is… (drum roll…)

Commit.  Why commit?  Well, the first definition of it goes something like: to carry out or perpetuate as in a crime or mistake.  I’m not referencing that, for the record.

I chose Commit because it is a verb.  I think your word of the year should be action oriented.  It is much easier to embody an action than, say an adjective or noun.  Like, I could have chosen, “Cat”, but I would probably be setting myself up for failure for the year.  Probably.  Commit is something I actually have to do, not become.  Tonight, for example, I was going to post a recipe I made this week which tasted good, but the pictures came out horrible.  I thought of my word of the year and that I wouldn’t be truly committing myself to making this blog the best it can be if I posted that recipe with those awful pictures.  So, you’re getting this instead.  Lucky you!

Commit is a word we hear a lot around sports, too.  Commit to your swing.  Commit to the play, don’t bail out.  When we don’t commit fully, bad things happen.  A hit becomes a dribbler down the first base side, a basketball player takes a shot outside of his range, a gymnast ends up on the ground instead of on her feet.  I remember my gymnastics coaches telling us to commit to the trick we were trying because if you bail half way, you will likely get hurt.  I see it on my daughters softball team and my sons basketball team.  When players don’t go 100%, it’s very easy for a fan to see it. I don’t want that to be my life.  I want to commit to the swing and if I go down swinging, so be it!

So, then, what am I committing to? I’m committing myself to this blog.  I want three posts a week and I want them to be three quality posts with good pictures, funny words and something useful for you, my faithful reader.  I’m committing myself to my part time job because, right now, it is helping with the bills around here and I actually do like it most of the time.  I like it 100% of the time when I am with my coworkers and, like 10% of the time that I am doing the actual job itself.  I’m committing to eating healthy and going to the gym.  I’m committing to making my kids lives better.   And whenever I start to stray from these goals, I will think of my word of the year, Commit, and I will put myself back on track.  Because I always have the best of intentions, I just seem to lack in follow through skills.

And, I’m not ignoring the passive form of commit, as in “I was committed to the mental ward”.  So, don’t worry, I will commit in appropriate doses and not over extend myself!

Here’s to 2017!  I’d love to hear your word of the year!

 

Linking up to:  2017 One Word Blog Hop

Free Printable 2017 Calendar

I have been basking in a wonderful sense of calm ever since about 7PM on 12/25/2016.  I made it through another crazy stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas and I have to say, I really pulled it all off this year.  Except for two gifts that Santa misplaced.  I’m sure they will turn up at some point.  Other than that, we had good food, a not overly decorated house, awesome gifts (including a sewing machine for me!) and happy, happy children.  What better way to carry that sense of calm into the new year than by creating a Free Printable 2017 Calendar to keep us all organized next year!  And even if I never right a single important date on it, at least it looks adorable!

So clean and graphic, right? I have to say this is one of my proudest projects.  It started out not so clean and graphic, but half way through (May, actually), I had an epiphany.  I placed those three pink daisies and just loved how simple yet bold it was and went back and redid January – April.  I spent the better half of the day working on the whole thing and I accomplished two things.  First, I felt like I was *really* doing this, creating.  Not just slapping something together, as might happen at times.  It sort of felt like I was an honest to goodness blogger for a minute.  Secondly, I created each month in Picmonkey and, although I use Picmonkey several times a week, I learned a lot of little tips today that I hadn’t figure out before.  Mayhaps a Picmonkey tutorial is in order, hmm?

The best part of this project, you get to enjoy the fruits of my labor!  You can click on each of the images below, right click on the image that opens, save it to your desktop and print it to your color printer (I printed my 8×10).







 

There you have it!  I really do hope you print them and enjoy them all year!  Happy 2017!

Linking up to: Pretty Pintastic Party, Fan Day Friday Link Party, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Wow Us Wednesday, Wonderful Wednesday, The Creative Circle