Shelf Re-Do, Step Three – DIY Magazine / Project Notes Storage

Whilst browsing Pinterest one day after work I saw a lady who makes all kinds of storage stuff out of cereal boxes…I can’t find the pin now, I think I just looked at her blog without pinning. Oops. Here is the project that I remember best and decided to do myself. Cereal boxes into magazine storage containers.

Who doesn’t have cereal boxes in their home? All you have to do is measure and mark where five inches is on one side, use a ruler to draw a line up to the other corner and then cut along the lines. It’s that easy.

Yeah, I still eat like a five-year-old, don’t judge. Those marshmallows are delicious.

Simply cover the cut boxes with the paper of your choice. I decided to continue the brown paper theme I had going on the rest of my shelf and only have the pretty paper at the end that folk will see. I’m too cheap to have magazines coming to my house, but this is a great way for me to keep the notes and sketches I have for various projects organized.


Shelf Re-Do, Step Two – Storage Box Improvement

I have an awful lot of bits and pieces of things that I have collected for projects over the years. Normally these wonderful little scraps are consigned to little zippy bags in a nondescript box on a shelf in a room I hope no one will ever enter. What a sad way for them to wait to be made into something pretty. But no longer, today my little useful friends get to come live out here with me in the real house.

Just a normal $20 storage container from a hardware store.

I needed something at the store and instead of putting on my blinders like normal, grabbing that one thing and getting the heck out of there, I accidentally looked around and saw this storage container. Now, I wasn’t looking for a storage container but, I’m a crafter so I got a slight high thinking of all of the things that I could put in here. Dammit, now I had to buy it. It was ugly as sin so it sat in my tiny spare room for about a month waiting for me to put forth the effort to transfer all of my bits over … and then I got on my “organize the shelf” kick and I suddenly found myself with new pretty paper and project energy, which is really all a crafter needs.

Step One, Paint

I pulled all of the little plastic drawers out and painted the frame. At first I had everything painted in a dark teal/blue but I wasn’t loving the way that was covering the gray plastic. It had streaks and looked really dull. But, as I was painting the shelf back (see next post), I decided to latex the sides of this with the same color green. It worked out perfectly.

There are two different size drawers so I made a template of the front of each size by tracing it with a pencil and then fitting it inside and snipping away until it seems right. using these templates and two different papers that I had bought for my magazine holder project I decided upon a checker board pattern. Super simple, just Mad Podge the plastic and stick the paper in pretty side down, facing the glue. When it’s done the shiny plastic on the outside actually gives the paper almost a tile look and it matches other little accent pieces that I have in other places. Looks like I spent more than $23 dollars on it, and now I have easy access to my smaller crafting supplies.

Much Better

A shelf Re-Do, Step one – Cover books

I live on the other side of the world from my husband and family, and while I have friends here that I dearly love and a job that wipes me out every day…I am still left with too much time on my hands sometimes. And during those times I obsess over dumb things, because I live alone and no one stops me from being a little bit nutty.

One glorious Saturday it bothered me that the bookshelf I see from my bed did not have visual harmony, because that’s totally normal to worry about, right? My original plan was very simple (as they always start out), I’ll just pick up some brown paper bags from the grocery store and cover my books like I used to have to do in school. Yeah, it turns out I couldn’t figure out a tactful way to ask for 40 paper bags, and I live alone, so getting that many through the normal process of shopping would have taken for-ev-er. I’m a one, maybe two bags per trip shopper.

See! Nothing matches. Nothing! Gah!

So off to the local art store I go to look for pretty paper to cover my books with. Turns out pretty paper in Europe, not so cheap, but I do find brown wrapping paper (which I now know I could have gotten cheaper almost anywhere else – facepalm!) and a few sheets of nice patterned paper that I fell in love with and voilà, Plan B is born.

I then discovered that covering tons of books is a sloooooooowwwww process. But pretty easy, exactly as you remember it from when you were little. However, in case you have forgotten, here is a tutorial.

Ah, that’s better…things are starting to visually calm down

Still working through all of my bookshelves to cover all of my books, but already there is a vast improvement. As you can see from the picture below, I was not done with the insanity just yet – Oh no, this was only the beginning… More posts to follow.

Sneak Peek

Bling your TV

So what happens when you are desperate to avoid unpacking boxes after your SEVENTH move in 3 years…you start looking at an old TV you just hauled up three flights of stairs and think to yourself, “Self, you should throw that ugly thing out…OR!…wait for it, new idea…I bet you could waste HOURS making that billion-year-old TV look less boring…Why, yes indeed I could and I will! Thanks for the great suggestion, self. You’re so thoughtful!”

And thus I present to you, in shocking 2-D, the birth of a blinged-out TV:

Take one boring, free, mostly functional TV..

Add some thinned out acrylic paint,

Add a liberal amount of Mod Podge and paper,

And still more layers of acrylic paint and some gold swirly paint,

And you have successfully killed a potentially productive day of work and now have a TV that, while still not nearly as impressive in picture quality as everyone else you know…BUT…way more fun to have in your living room.

Total cost:
(Free TV + craft stuff just sitting around.) Booyah!


Doctor Who Scarf: Progress Report

I promise, PROMISE, promise this will be done one day. I’ve been out and about having adventures so I only knit while watching instant-view Netflix these days. Which isn’t that often. (This winter I took up SCUBA diving, kayaking, rock climbing, running, and I hit the gym a lot getting ready for basic training…oh! and I went skydiving once too…all in all, it’s been a busy outdoor kind of Florida winter.)

However, I fit in a block or two of color every few weeks and, since I last updated you on my progress, I’ve added about four feet to the scarf as well as woven in all the lose ends except for the rows I added last week.

Please note, I'm six feet tall...

Only six more feet to go!

Superwoman posing in my PJs and scarf. That's how I roll.

Doctor Who Scarf – Post Four

Here’s the problem with legacy projects and blogging – while I work and work and work, I have very little new to report. 5 1/2 feet into my Doctor Who scarf and all I can say is, “I’m still at it.”

But just look at all of this lovely, never-ending  garter stitch!DSC02295I am just under half of the way done with the pattern which means that I should really be at about 6 to 6 1/2 feet of length at this point, BUT, I knit tight. Real tight.  Tight like anal-retentive accountants would look at me and go, “Why don’t you chill a little girl?”  I don’t know why I do this, I have tried to knit looser (I knit much looser than I used to…I can now get the needle between the yarn and the other needle without effort…I can slide the yarn freely on the needles as I am working it.  These things used to be an issue.  But, let’s just say I am rarely concerned that my stitches are going to fall off of the end of the needle when I am not paying attention. They stay nice and still until I choose to move them.)

So the bad news is my scarf will most likely be on the shorter side. The good news is it should be nice and wind proof.  I’ll take the trade off.

– You should see how tight I crotchet.  Ca-ra-zy-

Making Fabric Covered Notebooks and Car Ride Exorcisms

first three

I was going to do a step by step tutorial on these but then I only had one set of hands and, really, I think you guys are bright enough to figure it out.
I have been meaning to get around to this for a long time.  I have a boat load of spiral notebooks (ten years of continuous college for one or both members of the house will do that.) I HATE spiral notebooks. They must be the ugliest office/school supplies to ever grace the planet.  It pains me to write that last sentence as I have a love for all things sold at Staples and I will even horde notebooks despite their ugliness. However a little Mod Podge and a $1.25 fabric squares from JoAnn’s transforms these notebooks from something to be hidden to display worthy.

so much better

As long as you take your time with these they are really easy.  The only slightly tricky part is sizing the fabric to the spirals. But even that isn’t hard. Just measure the circumference of the spiral from cover to cover and that becomes the width of the spine, the height of the cover is the height of the spine. (For a five subject notebook it is usually 2×11 in.) Use your measurements to mark where the spine will be in the center of the fabric then cut and fold a flap down (glue into place) on both the top and bottom so that the fabric at the spine is the exact height of the spirals. (You will have at this point a rectangle of fabric with a notch taken out of the center at the top and bottom, this also helps you to make sure everything is centered as you begin gluing the fabric to the front and back covers.) The rest of the excess fabric will be folded over the inside edges of the cover and glued down but you can’t do that in the center spirals so you have to do it before you glue the notebook to the fabric.

Supplies: Pre-cut fabric squares, Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue, Spiral Notebooks, Cheap Paintbrush to spread glue, scissors


If you are interested in how the desk was decorated check it out here.


This has been a busy, busy week and we have a house guest coming tonight. Am I cleaning and getting ready for her as I should be, nope, I’m writing this.  But it’s OK…we should completely have time to find a place for her to sleep amid all of our crap after we get home from the midnight screening of StarTrek tonight, right? Sigh, I should go get cleaning.

But first I have to leave you with this parting story. We were driving and talking a lot these past few days and the topic of my learning Hebrew came up (I started yesterday, super interesting), this naturally lead to a discussion of religion in general and he asked if we still had a bible at the house.  We did at one point but I don’t think we do any more…I think at some point in out eleventy-billion moves it got tossed along with a whole bunch of other books that I didn’t feel like moving up and down stairs any longer. (I have had to do this on my own a few times, books are considered very carefully come moving day.) So any way, after mocking me for tossing out a bible and making it clear that was the last piece in my one way ticket to hell he busted out this gem of a conversation starter.

“So what will I use if I need to perform an exorcism on you?”

(Snort laughter!) “If we ever reach the point where you must expel the forces of darkness from me, please call an expert. Perhaps a priest, a priest who owns a bible…”

“I have an expert, I’ll Wiki it.”

“Do NOT wiki my exorcism!”

“Sure, I’ll wiki-cise you!”

“Oh dear God, you’re not going to exorcise the demon your going to open a larger portal to hell.”

“It’ll be your fault for throwing out the bible I needed.”

You see how it always comes back to me folks…