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

🙂

Refurbishing a Desk on the Cheap

Every house has it, the dreaded ugly piece of furniture. (Sometimes this horrific fiend has an entire family of ugly friends clogging up your space.) And like me you walk past it and sigh. You know you should do something about it…but who has the money to replace it or time to deal with it? Then one day your brain snaps and the ugly must be dealt with, but how you ask? Super Cheap I reply.  Behold the ugly desk.  This dark beast labored under my computer and piles of crap in a darkly painted entryway with no windows, relentlessly sucking out what little light managed to peek into that corner. (Whose bright idea was the dark brown paint anyway?…Oh wait, mine…moving on.) Due to drying times this project will require a weekend to accomplish.originalSomething must be done, so I took stock of what I had – you can see it there sitting on top of the desk. Three pretty pieces of paper and some Mod Podge…I’m totally prepared. My plan was to cover the drawer pulls with the gold paper and use what I could of the tiny amount of cranberry paisley paper that was super pretty and super scarce. Off to the store I go with a sample of these two papers. Turns out no paint matches both so I buy a perfect match for the background color of the paisley paper…Salmon.

Newsflash: Salmon is Benjamin Moore code speak for shocking band aid pink. You have been warned.after first coat
I determined very quickly that my new giant, band aid pink desk is not in fact an improvement over the previous incarnation. Think, think, think. New plan. Go under the sink and pull out more of the light brown paint from when we first moved in and I was painting the apartment. Using a giftcard to maintain an equal distance from the edge of the desk I tape off a square with painter’s tape and make a brown square.

Hint: for clean lines paint a quick edge inside the tape with the background color and let dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next color.
top
While watching TV that night I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut out the swirly flowery pattern on one of the pretty papers that I liked. After letting the paint dry over night I traced the edge of the square with a gold paint pen I had left over from an old project. (You can’t tell much but it’s nice up close.) Then I played with the best arrangements of the design for a while and put a thin layer of Mod Podge under the paper and a thicker layer on top to decoupage it to the desk. Let this dry completely, a few hours should do it. I would hit it with another layer of glue to help protect the image.
drawer details
I also decided to paint the front of the drawers brown (there was still WAY too much pink going on.) the only thing I left pink was the handles which I Mod Podged little strips of the paisley paper onto. It still looked a bit unfinished so I hot glued some mint green buttons on top of the whole shebang after the top and drawers of the desk got a quick coat of Minwax. (Along with everything else in the house I have been avoiding sealing for the past three years.) The fumes…Oh the fumes…

finished deskHere it is, my brand new desk ready to handle all of my crafting needs in style, all for the whopping sum of $15 dollars and I still have a TON of Salmon paint left, you know…should you be dying to paint something in your home the color of band aids.

Full list of supplies for non-crafting, non-packrats. Keep in mind this grew out of what I had on hand.  If you don’t have something improvise. I never would have come up with so many pretty things if the pink hadn’t been so unexpectedly ugly.

  • Mod Podge (or Elmers Glue)
  • Foam Brush
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gold Paint pen
  • Decorative Paper
  • Exacto knife
  • Minwax sealant
  • Buttons
  • Hotglue Gun

Doctor Who Scarf Follow Along – Post Two – Progress

Day three of knitting while watching TV at night and here is where I am – about halfway through the first red section. (4th color change.)Doctor Who Scarf in Progress

I am loving making this! I think I actually like the back side more where you can see the colors mixing with each other.  I might take the picture from that side next time.

I think I would be much further along if I didn’t have to stop at each color change and wrap a new center pulling ball of yarn (can we say yawn).  But in honor of all of the practice I am getting at doing this…there is a tutorial coming.

OK – he’s gonna kill me for this, but I have to share.  My always interesting spouse is constantly popping out with doozies that I can’t share with the world because they are either way, way too wrong to share (as is half the stuff I say) or he would just kill me if I published it.  But this, this has to be shared:

(Background, he is OBSESSED with owning new socks and belts, seriously, socks and belts – this is a decade long conversation, just with a new ending.) Read the rest of this entry »


Doctor Who Scarf – Post One – The Pattern

  • Knitted in Garterstitch
  • 70 Stitches wide
  • I am using a US size six needle
  • All color changes on same edge (even number of rows for each color)
  • Tassels close together consisting of all 7 colors (about 4 inches long)

*All numbers are in rows

BEGIN
10 purple
52 tan
16 brown
10 yellow
22 red
8 purple
20 green
8 yellow
28 tan
14 red
8 green
10 purple
42 green
8 yellow
16 gray
8 red
54 tan
CONTINUE
10 purple
12 green
8 yellow
18 red
8 purple
38 Green
10 tan
6 gray
40 red
14 yellow
20 green
8 purple
42 tan
12 brown
20 gray
8 red
20 purple
CONTINUE
6 tan
14 yellow
54 green
16 red
12 gray
8 yellow
20 green
10 purple
12 tan
32 gray
10 red
18 yellow
40 tan
8 Green
24 red
14 purple
12 yellow
CONTINUE
44 brown
8 red
14 tan
18 green
28 gray
30 yellow
50 purple
16 tan
8 brown
18 green
24 red
14 gray
10 yellow
26 tan
12 green
END

I learned a lot more than I ever wanted to know about Doctor Who scarfs while researching the pattern I wanted to use. There are some super wacky fans out there. I chose this pattern, mainly because I thought it looked the best and the website I got it from had the clearest instructions. You can get patterns from different season scarves and the patterns come in either this format or in color block format, which I find helpful…the only problem is that I couldn’t find anywhere how much yarn I would actually need. So I simply guessed, ordered and prayed.

Speaking of just ordering and praying.  I don’t think I am going to order yarn online again.  I spent a lot of time price and color shopping.  I knew I needed specific colors and I needed a lot of yarn (working within a budget here).  I determined very quickly that I was going to have to sacrifice on the material.  I had to downgrade from wool to acrylic almost immediately but I still thought I could hit the mark for the colors…I was wrong.  Plus I got totally burned on shipping costs; it ate through much of my savings.  (I went with Lion Brand, Vanna’s Choice Acrylic.)

Now let me just say, the colors my yarn actually turned out to be are still  lovely, and the scarf will be very nice.  I made sure to order all within one brand so they will all blend well together and they are still going to have a very 70’s feel…but the tan on the screen ended up beige and the gray ended up taupe.  So we’ll see.  It’s not a huge deal.  90% of the people in the world weren’t going to understand the scarf anyway and of the remaining 10% who get it – well, I am unlikely to come across a super-fan as I don’t attend conventions.

However be warned, should any future conversation ever start like this:

“Hey, I love your Doctor Who scarf…but you know that he never had a creamy beige in any season right?”

I have a mean right hook, and yes, I am bigger than you.

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Everyone can do something.

Check out CitzenSAM, (thanks to Stitching ‘n’ Knitting for helping me find this site).  From personal experience I can tell you the projects they have listed are very relevant.  My husband actually asked me at one point or another for almost everything on the list that they provide in the adopt-a-solider project, and his loose memory of something similar to the pictured helmet warmer was the inspiration for the Neck Sock pattern I posted and part of the reason I learned how to knit in the first place.  CitizenSAM has very clear directions (which MUST be followed exactly if you wish to participate) for how to make the pictured helmet warmer.
helmetliner_photo

There are projects to help kids of fallen soldiers, K-9’s, wounded vets, etc., etc.

If you can sew, knit, crochet, write a letter, buy a dog toy or make a blog post you can help in a very real way.  We have been here…As the wife of a formerly deployed National Guardsman and the current spouse of a disabled vet – let me say this in the clearest way possible.  These things matter.

While I am on the subject, don’t forget the families of the guardsmen and women who are now doing without an important person every day.  Help with yard work if you can, ask if there is anything that needs to be fixed around the house or if the spouse left behind simply needs someone to watch the kids so they can have a night off.

The soldier will know you did this and will be just as, if not more grateful, than if you had done something for them.  They worry constantly about the people at home.  Knowing that their families are having a hard time, especially right now is devastating for morale.

You can and do matter, go ahead and help someone.


I just don’t know…

combined-houses

You’ll know what specific project this is for when I have time to take some pictures for a future post…but I drew this quick mock up for a potential paper cut last night.  Not as “haunted house” as I was hoping for, but still pretty cool I think. I wasn’t worried too  much about details.  I was barely looking at it any more by the time I got to the fence at the bottom – hence the “never gonna happen” fence posts.  (I was busy marveling at how bad season 2 of X-Files is, really terrible…so glad we finished that season last night.)

The question is when I do the cutting should I go though a white paper to reveal a colored or textured paper behind (as in the left choice), or should I cut through a black paper to reveal a lighter color or white paper (as seen on the right).

I am leaning toward black in the front…but I am worried about long-term fading.

What do you think?


Introducing Mr. Ted E. Bear (Also known as Frankenstien’s Monster)

dsc02224

Introducing the cutest thing I have EVER made…as long as no one looks too closely. 😉 That’s right, I did it – I crocheted a teddy bear, booyah!

It wasn’t even that hard.  I simply added on to the things I have been learning.  I knew how to make a ball from the Ducky…this is just a series of ball variations.  Total cost $3, I used green and brown Sugar and Cream Cotton yard, a scrap of red and black acrylic yarn, Poly-fil and a G sized crochet needle.

Head

  • Ball increasing steadily over a total of eight rows then holding steady for three or four rows then decreasing steadily for 8 rows. Stuffed with Poly-fil and closed.
  • Muzzle, made a small half ball and then sewed a triangle nose with black yarn, stuffed with Poly-fil and sewed to head.
  • Ears – chain 5 together to make a circle and then double crocheted 6 times into the center of the circle to make the shape and sewed it onto the head.

Body

  • Increased steadily over nine rows and then held steady until the bear was as tall as I wanted him to be.  (Color change at the bottom of the shirt and two rows before the top) Decreased until I had 5 rows left and stopped.  Stuffed body and sewed onto head. (I wanted the neck to be a little thicker – not just two balls sewn together.)
  • As I did a REALLY bad job of sewing his face on straight the bottom of the head was WAY off to the side and I had to hide this fact…so…he got a cute scarf.  See everything can be covered!
  • Scarf – single chain as long as I wanted the scarf to be and then I went back down the row with a double crochet
  • Sew scarf to body to cover all ugliness 🙂

Arms and Legs – My personal hell

  • I hate crocheting tiny things – that’s just me…I almost sent him as a stump, but I sucked it up and did the right thing.
  • Arms, Tiny Ball – Two rows of double stitching in each loop and then one row of decreasing then hold steady for length I wanted. (Color change at wrist.) Pinched the ends together before sewing to bear, they can flap up and down now.
  • Legs, (I admit Andrea made the little feet) She made a small chain and then looped back down the chain to make an oval instead of a circle…and now I know how to do something new…neat! Left the ends open and sewed to bear flat – the legs don’t move much so the bear can sit.
  • Stuff and sew limbs on.  Pretend to self they are even remotely even in size or placement…not true, but if I say it enough maybe it will make it true…)

Stand back and look at finished product…Oh My Gosh! That is adorable!  As long as we never tell the receiving child how much cussing went into it…Nothing but love baby, nothing but love 🙂dsc02225

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