Falling into Friday

Happy Friday Everyone.  All I can say is it’s never felt so good to see the end of the work week…how many days until February Vacation?  I do love my public school schedule…

Not much to report today, but check back for a big project reveal tomorrow.  All I can say is that it involved lots and lots of these…

We’ve accumulated a good dusting of snow so far tonight, but I’m really hoping it doesn’t amount to too much more.  Seems we always get the storms on the weekends!  B and I went out for lunch after work today, and both ended up ordering pizza, then I came home to find out dinner was also pizza.  Too much doughy cheese goodness for one day!  I’m certainly glad I didn’t make a diet one of my resolutions this year…

Wish my man and his wrestlers good luck at their meet tomorrow.  Goodnight blogosphere.

Coasting right on through…

Something I discovered, only last year, was an elite little product called Mod Podge, and we’ve been having a casual love affair ever since.  I have not dared to branch out terribly far on my decoupage adventure, but I continue to see Mod Podge and I having a lasting relationship, which means bigger and better projects are surely on the horizon.

With Christmas ending I thought a great recycled use for all that wrapping paper would be some festive coasters.  Even if it means that I have to put them away until next year…but something as simple as this would be great for having around the house or giving as small gifts, perhaps a host gift for a holiday party you attend next year.  Never hurts to make in advance and then store for the next year!

All the supplies you need are tile coasters (16 cents a pop at home depot, beat that!), mod podge, decorative paper (I chose to recycle wrapping paper left over from the holidays, but you can use anything such as paper napkins, fabric, stickers, scraps of paper, etc.  Whatever you think looks visually appealing) a pencil, sponge brush, and some scissors.  I also like to keep a handy dandy art roller close at hand, but that is completely optional.

All the goods
My handy dandy art roller, I have found that it helps to remove wrinkles and bubbles

Step 1:  Decide what part of the paper looks most visually appealing, place the tile on top and trace around it with your pencil.  If any pencil gets transferred to the side of your tile, fret not, it easily wipes off.  The paper does not have to be the exact size of the tile, you can add small elements and have blank tile exposed, I chose to cover the whole surface.

Trace around the tile with a pencil

 Step 2:  Cut out the shape that you traced, line up with the tile and trim the edges so that the paper doesn’t over hang the sides.

Cut out squares of paper

Step 3:  Spread a very thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile

Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge to the tile

Step 4:  Carefully lay the paper down on the tile, make sure the edges match up, even out any wrinkles or bubbles.  This is where I use my trusty art roller, I feel like it really helps to even out the paper and avoid wrinkles or bubbles.  Be aware that the thinner the paper you use (ie: paper napkins) the more wrinkles you are likely to have.  But wrinkles aren’t the end of the world, they give your coasters character!

Lay down the paper over the layer of Mod Podge

Step 5:  The next step is to cover the paper with a generous layer of Mod Podge.  Make sure you get all the corners and edges, this will help seal the paper onto the tile.  Try to make even strokes, big globs of glue are more likely to dry white rather than clear, so try to evenly spread across the whole tile.

Cover in an even, but generous layer of Mod Podge

Step 6:  Your tile will look like it is covered in wet Elmer’s Glue, which is normal (and can actually be used as a substitute if you don’t have a bottle of Mod Podge lying around).  You now have to, impatiently, wait for the Mod Podge to dry.

Wet glue waiting to dry

Step 7:  Once the Mod Podge is sufficiently dry (usually 15-20 minutes) make another layer.  I’m usually happy with 2-3 layers but often times do each layer in alternating brush strokes to avoid streaks (first layer vertical, second layer horizontal).

Waiting for the second layer to dry…

Step 8:  This step is optional.  Once everything is completely dry, I recommend overnight to be on the safe side, I tend to use a spray on sealant.  This helps to preserve the paper and add an extra water proof layer (especially for coasters).  I like and would recommend Plaid, I have had a lot of success with their clear acrylic sealer.

Step 9:  The final step is to add something to the bottom of the tile so that it doesn’t scratch whatever surface you choose to put it on.  I have used furniture pads, felt, and cork.  You can come up with whatever method you like the best.  I enjoy felt because it is the least expensive way to cover the entire bottom, but I also like individual felt circles, which can be placed on the four corners.  Cork is a little more on the expensive side, but you can buy a roll of cork and cut it to individual sizes that will meet your needs.

Here is a peek at my finished products!

And here are a few other coasters I made last year, just to give you an idea of some other options:

Pretty coasters

As you can tell from the background of my photos, I completed this entire project from the comfort of my bed courtesy of my new “lap desk” (thanks mom and dad!).  This is not a route I would recommend, but just goes to show how simple it really is.  Some how in my mind I justified coming home from work nursing a migraine and a sore throat as warrant for an afternoon in bed.  It was bad enough for me to back out of the typical Thursday Grey’s Anatomy night with the girls…

Well I hope you liked my short trip down decoupage lane.  I urge you all to try it…it really is that simple, and rewarding!  Happy Thursday!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: EEEK, gotta get going on the less clutter part, stat!

the right “frame” of mind

With so many options, how does one choose?  That’s what I’ve been asking myself the last few days while working on my silhouette pictures.  I finally settled on two dark oval 11×14 frames from Michael’s.  I was lucky to score the 50% store promotion, on top of my 25% off on frames coupon.  I got the set for 30 beans and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  Lets take a looksie shall we?

Poor quality…but better size reference.
An up close peek.

I’m pretty happy with the final outcome, but still have even more visions!  Here’s a sneak peak…


I had high hopes for using this frame:

Found at good old Ikea.  But the dimensions are pretty large, and I don’t want to end up dwarfing the photo of us in the middle.  But ever since I saw this frame I thought it just screamed silhouette.  I thought so…but I’m not sure if that’s the direction I want to take after all.  I might stop in and visit my favorite Swedish friends soon and see what I think.  I do have to keep in mind that they won’t always be above my bed, and therefore bigger might be better.  Decisions decisions!

And finally, I need to make a decision as to what background color to use.  Right now I just have cream colored paper, but I was thinking a fun fabric?  Or patterned paper?  Do you think something like that would work, or should I stick to the solid?  Even more decisions…yikes!

As I’m sure you can see in the background of these photos a deliciously bubble gum pink striped wall paper.  puke.  Not my first choice that’s for sure, but its been on the walls ever since my parents moved in 10+ years ago.  And extends all the way into the hall and attached bathroom.  Since moving back home last spring I’ve had a lot of visions, but now every nook and cranny is full of all my junk and I’m lacking motivation to spruce up.  That and a leaky bathroom ceiling are holding me back.  Maybe in the coming months I’ll find some motivation and get painting.  But at the same time with B and I months away from apartment hunting we’ll see if I ever get that far.

I’m sure you will see the whole process documented here when I make a final decision!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: Less stress…check!  Saved money at Michaels because of the sales and coupons woot.  Also ordered my textbook for my class, that’s a load off my shoulders, bring on the semester!.  Less clutter…check minus.  Never actually organized anything, but I did buy some new baskets at Michaels to help hide some of my “stuff”!  Less complication…no complications today!

Oh Happy Day!

Today is indeed a happy day, for multiple reasons.

Reason 1:  That darling little girl you see up there is sister #1, twenty *cough* something years ago.  And today is her birthday!  But these days she looks more like this:

So happy birthday sister #1!  This also means that I got to give her the present that I made here.  She loved it, even with its 4th of July flare!  Whew.

Reason 2:  Finally got some B time in!  I know I know, finally is a bit of an exaggeration considering we just got to spend multiple days together during the holidays, but these days I don’t take our time together for granted.  I can’t get enough of that handsome face!

Yes, he is indeed the one blowing up this photo in the back…

I told you, handsome, right?!  Love you Boo!  It’s prime wrestling season, and since B is a coach for one of our local high school wrestling teams, our time together is usually pretty scarce.  We enjoyed a pretty relaxing afternoon together and had a chance to catch up on our days.  Even just the down time is appreciated over here.  Like I said, happy day!

Reason 4:  I slept on the silhouette dilemma I was having yesterday and with a fresh pair of eyes today I was able to find a more suitable picture and am much happier with the outcome!  Now of course I’m seeing pictures all over the place that I think would make good silhouettes…I think I’ve created a monster!

Reason 5:  I have only one final class left to take in order to complete the graduate certificate I have been working on.  Thankfully, the class only requires one book…and I found a bargain!  More on that tomorrow!

Sorry, no crafts today…but stay tuned for tomorrow…a Michael’s trip with coupons in hand, and some planned decoupage on the way!  But we might just have to see what my schedule actually leaves time for.

I hope that everyone else enjoyed their Tuesday…hump day tomorrow, which means halfway through the work week!  I can do this…

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: Less stress…check!  B and I enjoyed a stress free afternoon just hanging out at home.  Less clutter…check!  Organized the shoe closet and put away some laundry, it’s a start to the massive pile waiting to be sorted!  Less complication…debatable.  Nothing of note today…although it did feel pretty good to solve the silhouette dilemma!

Happy Silhouetting!

After an absolutely exhausting first day back at work (a week of being lazy during vacation will do that to you!) I wanted a small and simple project to work on.  For a while I’ve been wanting to try making my own silhouettes.  Who better to use as models than B and I?  Step One: scrounge around on the computer for pictures that work.  I found this adorably pensive one of B :

And after wayyy too much searching this semi-decent one of myself:

Really now, it would have just been easier to take another picture and upload it onto the computer, if you try this project, I recommend that route.   Anywho, Step Two: crop the photos so that they are only of the part you will silhouette, aka, the face.  Step Three:  print the picture, I chose to print 7×9, depending on what size frame you will be using, adjust your size.  I certainly got my exercise in today.  While scrounging around on the computer, cropping photos, and adjusting the size, I was up on the third floor.  Meanwhile, the trusty printer is down on floor one.  I think I ran up and down the two flights of stairs probably a good dozen or so times before finding just the right picture.  There’s a little cardio I didn’t count on…

Ok.  Step Four:  cut out the picture.  This will be your basic template.  I intentionally chose to leave out some of the details, for instance the spikes in B’s hair, eyelashes, etc., but feel free to make it as detailed as you like.   Step Five:  find some dark paper.  I happened to have black construction paper lying around the house and chose to use that, but will probably end up re-tracing and cutting out the silhouettes onto more solid paper before framing.  I taped down the image, traced, and re-cut so that my final product was a black silhouette.  See for yourself:

I might work on B’s a little more…I’m not convinced it looks enough like him

**EDIT**  Here is the new and improved profile I found:

 By editing out the glasses I ended up with a result I’m much happier with!  Looks more like the man himself 🙂

Sorry about the really really poor photo quality…but you get the idea!

 The next step would be to frame and hang.  I will most likely take the extra time to cut out my silhouettes on black card stock paper, so that they are a little more sturdy, before attaching to a photo mat.  And I have yet to find the perfect frame.  But I do have visions of them hanging in our (hopefully!) not so distant new living room.  B and I will be looking for a place of our own in the coming months…look for more on that, and the final product sometime soon!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the end results, but my simple project turned into more of an undertaking that I had planned on!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress:  zero.  big FAIL.  Running endlessly up and down the stairs?  Way more complicated.  Simple project taking way too long, semi-stressful.  And last but not least, if anything I made a bigger mess working on my project…but I took the extra few minutes to clean up the mess rather than leave it for tomorrow…that’s some kind of progress, right?