Tag Archives: art

A Fixed Neklace

2 Apr

Hello, friends! Good news… the DIY fairy sent me all kinds of motivation this weekend. I not only did both of the projects I told you about, but a third one, too! Unfortunately, the spool is not quite finished yet, and the photo transfers that I did on the wood blocks are not hung.

But I know you all were waiting with bated breath for a post all about my weekend DIY adventures, so I’m going to share my other DIY ish with you! It’s a small one, but it still makes me happy.

There are three things you should know about me: 1. I like necklaces. I might not wear them very often, but I have a lot. 2. Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite poet. And 3. I like things in multiples of three. So now you know I’m weird.

But back to the necklaces. For my most recent birthday (yes, 7 months ago), a friend of mine, Kat, was super stealthy and deduced what my favorite Poe-m (ha, get it?) is. She then had a friend of hers make me a necklace of a miniature book with “The Raven” inscribed on the inside. The pendant, of sorts, also had a little tiny black bird dangling from beneath.

When she gave it to me she apologized and said she thought the chain was going to be longer, and for some reason, I waited until more than 6 months later to do something about it.

So, here’s what I started with:

the "ingredients"

the “ingredients”

– the original necklace
– a longer chain
– some pliers (not pictured)
– super glue (also not pictured, because I’m on top of things)

And here’s what I did:


handy dandy pliers

handy dandy pliers


It was a pretty simple process. I took the new chain and put it around my neck to figure out how long I wanted it to be. Then, I used the pliers to remove the book from the old chain, as well as the clasp. And then I put it all back together on the new chain! Also, not pictured, I had to glue the pages back into the book. They had somehow come unstuck so I … restuck them together, if you will.

And, voila! The finished (fixed) product:

a fixed necklace

a fixed necklace

Isn’t it pretty? I’m wearing it today with an adorable sleeveless shirt with lacy collars.

Sometime in the coming days, I’m going to hang up my new picture blocks, and Todd is going to add casters to my spool, and I’m going to bring it inside and add some books and funky knick-knacks to it. I can’t wait to show you all!


Failed Pinterest Crafternoon

16 Oct

Have you seen those websites dedicated to the idiots that can’t follow a simple craft on Pinterest? Usually I read them and think, “I know exactly what they did wrong!” But this time I did one… and it just didn’t… look right.

The basic idea: get a few pieces of canvas or canvas board. Paint the boards whatever color your little heart desires. Find some leaves or flowers and lay them down on the (dry) canvas boards. Spray paint over so that you create a silhouette. Ta da!

Not so. At least not for me. It looked so neat on the website! I only spent $2.50 on three boards that were probably 12×9 and I already had paint and leaves are free, so it wasn’t a huge loss, but they just looked so … sad. The first board I painted a light green. I had some dark silver spray paint leftover from painting a wine rack so I used that with some large sugar maple leaves.

green, blue, orange

green, blue, orange

My main concern was that the leaves didn’t want to stay in place while spray painting. I didn’t want to tape them down and ruin the paint underneath. So the leaves ended up moving about and the edges were rather blurred.

maple leaves

maple leaves

I decided to take a different approach with the other two, painted orange and teal/blue, respectively. I used smaller leaves for these ones and held each leaf down as I used silver acrylic paint and a paint brush to apply the shiny top coat.

orange and blue

orange and blue

This method worked infinitely better but there were other issues…

dirty painting

dirty painting

The residue from the leaf adhered itself to the orange portion of the board. Unfortunately I mixed that color myself and I am terrible at matching colors that I’ve mixed previously.

Overall this project was a huge FAIL. I’m going to get some spray primer and re-do these with a different Pinterest craft! Hopefully that one will turn out better than this one.

What kinds of crafts do you like to do? Any great ideas come from a Pinterest board? Or have some of your great ideas flopped, like mine? I’d love to hear!

Big Fun: Rides, Cotton Candy and Brews

1 Aug

The California state fair has made its way into our lives and back out once again, ushering away feelings of frivolity and long-summer days. As of today, I’ve officially lived in California (again) for three years. And this is the third summer in a row that I’ve attended the state fair.

Every year around state-fair-time I get giddy with excitement and I feel like a child once again. I look forward to eating cotton candy, giant turkey legs, and deep-fried-anything-I-can-get-my-hands-on. I sweat more than most people think is possible, but that’s part of the fun. Who cares if it’s close to 100 degrees? There are expos to look at! And rides to go on! And delicacies to devour!

Every year I feel like it also gets more expensive. But there are benefits to being a state employee. The state fair comes discounted! For $45, we got four fair admissions, four ride tickets (one ride per ticket) and one parking pass. The savings came to more than 40%! Even without the savings, though, it is well worth it.

I always make sure I get as much out of the fair as I can. I don’t care how long I have to stay. I will do everything there that I want to do and try to see it all.

This year was also the first event that Todd and I have attended together, for the second time. I guess that means it has to be tradition, right?

We made our own photobooth instead of paying $5!

We made our own photobooth instead of paying $5!

I reviewed the events of the fair this year ’round and decided that we needed to do something more than just go and do the typical stuff; I wanted to go to a real event. The top contenders were an RV demolition derby and a Brew Fest. After some debate, the Brew Fest won out.

Saturday afternoon, we ate a very light lunch and made our way to the fair. We met up with some friends, saw some of the expositions (California Youth Art, Toytopia 2.0!, modern art and some others), and watched some dance groups perform.

Art, toys and performers.

Art, toys and performers.

After some meandering and discussion, Todd and I decided to part ways with our friends and ride some rides! We only rode two because we didn’t want to waste money on tickets for more rides. We were already sufficiently dizzied.

After the rides came nasty fair food! (Word from the wise: do the rides before eating fair food that will undoubtedly make you want to yack.) We indulged in deep fried artichoke hearts, a deep fried cinnamon role, a Merlino’s freeze and some much needed water. For awhile we just wandered about, saw some birds and took in all the sights (people-watching is a great pastime).

The Brew Fest started that evening at 5, but our friends didn’t show up until 6, so once they arrived, we entered the beer garden. We received some handy bracelets with ten little tabs that each brewer would tear off as we received our tasters.



There were way more than ten brewers there so we had to pick and choose. My two favorites were 21st Amendment’s watermelon beer, Hell or High Watermelon, and the Devil’s Canyon champagne beer (note: NOT the champage OF beers), Belle.

Let me tell you. If you want to get your drunk on, you should drink multiple 5oz glasses of well-crafted brews in less than 2 hours. What this then turns into is eating very large, very crispy turkey legs. And watching a cover band that I dubbed Not The Police (they were a Police cover band). The singer was an odd mix of Guy Fieri and Jack Black, but his voice was spot on.

Meat Eaters.

Meat Eaters.

After devouring my entire turkey leg, and Todd, a foot long corn dog, we decided to depart from the fairgrounds.

It was a long day. My feet were sore and my stomach full. But it was one of the best fair-days I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to go back next year.

Car People

9 Jul

I’ve never considered myself a “car person.” There are some cars that I like and I know how to change a flat tire. I’ve dreamed of owning a 1965 cherry red, convertible Mustang since I was a tween. But I don’t take joy in wandering around a salvage yard. I don’t go to car shows. Or, I didn’t, until I met Todd, at least.

Good news, guys! Car shows are exciting. There are a bunch of different kinds of shows, too, I’ve learned. Every summer in Rocklin, CA, there’s a car show AND chili cook-off! My kind of car show! We went last summer and got there rather late and only got to try a few types of chili. But they were all delicious and the cars were a lot of fun to look at.

This past weekend we went to Midnight Mass in Lincoln, CA. This show is for a certain era of “rat rods,” which is essentially a type of car that you build out of whatever you have. We saw a lot of old Ford pick-ups, a lot of Mercurys (Mercuries?) and a ton of crazy, pieced-together hot rods.


Notice that the gas tank is a keg!

Is it a bus? Is it a van?

Another interesting sight at these types of events are the people. Some car shows are great for people watching! This show was especially fun because there were a lot of hot pin-up girls and smooth greasers. There was a beer tent, live music, and even a burlesque competition.

Despite the ridiculous heat of the day (it was 95 degrees at 8pm!), it was a great time, and you’ll be seeing me at a lot more car shows!

1957 Ford

Music is my Lifeblood

21 Jun

Gosh. I just can’t express how much music moves me. But I’m going to try.

We have a radio station here that plays a lot of stuff not normally heard on the radio. I don’t mean to sound like a condescending hipster here, but Foster the People played on this station about 9 months before they were on any other station. I think that’s pretty cool. They play bands like Alabama Shakes, Two Door Cinema Club, Grouplove… you get the idea. They even let you vote on which songs you want to hear more or less!

Image cred: google.com

Image cred: google.com

And I love that I have access to new music that’s not normally radio-played because I’m not a radio-music kind of gal most of the time.

I will admit I do like the catchier songs and I’ll dance my face off to Katy Perry’s “E.T.” anytime, but 90% of radio music is annoying. Why does Jason Derulo have to say his name at the beginning of every song? And I’m pretty sure Bieber’s songs all sound the exact same. It’s a molestation of the ears.

Image cred: google.com

Image cred: google.com

There are some talented artists out there that are mainstream, and that’s great. But the ones that are in it for the money and fame are not my style. The ones that do it for the feeling and the love and the movement… they rock my heart. Florence’s voice brings me close to tears. Mates of State makes me dance like a fool; plus their kids are flippin’ adorable. Beyoncé though? Man, that woman is gorgeous and TALENTED! What I wouldn’t do to have her moves.

Image cred: google.com

Image cred: google.com

So what are some of your favorite bands or artists? What kind of music makes you feel feelings? Leave a comment and give me a heads up on some of your favorite music so I can listen too!