Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm One Year Old. Let's Have a Giveaway!

Well, my blog is anyway... it's my one year blogiversary!  I started blogging on June 1st of last year... since then, I've published 300 posts (including this one), gained 407 GFC followers, 90 Facebook followers, over 30 Linky followers, 432 followers on Pinterest, and over 240,000 page views.  In a year.  Would anyone have believed that a chocolate-addicted, hopeless smart-ass with a glue gun could develop an audience?

Well, I did.  Take THAT, high school guidance counselor.

In honor of one year of cynicism while crafting, I'm having a little giveaway!  This is a very special giveaway... why, it's the most specialist giveaway ever.

I'm giving you whatever the crap you want.  Well, within reason that is.

For a few lucky winners, I'll be making you anything on this blog... perhaps you'd like your own Ironing Mat?

Or your own magnetic message board (you can even pick the colors... look how accommodating I am)?

Or a spring wreath?

A felt wreath?

How about your own canvas calendar?

Or a fabric bowl?

Or of course, faux wrought iron wall art?

Take a look around the blog and pick yourself something pretty... if I draw your name at random, I'll make it and ship it to you.  'Cause I loves you.  I would not recommend any of the recipes as your prize... homemade frosties do not ship well.

To enter, be a follower and leave a comment.  I'll pick a few winners because I don't like to play favorites... The giveaway ends at 11:59pm on June 6th... so don't try to enter at 12:00am on June 7th, cause I'll be watching you.

Thanks for one year of awesomeness!

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Insomnia Activities

I've had such trouble falling asleep lately.  Like, to a ridiculous degree.  Last night, I was up until after 2:00 am.  And I have to be a mom by 7:30 am at the latest.

I might not survive this day.  If I don't, tell the world my story.

Since I've had trouble sleeping, I've found ways to quietly pass time in the wee small hours of the morning.  I present to you all the awesome things you can do instead of staring at your own eyelids.

1.  Take a good look at Craigslist.  Yes, there are some great finds on Craigslist... but have you looked at the 'Rants and Raves' section? Those people are insane and they make me feel better about myself.

2.  Write some snarky blog post that only your dedicated followers will read and not believe you've lost your mind.  FYI, loss of sleep can make you lose your mind.  I am there.

3.  Place candy on your husband's face.  M & M's work best... see how long you can balance them without waking him up.  This game causes giggling though, so be warned.

4.  In an effort to be productive, I decided to update the budget during those lonely night hours.  Our family is now budgeted through 2015.

5.  Go to and find any article, preferably a political one.  Skim the article briefly and then scroll to the comments at the bottom.  If those people are any indication of actual voters in this country, we're all in trouble.  Read it and suffer further insomnia due to fear.

6.  Infomercials.  I don't have the P90X system, but just watching the infomercial makes me feel like I've worked out.

7.  Think of all the things you'd like.  A milkshake.  A new living room set.  A three-year old that sleeps through the night.  Then think of all the things you wouldn't like.  A paper cut.  A cup full of sour milk.  A date with Charlie Sheen.  This exercise passes the time pretty well.  Poor Charlie Sheen.

8.   Three's Company.  If none of the previous activities have induced sleep, turn to Nick at Nite and let the hilarity wash over you.

Do any of you suffer from sleeplessness? I'm so tired I could fall asleep right here at my keyboard... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. :)

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Carpal Tunnel for a Good Cause

Another blogger named Pamela contacted me recently about donating to Star of Hope.  They're trying to get some handmade baby items donated for needy families... since I've totally outdone my quota of selfishness for the year, I decided to try and balance the scales a little.

I've had this pinned on Pinterest for a while now and thought I'd give it a whirl.  It was pretty simple, but my wrists are killing me.  I figure though, that the extra pain means I've sacrificed more and am therefore, a better person.  This is how I sleep at night.

It's a pretty simple crochet pattern.  I know I usually give you a step-by-step with pictures but I've recently discovered that I am unable to take pictures of myself crocheting.  I GAVE IT MY ALL BUT I'M ONLY ONE WOMAN.

If any of you are interested in donating a baby item, send me an email and I'll send you Pamela's way!

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

I know you're patiently waiting by the computer to diligently take notes about surviving the apocalypse.  I hate to disappoint you, but today I'm knee-deep in grilled food and gratitude for our veterans.  I'll catch you tomorrow, when I'm twelve pounds heavier.

Happy Memorial Day!

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trash Bag For The Car

It makes me sleep better at night knowing we live in a society with the technology to thwart children messing up a car.  And if you have a few simple supplies, you too can make a trash bag for the car.  And then you will find yourself repeating to your children "DON'T THROW THAT ON THE FLOOR, WE HAVE A TRASH BAG NOW."

I found a great tutorial for this over at How Does She?.  You'll need some fabric, ribbon and velcro.  She used home decor fabric, which would have been a bit less bendy... but I used the fabric I had on-hand and it still turned out pretty well.

You'll need two fabrics, one for the outside and one for the inside.  Of course, you could use the same fabric for both, you rebel you.  Cut the fabric to 10" x 13" so you have four pieces, two of each fabric, all the same size.

Pin the fabrics right sides together so you have your exterior and interior separate.

Sew the exterior bag with a 5/8" seam allowance around three sides, leaving one of the short sides open. Once you've sewed it, go back and do a zigzag stitch beside it for extra strength.  This this is the Incredible Hulk of trash bags.  Do the same thing for the interior fabric.

Trim the fabric next to the seam and clip the corners.

Turn one of the bags right side out.  Shove it into the other bag so the right sides are together.  Pin 'em in place.

 Sew around the top of the bag, leaving a small section un-stitched for flipping it right-side out.

Just like before, add a zigzag stitch beside the straight stitch.

Pull the bags right side out by pulling the first bag completely out and then flipping them right-side out.

Top stitch around the top, which closes that hole we left...

Ska-doosh.  That's what my three-year old says.  The bag is done!  Next, take some strong ribbon, about 10" or so.  Cut it in half and burn the edges which will keep it from fraying.

Add some velcro to the ends...

Sew the other ends to the bag.  PRESTO.  You've got a bag... attach it to the back of your seat and expect that all the trash will just magically float to it.

There are a few steps to this project, but it was well worth it!

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Self-Inflicted Pressure

If you're reading my blog, you're reading other blogs.  And if you're reading other blogs, you've probably experienced some blog/blogger envy.  You know, that blogger has it all together and they've got their living room totally decorated and their dishes are always done and their laundry is always clean and they apparently have a live-in stylist and make-up artist.

I hate those bloggers.

OK, I don't hate them... but I tell myself that no matter how awesome their life and house looks on that blog, they've got their own problems and I need to remember that I don't need to be like them.

I was putting an amazing amount of pressure on myself because those bloggers are so super awesome.  I was exerting a ridiculous amount of energy trying to think of how I could get it all together like they did.  And then I would see crumbs on the floor I just vacuumed and my youngest child with a loaded paintbrush running into oblivion to redecorate his room to his liking.  And then I would have my version of a nervous breakdown, grab a pint of ice cream, and collapse into the sofa for a day or two.

Don't be like your ol' pal Prissy.  Your house is great.  Your blog (if you've got one) is great.  You have great ideas and talent and your life is not defined by anyone else.  Use those great blogs for inspiration and motivation, but don't let it make you feel like you're not good enough.  Don't put pressure on yourself to be something you aren't because what you are is awesome already.

And you know what?  Those dishes will wait.  Go do something fun.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Today is my oldest son's last day of first grade.  Summer vacation officially starts tomorrow.

I'm going to need some strength.

There are 86 days until school starts again... Jon and I came up with 86 activities to fill our summer days!

I got an 11"x14" frame from Jo-Ann's Fabric (with a 40% off coupon) and some fabric.  I fired up the ol' Silhouette and put it all together.  There were some vinyl issues so the placement is wonky on a couple of them... but I had pretty much had my fill of vinyl letters by then, so it will do just fine.  In the future, a piece of paper and a crayon will be my preferred list-making tools.

Eighty-six days.  With both of the kids.  And they'll spend most of their time fighting over some toy that neither of them cared about previously.  I might spend most of my summer blogging my tears.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Empty Bottles

I'm a couponer.  Not an extreme couponer, but I do get my fair share of good deals.  Last year, there was a deal on Osteo-Biflex that I get because the husband's joints make too much noise when he moves.  This awesome deal left me with lots of bottles that were too good to throw away.

I know you can't tell from this picture, but these dusty bottles are super-strong.  I mean, REALLY strong.  So naturally, they will come in handy when the zombies are recruiting for their baseball team.  Which is to say, eating you.

1.  Stack them like you see in the picture and you've got yourself a carnival game.  Hit them down with a ball and win yourself a stick from the yard!

2.  Catching fireflies.  All the mason jars will be storing preserves, so these will be a great place to catch those summertime fireflies.  Child-like whimsy will be important during the end of the world.

3. Catching fairies.  I'm not saying they exist... but if the zombies turn out to be real, then fairies probably are, too.  And you'll need to keep them so they will grant your wishes or make you fly or do whatever it is fairies are supposed to do.

4.  Throw some pebbles in them and make your own maracas.  This will come in handy during the neighborhood auditions for a new band.  Most of the performances will be held at anti-zombie rallies.

5.  You can use them to store cotton balls and q-tips.  Because it's more important than ever to use astringent and keep your ears clean.

6.  It's a great place to store your stolen water.  Let's say you're in a neighboring camp... they've got some water and you're thirsty... but they aren't the sharing type.  Set off a pipe bomb to distract them and put some of their life-saving water into your bottle.  They'll be none the wiser unless you've spilled the water all over yourself in the process.  Pour carefully.

7.  Set up a million of these on a rooftop somewhere and pray for rain.  While I've never had much success with rain dances, I've heard that jumping around and doing some disco moves will bring a little precipitation.  Make sure you have your loved ones with you to watch because they could use a chuckle.

8.  These are great for storing glitter.  If you think for one minute that I'll stop crafting just because blood-thirsty undead creatures are stalking me mercilessly, think again.

9.  These are great for storing some food.  Ziploc bags will become scarce during the apocalypse, but these are reusable.  Pour yourself a little oatmeal for later and you'll be glad you saved those bottles.

10.  Organization during times of survival is essential.  I mean, would there be 80 billion pins on Pinterest about organization if it wasn't necessary during an apocalypse? I think not.  Collect yourself a few hundred of these bottles and organize your camp until people think you really have snapped.  And then welcome yourself to my club.

Until next time survivors,

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This recipe is a great example of why you should always click on a pin before committing to the recipe.  If you check out this pin, you'll see that it says the recipe calls for sour cream.  If you click through as you're ready to make the recipe, you'll find out that in fact, there is no sour cream in this recipe.  Geez.

Four ingredients.  A half an hour.  Awesomeness in a pan.

Take a few chicken breasts and throw 'em in a glass casserole dish.

Grab 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and a handful of breadcrumbs. 

I know what you're thinking... mayonnaise... you're not into it.  Trust me on this one, use the mayo.  I wouldn't steer you wrong.  Mix the parmesan with the mayo.

Spread the mixture over the top of the chicken.

Throw the breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake the whole shebang, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until the juices run clear.

It was amazing.  Really.  It was juicy and yummy.  Even the kids liked it.

It was gone.  It was gone almost as soon as I put it on the table.  It was that good.  Give it a try.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Super Simple Teacher's Gift

I have pinned several ideas for teacher's gifts onto Pinterest.  And then I thought about it.  I totally decided on one of them and went to find the pin.

There is no pin.  The pin is evidently a figment of my imagination.  Senility has set in, for reals.

If any of you can identify where I got this idea, please let me know in the comments.  Unless you're all figments of my imagination too... I just blew my own mind.

I took a cylinder vase, a gaggle of pencils (that is the collective term for a group of pencils, isn't it? A gaggle? If it's not, let's make it. Thanks.) and some pretty flowers.

I hot-glued the pencils to the vase...

And took it all the way around...

It's pretty much the cutest thing ever.  But we're not done.  Add some flowers.

Tie a little ribbon 'round it and add a little note...

And you've got yourself a teacher's gift.  That cost only a few dollars, thanks to Michael's coupons and the apparently cheap cost of pencils in the US today.

The last day of school is Tuesday and I am ready!  Of course, after a week of both kids at home with me, I'll be begging for school time to roll around...

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - The Principles of Pinning

Pinterest is super-awesome.  I admit that last year, when everyone was jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon, I was totally resisting the urge to join.  'Cause I'm a rebel like that.  Finally, I succumbed to the peer pressure and logged in.

And my life was forever changed.

Despite the awesomeness, there are some issues I feel need to be discussed about Pinterest.

1.  Click on the pin before you repin.  This is not a hard and fast rule, but it really helps in the long run.  There are so many pins that only lead to a picture and not an article... if all you're looking for is inspiration, that's great.  But if it's a recipe or a craft project, you might need some instructions.  Follow the pin and see if it leads somewhere helpful.

2.  Take the pin description with a grain of salt.  Just yesterday, I made a recipe I found on Pinterest.  The description said the ingredients included sour cream.  When I clicked through (which I did when I pinned it, but only to make sure it led to the actual recipe) the recipe called for mayonnaise, not sour cream.  Luckily for me, I had mayo on-hand, but if I hadn't, dinner would have been put on hold while I run out to get the missing ingredient.  When you follow the pin through, feel free to fact-check the description while you're there.

3.  Pin your own stuff sparingly.  In the terms of service, it states that you can pin your own stuff, but try not to shamlessly self-promote.  I don't pin my own stuff... I figure that if it's good enough, someone will pin it.  And even without pinning my projects, I get tons of Pinterest traffic.  I'M NOT SAYING DON'T PIN YOUR OWN STUFF.  What I'm saying is, if you're pinning your own projects MULTIPLE TIMES, you're trying too hard.  There is a well-known blogger who pins her own stuff almost exclusively.  And she pins the same thing a week or two later.  And again a couple weeks after that.  It gave me a bad taste in my mouth and I had to stop following her pins and blog.  Don't use Pinterest for self-promotion and see if you don't still get traffic... 'cause I'm thinking you will.

4.  Pin stuff from blogs.  Tell the bloggers you're pinning their stuff.  You will make their day.

5. Actually try the stuff you're pinning.  I have eleventy billion pins.  So why am I on the internet?  There are pins to re-create.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY Bow Tie

If I can make the title of a blog post rhyme, it's been a good day.

So, my sister called me.  And she needed something.  This is not a surprise, since she calls me whenever she needs anything.  And I always rush to help.  Because I have no life.  This time was no different:  she needed me to make a bow tie.

Now, during the course of this project (which was really simple, by the way), I realized the difference between crafters and non-crafters.  Crafters are fearless.  When my sister called me and asked, "can you make a bow tie for me?" I automatically said yes.  I've never made a bow tie before... this could have been a ridiculously involved process that was way above my head, but I didn't hesitate to do it.  Crafters are like that... we fear no project, even if we'd never done it before.

I found a pattern from a blog called Life and Art with Glamma Fabulous.  It was super-simple... I changed the way it attached in the back, but the rest of the pattern was followed perfectly.

For this bow tie, I used fabric and velcro.  The pattern called for an elastic strap, but this particular bow tie was for a school presentation for my nephew.  I didn't see the need to run into town for an elastic strap when he'll be wearing this thing less than ten minutes.

I cut the following out of the fabric:

2 - 5"x7.5" pieces (the bow)
1 - 3"x10" piece (the strap)
1 - 2"x4" piece (the middle bow piece)

Take the 5"x7.5" pieces and iron 'em.

Fold them in half lengthwise, right side together.  Stitch 1/2" seam along the cut edge.

Iron the seam open.

Sew a 1/2" seam to one end of each one.

Turn them right side out and iron them flat.

Lay the two pieces together, seam sides out, matching the closed ends together.  Sew 2 1/2" from the closed edge.  I used white thread because you don't see these stitches and I wanted you guys to see it easier.  I'm always thinking of you.

Fold the bow, seam side down, by bringing the cut edges to the center and pin.  Stitch a seam in the cut edge.  I folded the little corners down so it looked a bit better.

Unfold the bow and gather it in the middle.  Use a basting stitch to bunch the middle together.  I wrapped the thread around it too, just to be safe.

Take the 2"x4" piece and sew it together, right sides together, with a 1/2" seam down the long edge.  Turn it right side out and wrap it around the bow, pinning it in place.

Stitch this in the back, by hand.

A bow tie!  Take the long strips that are left and sew them, right sides together, just like we did with the other pieces.  Iron the seam flat again.

Turn it right side out and fold an edge.  Sew it to the back side of the bow tie.

Add velcro to the ends of the strap...

And place it on whatever child is sitting still.  Watch as he struts around and calls himself 'bow-tie man'.

 Yes, there are Oreo crumbs around his mouth.  My children enjoy a good cookie.  He also has marker on his face.  These are the signs of a seven-year old.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...