Friday, August 31, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #7

This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I was tied up.  You know, with really important stuff that couldn't wait.

OK, I was finishing the Hunger Games books.  I started them on Monday and finished them yesterday.  I saw a wasp on Tuesday and ran, screaming 'TRACKER JACKER!'.

It's OK now.  I've finished them.  I can get my real life back.

This week's Goodwill trip didn't yield anything exciting, but I got a few more frames... with these, I think I can finish my gallery wall WHICH I'M TOTALLY EXCITED ABOUT.

Some weeks at Goodwill are super-awesome... and some weeks, you just find some picture frames.  This is how life works.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Blogging Schedule

I have to believe I'm not the only one OCD meticulous enough to do this... 

I have a blogging schedule.  As in, every day that I post has a theme.  I have gone over the edge.

Mondays are for zombie-preparedness, Tuesdays, I post a project.  Wednesdays I tell you about all the crap totally necessary stuff I've learned in my blogging journey, Thursdays are for Goodwill and Fridays are for recipes.

Why do I do this?  Well, other than being one of those 'quirky' sort of people, I really function well with some structure.  It's easier for me to plan stuff if I know when it's going to be posted.  I think it goes with that list-making, type-A, annoy-everyone-around-you sort of thing...

Do any of you do this too?
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Goodwill Mirror Transformation

I love calling things a 'transformation'.  It makes it sound a lot more involved that what it really was: A new coat of paint.

I like to dress up my project titles.

So, a few weeks ago, I found this great mirror at Goodwill.  I posted about it on my Mission of Goodwill post for the week.  It was less than $5 and IT WAS HUGE.  At that price, I had to have it.

I'm the girl with the Puma sneakers.  I know you're totally jelly of my worn-out shoes.

I taped off the mirror and got to work.

I gave the whole thing a quick sanding since it looked like it was more than a few years old.  After that, I added a little ornament.

I spent hours trying to figure out what these things were actually called.  No need to google it, they're called ornaments.  They might be called 'maple' ornaments or some other wood variation, but they're ornaments and you find them near the dowels in the home improvement store.

I fixed it to the top with some Gorilla brand wood glue and let it set.  Then I gave it a few coats of white paint.

It took three coats to get a good cover over this bad boy... and then, I pulled out the glaze.

So, I've never actually used glaze before.  I mean, I've seen it done by other bloggers, so that sort of makes me an expert, right?  That's how I sleep at night.

I took a damp rag and dipped it in the glaze and then smeared it onto the mirror.

There are various methods to glazing... some put it on thicker than others.  For this, I just wanted it a little scuffed up, so a little bit was just fine.  I went around the whole mirror like that and then took a clean damp rag and wiped it down gently.  If I took too much off, I just re-applied and tried again.  This glaze was pretty darn forgiving.  I love the way it looks on the ornament.

And then, once I was happy, I let it dry and pulled the tape off.  I love the results.

And the ornament really adds a little something...

I'm extremely happy with my $5 mirror.  The glaze was just under $10 but I used so little of it... I'll have lots of glazing projects in the future.

You've gotta love the glazing/distressing stuff: We take something old, make it look new again, and then make it look old again.  We are a strange breed.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Q-Tips

Q-Tips are terrific little things, aren't they?  I mean, they're skinny, so you can carry a bunch of them in your survival pouch... and they have so many uses.  Observe:

1.  I'm not sure why, but earwax is going to be a plague upon the post-apocalyptic world.  Stock up on these and people will be clamoring at your door to buy them.  When they ask the price, make sure you say it loudly because their ears are filled with wax.

2.  Playtime with the kids is going to get pretty depressing.  I mean, there's only so much fun you can have with a zombie corpse before the smell gets unbearable.  But a couple of q-tips under your upper lip, and you're a walrus! Playtime just became fun again!

3.  I saw this thing on Pinterest where you can make a bow out of a popsicle stick and use q-tips for arrows.  Would this not be a terrific date-night activity?!  AIM FOR HIS EYES.

4.  Q-tips are essential for crafting.  Cut them in half and stick them into a foam ball for a pretty flower craft, or use them to make a skeleton on construction paper.  Well, I know how I'm going to spend my apocalypse, at least.

5.  Q-tips are great cleaning tools.  Wait, let me rephrase that: Q-tips are great cleaning tools when your teenager stayed out past curfew and needs to be punished with a really tedious task.  If you play those 'we thought you had been eaten' cards right, your bathroom should sparkle in no time.

6.  A great pastime during the apocalypse will be family games.  Make yourself a maze out of q-tips and see who solves it fastest.  Here's your strategy: if you solve it fastest, it's 'cause you're awesome... if you don't, it's 'cause you let them win.  You are a hero either way.

7.  When you're zombie-hunting, carry around a baggie of q-tips with the ends soaked in laundry detergent.  When you get some zombie-goo on you (and isn't that always how it goes?), use your little q-tip to prevent that stain from getting set-in.  You'll thank me.

8.  Q-tips are great for getting your nail polish just right during a manicure.  Said by the woman who hasn't had a manicure IN YEARS.  Not that I'm bitter.

Until next time survivors,

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #6

Another week, another trip to Goodwill.  It really is one of my favorite activities, heading out to Goodwill.  Maybe it's because it's one of the only times during the week that I'm child-free...

I found this:

It needs to be cleaned and the picture's all weird-o... but it's a ginormous hurricane vase and it's awesome.  For under $3.  SCORE.

I don't have any project ideas for this but I can't wait to use it for holiday decorating!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Finding Balance

My blogging friend Patricia over at Grammy Goodwill is throwing in the blogging towel.  She started blogging to see if she could do it, as well as share some fun things, and now she's struggling to find balance between blogging and life.  I'm going to miss her bunches.

It got me thinking about 'balance'.  Aren't we always seeking balance? Balancing our work with our families, our families with our hobbies, our hobbies with our time, our time with our money.

I am exhausted from all this balancing.

So how do we bloggers find that balance?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  As I sit here typing about balance, I have laundry that needs folding.  And children who are refusing to lie quietly in bed even though it's clearly bedtime.  And no less than seven projects currently in stages of completion.  And meals to plan.  And coupons to clip.  And a budget to plug numbers into.  And a checkbook to balance.

Yeah... I haven't figured out that balance.  You will find no inspiration here.

So, what's the secret?  I'm sure that there are bloggers who have it all together.  I mean, I think about Martha Stewart and can't imagine that she might have smudged windows or unwashed floors... then again, she has people to do it all for her.

THAT'S IT! WE NEED SERVANTS!  Oh man, I'm so happy I figured that out.  So there you have it: to find balance, just find lots of people to do all sorts of stuff for you.  I'll get right on that. :)
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Greeting Card Binder

Every year, I buy greeting cards when they're free or cheap and then I hold on to them until birthdays come up.  Great plan, right? Yeah...

March was my sisters birthday.  I got her a card and then lost it among crafting rubble.  I found it in April.  NO MORE.  I bought a binder and have started a little system so I won't ever lose another pre-purchased birthday card again.

Along with a cute binder from Target (they have the cutest binders at Target) I got some sheet protectors.  And then, I started sewing.

Yes, sewing.

I wanted pockets for the sheet protectors, so I sewed a line through them.

That's where I marked the line. I sewed through it with a basic straight stitch and then I used an exacto knife to cut below the stitch through the front side of the sheet, making a pocket.  Once I did that for several sheets, I made a little printout to use for my top pocket.

I printed enough for every month of the year.  I think it's 12.  Go ahead and fact-check it.

On every printout, I wrote whose birthday was when.  I also have a little column for gifts if I need to send one.

I put the list in the top pocket and cards in the bottom pocket.  Easy-peasy.  I put scrapbook paper in the bottom pocket too, just to make it pretty.

So now, I have all my pre-purchased greeting cards in one place and I haven't lost one since.  I ROCK.  And look at the pretty binder:

I added this one to my other binders... well, some of them.  I won't tell you how many binders I actually have, lest you think I'm obsessed with them.

Spoiler alert: I am obsessed with them.

I need to make a little tag for the greeting card one, but aren't they pretty? I have my recipe binder, my idea binder, my home binder... there's lots more binders but I couldn't fit them all in the picture.  I need a wider lens for my camera. :)
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Band-Aids

Another Monday is here, which means we're one week closer to the zombie apocalypse.  Now, I don't have a specific date for when they're coming, but I'm sure that it will be soon... so let's continue to stockpile our survival items.  This week's must-have? Band-Aids.

Please note that getting the 'Angry Birds' bandages is totally optional but recommended.  They're super-cool, as a junior high student told me last week.  And of course, bandages are necessary for the occasional cuts and scraps, but they are capable of multi-tasking, too.  Here's a few ways that bandages will make your life better when your life is a constant blur of zombie teeth.

1.  If your children are anything like mine, they've most likely stolen the battery cover off your television remotes.  A little bandage will hold those batteries in place until you find where those little rascals put it.  Of course, there won't be any electricity to watch television, but married couples will still fight over the remote nonetheless.

2.  The sheer horror of zombie attacks is sure to upset even the toughest of people.  If you simply can't take watching another neighbor be eaten by the bloodthirsty undead, use the bandages to tape your eyes closed.  Of course, this means you won't see yourself being eaten either, but that's the choice you have made and you must live with it.

3.  Women will still being trying to look pretty during the end of the world.  A quick session of 'bandage waxing' will take care of those unruly eyebrows and you'll be ready for your cover shoot.  Except of course, that all the magazine editors have been eaten.

4.  During the height of the zombie attacks, people will be paranoid about mingling with people who have been bitten or scratched by the zombies.  And if you aren't a 'people person', you might decide that you don't want to mingle with those self-absorbed jerks anyway... use a whole box of bandages to make yourself look like a zombie victim and the whole neighborhood will be yours.  Solitude, at last.

5.  The sticky part of a bandage is great for de-linting your pretty sweaters.  Give it a whirl when you're in a hurry to get to that next zombie-free debutante ball.  At least, unless the debutante is a zombie.

6.  If you spring for the decorative bandages, you'll have unlimited crafting potential in a little box.  Use them to wrap around pens or stick them to a picture frame for bandage art.  Gallery owners across the land will call it art and you'll be a millionaire in no time.

7.  Since your jewelry will have been long sold by then, you can use some pretty bandages to make bracelets or a choker for yourself.  The end of the world is no excuse for not looking your best.

8.  Let's be honest here: your husband is going to whine uncontrollably during the apocalypse.  I mean, they idle at whiny most days, and when you add in the zombies, they are going to be ginormous babies, for sure.  Bandage their mouths shut.  For real.  You'll probably need the extra-strong bandages for this, but the effort will be worth it.  Come to think of it, why am I not trying this right now?

Until next time survivors,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #5

Today's post is later than usual, mostly because I was up to my eyeballs in Halloween projects today.  And if I can say so, THEY ARE SUPER.

So my Goodwill find this week was this little frame, ready to be rehabbed for the upcoming gallery wall.  Here's a picture:

Now, there's always a risk with these sorts of things at Goodwill.  I'm always concerned that I'll pick up some little item that is actually a priceless antique that would have supported my crafting for a thousand years, and I just painted over it and put some vinyl on it.  I've decided that I'd rather not know if I've destroyed a national treasure.

So readers, if you recognize this little picture as being some sort of long-lost artifact, don't tell me.  It's better this way.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Birthdays

That's right, it's my birthday.  My buh-buh-buh-birthday.

I was watching South Park a few minutes ago, Cartman must have seeped into my subconscious.

Anyhoo, I'm 33 today.  And here's what I've learned about birthdays:

1.  Despite multiple letters to several Presidents, they won't make your birthday a national holiday unless you do something really great, like found the country or something.  LIKE THAT HASN'T ALREADY BEEN DONE.

2.  Even though I'm an adult, I still get excited before my birthday.  Not sure if that ever goes away.

3.  When I was young, I assumed that my birthday would always be about me... nowadays, I let the kids pick where to have lunch.  I've become a selfless mother.  WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?

4.  I've learned that they still give you a free dessert at most restaurants when you tell them it's your birthday.  I have gained more than a few pounds so far.

5.  Most importantly, I've learned that you don't have to blog on your birthday. :)
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mod Podge Pictures

Oh man, this project could become a new addiction.  So simple and so cute, before you know it, you're mod podging everything.

I found some of these little wooden plaques at Michael's for a ridiculously good price.  So I bought two of them.

I painted the outsides white...

And then found a couple of pictures I liked.  I cut them to a good size and mod podged them on top.  If you cut out the drying time, this project took like, 45 seconds.  LOVE IT.

They went up in the boy's room.  I love them so much, I'm heading to Michael's this week to buy some more wood plaques.  I'm hooked.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Apocalypse Monday - Garbage Bags

Garbage bags.  Myself, I'm a 'Glad' kind of girl, but I'm sure 'Hefty' is a fine brand... whichever you choose, you'll find yourself happy to have them.

Essential during the apocalypse, you will find hundreds of uses for garbage bags when the zombies are roaming free.  Here's a few reasons why you should add an extra box of these to your next grocery list:

1.  Hauling away the dead.  It's not pretty to talk about, but that's the world we will be living in.  When you've stumbled upon yet another neighbor who has met their end, give them a proper burial in a garbage bag and place them at the curb.  I've asked my husband to do the nice thing and just try to drop dead by the curb in the first place, but he made a face at me.  He doesn't see the big picture.

2.  Garbage bags are great for loading up those old clothes that don't fit anymore and hauling them to the Goodwill down the street.  YES, GOODWILL WILL STILL EXIST DURING THE APOCALYPSE.  I HAVE TO BELIEVE THIS OR LIFE WON'T BE WORTH LIVING.

3.  So, it's sad to say, but some people will try to exploit the zombies during the apocalypse.  I won't admit that I'm probably one of them.  But I am.  If you're up for making your own "Zombie Zoo", you'll need to catch a few good specimen and throwing a garbage bag over their head is an efficient way to trap them.  If people start talking about the ethical treatment of zombies, offer to let them out of the cage to give the naysayer a hug... that ought to take care of that.

4.  Garbage bags make great ponchos.  And they're so stylish.  OK, they're not, but beggars can't be choosers... wear the bag or catch pneumonia, it's your choice.

5.  Once the apocalypse happens, cardboard boxes are going to be prized possessions.  They will mostly be used as residences or as kindling.  So what are you going to do when you decide to move into the bigger house down the street (you know, once the owners have been eaten)?  You'll pack your stuff, including the complete Golden Girls DVD set, into your garbage bags and move in with little fuss.  And you'll remember to watch The Golden Girls while you're unpacking.

6.  When the world ends, garbage bags will be the new satin sheets.  You heard it here first.

7.  Garbage bags are going to be great for potato sack races, especially since you went a little nutso when the Jo-Ann Fabrics became overrun and you ripped apart all the actual potato sacks for your burlap projects.

8.  I'm not completely convinced that we can't domesticate the zombies.  If we can yoke their strength, we should get them to clean up the post-apocalyptic litter.  They can use the garbage bags for that purpose.

9.  If you can find those clear garbage bags, you can put them up on your front porch to keep the zombies out.  They aren't that bright so it is sort of like a force-field to them.

10.  Garbage bags used to be worn by people in the front row at Gallagher shows.  You know who that is, don't you?  I CAN'T POSSIBLY BE THAT OLD.  At any rate, garbage bags, when worn over your clothes, can protect your priceless Osh-Kosh-B'Gosh overalls from any errant zombie bits.

Until next time survivors,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicken Pockets. Nailed It.

So, I say 'nailed it' because these tasted great... although, they didn't look nearly as pretty as the blog I found the recipe on.  I think the blogger over at Pennies on a Platter got a better grade in geometry than I did.  You'll see what I mean soon.

I took two chicken breasts and diced them up.  I cooked them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Following the recipe, I threw in 1/2 cup of minced onion and a couple of cloves of minced garlic.  Insert yummy smells here.

While that was cooking up, I took one tablespoon of softened butter, three ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of seasoning salt, and a little kosher salt and black pepper. 

I mixed in two tablespoons of milk too... and then I added this mixture to the cooked chicken.

So, to be honest, at this point I had my doubts.  I mean, this seemed a little... strange.  But I forged ahead, mentally recalling the number to the local pizza place just in case.

Now, at this point, the recipe says to put a little dollop of this mixture onto a canned crescent roll.  And just... wrap it up.

As if it was so simple.

In order to wrap this thing up neatly, you'd need an equilateral triangle.  Refrigerated crescent rolls are most decidedly isosceles.  I mean, I was no slouch in Geometry class.  Attention was paid.  So, like any good student, I tried to manipulate the shape I was working with.

Still not equilateral, but what can you expect? I DIDN'T MAJOR IN SYMMETRY, OK?

I put a little dollop of the mixture into a crescent and folded up the ends...

And then a couple of tablespoons of melted butter were brushed on top.

I baked them at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.  And they were good... really good.

Even my seven-year old, WHO IS INCREDIBLY PICKY ABOUT WHAT HE EATS, ate everything on his plate.  The three-year old wouldn't eat it, but he doesn't eat anything that isn't a breakfast food.  This is the life I'm living lately.  At any rate, there were none left for the next day.

Here's the pin I found the recipe on... see how much prettier hers were? Oh well, repin and enjoy.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mission of Goodwill - Week #4

Can I start by saying that using this blog as an excuse to go to Goodwill on a weekly basis is awesome?  I mean, I don't do it for me, I do it for you.  So I have to go.

Love it.

I found this little gem on my last trip...

She was $0.96.  I have plans for her... but I need some friends for her.  Two words: GALLERY WALL.

I've got some new furniture being delivered next week... and this gallery wall is going up shortly thereafter.  IT WILL BE EPIC.

Or, it will be just like any other gallery wall you've ever seen. :)

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I've Learned Wednesday - Turning Off Comments For A Single Post

That seems like a long post title.  But I can't really call it anything else... 'cause this post is about how to turn off comments on a single post.

So, for some strange reason, I was getting eleventy billion spam comments on one of my Halloween posts from last year.  Spammers use some sort of keyword search to find posts that they think would be relevant to their spammy topic and somehow one of those desirable key words was in that post.  I would get 10 - 15 spam comments a day on that post... it was obnoxious.

In an effort to avoid deleting spam comments constantly, and since the post was from last fall and probably wouldn't get any new comments anyway, I decided to shut off the comments for that one post.  It was easy-schmeasy and here's how I did it (in Blogger, I've no idea about Wordpress):

Find the post you want to shut the comments off of and click the edit option.  Once you're there, click on the "Options" tab in the right side of the screen, under "Post Settings".

Once you've clicked on that, you'll see that you can adjust the settings for the comments on that post.

As you can see, here's where you can choose to shut off the comments.  You have the option to leave all the existing comments up (which is what I did) or to hide the existing comments.

This might not ever be necessary for your blog but if you ever find yourself deleting 15 spam comments from the same post DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY, you'll thank me.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!
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