Browsing Category "apr"
28 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

Bored to super-board!

I needed a pin board for the kitchen. As it turned out, I liked this idea better so I ran with it. Unfortunately, I was left with this bored board, its only saving grace that it was purchased for just $5.99 at IKEA. No big loss, I figured.

But if you know me, you know that I can’t stand to have idle stuff just laying around waiting to be chucked into the “donate” pile. Surely, I could find a use for this little utilitarian goodie if I could just dress it up a bit. I have to admit, I tried about three different colors/coats of spray paint. The problem was, the paint never really soaked evenly into the cork part and it ended up looking like a Kindergartener’s paint job (no offense to my incoming Kinder kid).

The final coloring attempt was a dark brown, which I really started to like (white was just way too stark). But coverage, as you might see, was still inadequate for my taste. It was then that it struck me… I had some leftover fabric from a cafe curtain I did some time ago (I should show you that sometime) in a brown shade that complemented the paint really beautifully. (No, I didn’t even have a four-leaf clover in my pocket that day!)

Creating an even effect and adhering that fabric was going to be the challenge but since the board was so cheap, I figured nothing could go too awry. I left the board and the fabric scrap laying around for quite a while, pondering the situation every time I passed it.

In short, I ended up measuring the width and length of the cork space and then separately pinning the edges of the fabric into that size/shape. That sat for another long while.

Today, I dug in during baby’s nap time (while big kids were out on the soccer field with dad). Yes, I would have to sew in order to create a very secure and finished look. I ironed over the pinned edges and introduced it to the machine. I stitched a simple, white seam and then went at it with the glue gun. Laying a line of hot glue, I pulled the fabric along each side of the board.

The glue adhered securely and the finished edge gives it a nice, clean look (I’m SO glad I took the time to think it through).

You will have to give me another few weeks to figure out where to hang this thing but it will probably end up in the studio once I get all of my wall decor going there. It will be a handy place to pin some of the notes and knick-knacks that litter the baskets in my creative space.

27 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

Shell artistry

I’ll admit, the project I’m about to reveal was done a LONG time ago. Just so we’re clear, I had a lot more time for tedious, meticulous projects before I had kids. But the fact that I still display it almost seven years after I made them tells me one of two things: 1) These little things were crafted so well that they still look good or 2) It’s been so long since I’ve changed certain decor that I’m blind to a fashion I should have abandoned years ago. (I’ll give myself the benefit of the doubt and go with “1″.)

I was an avid seashell collector in the past – not in a weird, turn-away-potential-boyfriends way – just in that I have always loved the beach and during any given visit to any given shore, I would gather up some good remnants simply for the fond memory of having been there.

But even great remnants can be nothing but dull unless you can do something with them. For instance, we have a small apothecary-type jar in one of the bathrooms (the one that’s waiting to understand its true theme) that displays a wide range of shells I gathered on a trip with my husband to a Balinese beach before we got married. (See, he DID watch me lug a bulky but delicate sack of sandy mementos through security and yes, he DID still propose.)

In that same bathroom is a shadow box that carefully protects four, pristine and unbroken sand dollars in a variety of sizes and shapes. These were gathered from a beach here in Northern California when I was probably my daughter’s age. Somehow I managed to preserve them and finally got the idea to attach a small strip of Velcro to each back in order to mount them safely so everyone could enjoy their beauty.

(Aren’t they amazing?)

And that brings me to the project I’d like to share today. I had two seashell necklaces from Hawai’i that had both seen better days. The threads running through them had disintegrated and all that was left was a shiny pile of little pouches and swirls. Stored in a plastic bag for an innumerable amount of time, the shells served absolutely no purpose until one day, I found myself purchasing an assortment of these interesting spheres constructed of wood, moss and twig. Not long after, I uncovered that ratty old Ziploc and recognized that I probably had more than enough material to add a couple more tactile globes to the collection.

On my next trip to the craft store, I meandered the Styrofoam shape aisle and estimated the ball sizes that might accommodate the collections. The ol’ hot glue gun got a LOT of exercise that day. I managed only to throw out a few of the shells that were left over (surely, there was no need to keep them for another 5 years) and was pretty happy with how much coverage they gave to the white foam. In retrospect, I might have painted the spheres first, but that was WAY before I would have given even a second though to a spray paint can. Don’t worry, I don’t have enough time to re-do them now.

You can tell me this decor is past its prime but I’ll tell you how nice it is to glance at these and think of nothing but holding a fruity drink on the island… if it’s the only split-second escape I get, I’ll take it.

26 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

A plug for Revlon

Really, Revlon? The most important and most visible phrase (besides your own company name) of your entire package, inside and out, and you can’t find anyone to do a spell check? How about, “Um, FIRED.” Darned good thing there’s an illustration to aid in translation.

15 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

Reflecting on Easter

The original title of this post was “Refl(egg)ting on Easter”. Then I was worried you’d really think I’d gone off the deep end with my relentless puns. So I spared you.

This was a busy Easter holiday. We prepped and colored eggs (you DO know that the best way to get a boiled egg out of the hot pot is with a spaghetti spoon, don’t you?), readying for church, planning for the furry visitor…

On top of it all, we decided that this year we’d start the Resurrection Roll tradition. Let’s just say, I’ll have to improve my technique next time around. I loved the concept – a simple recipe: crescent rolls from your market’s fridge section, marshmallows, sugar, cinnamon and butter – and a great lesson to teach the kids that Easter isn’t really about a candy-toting bunny at all.

We did it over breakfast (and planned to end with this sweet treat). Everyone got a triangle (representing Jesus’ tomb) and a marshmallow (to represent Christ’s body). Dipping in the butter and then the cinnamon, we talked to the kids about how His body was anointed with oils and spices before the burial.

Wrap it all up and bake it according to the crescent roll package and you should be able to demonstrate how Jesus’ body had disappeared.

They looked good coming out of the oven but unfortunately for us, it wasn’t a full resurrection (and thank goodness they were only marshmallows). So I’m not sure if I needed to bake them a bit longer, but we got the concept across as best as we could and finished breakfast with a pretty yummy little sweet.

No, there’s nothing organic or wholesome about the food itself, but neither is there anything saintly about eating hot dogs and potato chips on the Fourth of July. So I like the tradition but I think next year I’ll prep everything a bit earlier and bake a little longer so that the tombs aren’t left with half a spirit. And then I’ll let you know how it goes.


14 Apr
Posted in: apr
By nikki    Comments Off

Dressing up the machine

Fast and easy. It doesn’t get any better than that. My sewing machine had been seeing more dust than thread but even if it were in constant use, it desperately needed a cover. During my fabric organizing project I dug up this old wrap-around skirt that I used to wear in my early career years. I kept it in hopes that the nice, soft fabric might come in handy for something some day. And then it did.

I just sewed the waistline all the way across, cut the length to size and hemmed the bottom. It was a perfect fit for my machine (I guess she and I could share clothing more often). The flap you see just hangs down (like any other wrap-around) and the fabric is nice and weighty so it lays ever-so-perfectly over the machine. It’s like a beautiful, new skirt for her.