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Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

I wanted to post an update on my vase painting adventures. Look how lovely they look. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how they stayed. Blame it on the humidity, the paint, me- regardless, they paint took weeks to dry. Most of the vases still had wet paint in them by wedding day eve, making it impossible to stick flowers and water into. When the paint did dry, it mostly looked a hot mess (see photo).

I did have two vases that dried in time for the wedding, although after having water and flowers in them all day, the paint began to separate from the sides. So for my purposes, this project was a big ole failure. I ended up buying a random mixture of a dozen glasses, jars, vases, etc at the thrift store for less than two dollars. All that said, I am sure if you were patient and didn’t plan to put water in the vases, they could work for you. I would recommend using vases with wider necks. The two that actually dried weren’t as narrow. You could also try using another paint besides acrylic. The original tutorial I based the project after used acrylic, but I found another tutorial that used enamel paint. I was going for the cheapest project possible, and obviously acrylic did not work for my needs. So that is to say if you have your heart set on a pretty blue vase, don’t give up little bird- just don’t do what I did.

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While I was at the school supply store purchasing construction paper for the garland I made for the wedding, I saw a large pack of tissue paper in a rainbow of colors. I didn’t have any particular project in mind, but it was cheap, so I figured I could figure out something to do with it later. Much closer to the wedding, my friend Leah came over to help me with my wedding crafting. I was in a sewing machine frenzy, so I just handed the tissue paper over to Leah and told her to make something awesome happen. She did, cause she is awesome. I ended up liking what she made so much, I finished up making the Mexican inspired garland until I was out of tissue paper. I ended up with countless yards of the festive decoration, with no real plan on where I would use it. The venue was big, so I knew I would find a place for it.

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I am on a budget, a very tight wedding budget. We are making the most of the food and decorations ourselves. I am hoping I can get most of my flowers for free from green-thumbed friends and family. But mainly we are being pretty minimalist. I don’t have the time or interest in crafting an intricate and beautiful seating chart. Umm no. But if I am going to have flowers, I need something to put them in. I snagged several vases (some uglier or more boring than others) for less than a quarter a piece. Now despite the fact that I am the Spray Paint Queen, I think it makes glass look dull and cheap. However, I saw some tutorials about pouring paint inside to create almost a glazed look. I purchased 4 different colors of acrylic paint and got to business. At first is was so tedious. I had no idea paint would move so slow. But I got most of the bottles completely covered and things were looking good. Hell yes. Mission accomplished- vases on the cheap. But I think we should all learn from past presidents and not prematurely declare a job done. I could not get the paint to dry, for like a week. No matter how many times I turned the bottles, I would get spots where all the paint just slip off the glass leaving it bare. I have bought more paint, and am going to give it one more go before I declare this project a bust. Fingers crossed!

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Goodness. We had a ton of work to do in the garden to prepare it for spring and our soon-to-be-started summer crops. The picture to the right, yeh, that is the garden, not our lawn. The grass seems to love the pampered soil and sun and has taken to our garden plot quite well. So we had alot of weeding to do. We also wanted to mix a year’s worth of compost that we had been making into the soil along with some organic fertilizer. After the soil was prepared, we wanted to try a new growing technique that helps prevent weeds and keeps the soil moist. We layered old newspaper on top of the soil. This will work as a mulch and prevent weeds from crowding our veggies. We will just punch a hole in the paper where our plants will be. On top of the newspaper we laid a soaker hose and covered the whole thing with pine straw. The garden is ready for plants. Now all we have to do is start the seeds and transplant the seedlings when they are ready.

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One of the best things about spring (besides the weather) is the explosion of color everywhere. There are flowers of every hue and new green waking us up from winter. So all this color provided some inspiration for my latest project. I recently bought a lovely white dress that fit me like a glove. The problem is I can’t wear white; it is like a spaghetti catastrophe waiting to happen. Plus I think the dress just needed a little livening up. I also have a beige skirt that I have own for years that I have wanted to dye. It is light and lovely, but the color really clashed with my skin tone. I considered just giving the skirt away, but I really liked everything about it except the color.  I bought two bottle of Rit dye- one navy blue and one apple green. I started the washing machine on the hottest setting. I poured in some salt because I heard it helped with the saturation of the dye. I put the dress in the water until it was thoroughly soaked, and removed it from the washing machine. I then added the dye while the water was still running into the machine. I made sure the was completely mixed in, and I added the dress back in. When the washer started the agitation cycle, once the dress was completely submerged, I stopped the washing machine and let the dress stand in the dye and water for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it was still submerged. After the 30 minutes, I let the cycle proceed as normal. At this point, most of the excess dye was gone, but I ran both dresses together through another cycle with no soap just to make sure there was no excess dye. Finally, I popped them in the dryer. See what you think. (more…)

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I have been busy (well sort of) making garland to hang around the school house for our little wedding. We don’t have much money, so I’m not really buying any flowers or table clothes or any of that fancy stuff. I don’t have a ton of time (despite working half time (see money problem mentioned above)) because preparing for the GRE is taking up a ton of my non-working time. I don’t have a ton of time to get intricately crafty. I am sticking to what is simple and cheap. So flowers growing at the lake house? Free? Awesome! I am sticking those suckers in some mason jars and calling it a day. Garland made out of construction paper? Cheap? Fairly. Easy? Yes. So I have turned the living room into a one-woman sweat shop, and I need to pump these suckers out. I want miles of damn garland, because honestly, there isn’t much else I can afford. So here is how I make it: (more…)

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family photos

Last night we finally hung the frames that I spray painted white. I used some gin and tonics as an enticement to finally hang these guys. Now every time I look at them, I get really happy and proud. I took old frames that I already had around, painted them white to make them uniform and crisp, and printed out some photos. I love them! I am glad I finally finished this project and got them on the wall.

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